As your Bismarck and Mandan radio pal, I am always searching for interesting tips and intel for your life.  I came across an article that shared tips that newlyweds should know about marriage.  Many of us (me included) have stepped into marriage hoping for a lifetime of love and happiness, and it can be just that, but, like anything in life, it requires hard work, patience, and flexibility.  I wish someone had shared these with me when I was married!  Here are a few tips:


1)   Marriage will most likely turn out to be harder than you expected; be patient.  Just with learning a new skill or starting a new job, none of us come with all of the tools for success, and many life journeys have no roadmap to make it easier.  As much as we try to prepare, we simply experience life and learn along the way.  Don’t get frustrated or give up; just realizing this and keeping an open mind can go a long way.


2)   Life isn’t fair.  Marriage is never a perfect 50-50 with meeting exactly halfway.  Life isn’t fun when you’re constantly measuring and keeping track of who did what and who owes whom.  A better approach?  Be generous, offer support, cut the other person some slack.  The happiest couples pay more attention to what they are giving instead of what they are getting back.


3)   Learn to apologize and forgive.  Everyone makes mistakes, misunderstands, miscommunicates more often than they would like.  Rather than expecting perfection from yourself or others, learn to apologize and forgive.  Keep lines of communication open and never go to bed upset.


4)   Realize that things about your spouse that are bothersome are likely about you.  Have you ever stopped to wonder why certain things your partner does drive you absolutely crazy?  Do they have quirky habits that you can’t stand?  Many times it is us telling stories to ourselves about what his/her actions mean.  Do you think their forgetfulness means they don’t care? Not everything they do is about you.  Try not to take things personally and you will be more at peace.


5)   Realize that marriage doesn’t mean you’re joined at the hip.  Each person, single or married, has their own likes, dislikes, hobbies, friends, dreams, etc.  Even as newlyweds, you are going to want and need your “me-time,” time to pursue your own interests and have your space.  Happy couples lead full lives, and they value each other’s wholeness, never thinking of the other as someone who “completes” them.  If you step back from hanging onto each other, you will appreciate each other for all that you are, making your union a healthy strong one for years to come.


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