Ten Things I Would Tell a New Bride
- You need to rely on girlfriends for relational closeness. Trying to get all your emotional needs from your husband will not work.
- Don’t rely on your spouse to make you happy. That’s not his job…it’s yours. You need hobbies separate from your husband and he needs to miss you once in a while.
- There will be times when you don’t feel in love. Don’t give up. The love will come back.
- If at all possible, stay together. You give your children a great legacy when they know they don’t have to visit divorced parents in separate homes. (I can’t tell you the number of grown adults – men and women – who have sobbed in my office over their parent’s divorce.)
- If you start to struggle in your marriage, get help quickly. Trying to fix your toxic dance is like a surgeon trying to do surgery on himself. It doesn’t work. I recommend a therapist who specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).
- I’ve seen lots of marriages survive an affair. It takes a lot of work and creates more pain than you can believe, but an affair is simply a wake-up call that something was missing in the marriage. Often, marriage relationships become richer after they heal from an affair.
- Make time for the two of you. It’s not selfish to take time away from kids. The best gift you can give a child is two parents madly in love.
- Have traditions. Every Sunday, John and I watch, “The Amazing Race”and every Tuesday we cry together while watching “Parenthood.” It’s not the shows so much as it is the set time we know we’ll sit together and cuddle.
- Sexual passion gets better the longer you know each other (as long as you don’t neglect your marriage). Trust and commitment are powerful aphrodisiacs.
- Arguments don’t mean you have a bad marriage. It means you have two individuals who are being honest. If couples say they don’t argue they are either a) lying or b) not being authentic. Relationship expert John Gottman says he can predict who will divorce — not if a couple fights, but how they fight. You can read more here.
What advice would you offer a new bride?