Mar 29, 2016

Newlywed Q&A: Unexpected difficulties, bad advice, and adjusting to living together

Hi everyone! I am excited to share another Q & A today with the last three questions from the brides-to-be that sent me questions about wedding planning and adjusting to marriage.  These three questions are great for the newlyweds as well, myself included! I have been learning so much from the wise gals who have been sharing their input and encouragement from their own experiences as wives. Grab a cup of tea (or cup o' joe, if you prefer) and enjoy! 



"We have talked and prayed over a lot for our future marriage. Is there anything that was more difficult than you expected?"

"Not really because we prepared ourselves ahead of time.  I firmly believe in pre-marital counseling to find any red flags and address them prior to the wedding.  In my marriage, I put my husband and his needs ahead of my own.  He, in turn, puts me and my needs ahead of his own.  Then in the end, both our needs are met and we feel loved, honored and respected by the other.  It's a beautiful thing and I pray that your marriages can experience the same thing."
Kimberly Bradley, married 7 years. Blogs at The Narrow Lens (www.thenarrowlens.com)
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"Not really.  Marriage has been weirdly easy for us… we’re great complements to each other, and have made a point to communicate carefully.  Navigating larger family issues has occasionally been tricky… things like establishing our own traditions while still participating in as many family traditions that have been in place on both sides for decades as possible, or like handling relatives who are having difficulty with their changing roles in our lives and acting out.  But, again, communication is key… constant communication with each other, and presenting a united front to the rest of the world.  The WHOLE world, not just strangers.  Your families, too… you have to be your own family first, and fit into the bigger families next. :-)  "
- Katie Hodge, married 6.5 years; Blogs at www.alwayskatie.com
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 "Getting on the same page about sex was very difficult for us. For the first couple of months I tried to initiate all of the time because I thought guys “wanted it all the time.” I waited to have sex until I was married so this was all new for me. Whenever he was tired or not feeling up to it he would tell me no. I would feel hurt and rejection over this and it took us months to figure things out. Through talking, I learned that he did not want to have it all the time. (I was trying to initiate almost 6 days a week, every week). I would highly recommend talking about this, probably after you’re married to not cause more temptation. Ask what each other thinks that should look like in your marriage and know that when the other says no, it’s not a rejection to you but they honestly just might be tired after a long day.
- Kylie Paulsen, married 3 years , www.fellowshipandlattes.com
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"Praying and talking are the best ways to enter into a marriage. In all honesty, the biggest struggle of the first year of marriage was that I began to realize how incredibly selfish I am.  I really wish I’d taken some time to let God work on my heart during my engagement—I think that would have helped. 

There’s nothing like marriage to reveal your flaws, bring them into the light, and make you deal with them. 
It sucks, yes. But it’s so, so good for you. Marriage has brought me closer to Christ than I could have imagined- both because I’ve relied on God so much to keep me afloat, and also because this incredible relationship is refining me and making me take steps toward holiness. It’s really, really hard. But it’s so worth it.
- Ally Vermeer, The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years
(Click HERE for Ally’s series on engagement) 
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"Marriage is tough work, but if you remember to keep God first and foremost, there genuinely isn’t anything you two can’t overcome. I think what is hard about marriage in general is that it is two unique individuals, each with their own set of needs & wants, merging to become one. There will need to be compromise. There will need to be understanding. There will need to be grace. I don’t think anything is more difficult than I expected – but that doesn’t mean marriage isn’t tough work!"
- Alicia Murphy, married 4.5 years, blogs at www.theamgrindonline.com
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-Tiffany Brooks Currie, blogs at www.pinkfaithtoday.blogspot.com 
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"What was the one piece of marriage advice you received that can be ignored (or was just bad)?"

"'Not letting the sun go down on your wrath'....   I thought this meant resolving every conflict before we went to sleep. Sometimes it's better to disagree.  Nothing gets solved when both parties are exhausted.  If it's a small issue, let it go.  If it's something that needs addressed, plan a better time to talk it through.  And use active listening.... " (Click HERE for a her post on this) 
-Leighann Marquiss, married 20 years, blog: www.leighannmarquiss.com
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"'Don't go to bed angry.' Okay, I understand the point, but when we both worked 12+ hour days, and I'm picking a fight because I'm tired and cranky, it's truly not worth staying up to work through. Recognize if something is actually a problem, or if you're just tired. Or hungry. Being hungry makes my man crabby.
-     Ally Vermeer, blogs at  The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years
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" 'Have sex even when you have a headache, it's important to please your husband.' A lot of women stressed the importance of sex "needed" by the husband. Everyone's sex life will be totally different, don't let other's preconceived notions place expectations on your married life. Your sex life will develop with your husband in a way that is completely unique to you as a couple."
- Samantha Kakac blogs at www.elahtree.com
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"Honestly, every piece of pre-marriage advice. The thing is, not one marriage is alike, not one. How can someone give you marriage advice when their marriage may be unique to your own. I believe that it is more beneficial to seek marriage advice post-wedding, so that you know what you may need advice in and who you should seek it from. Finding someone who related to your marital experiences is extremely important as a wife, a woman and a Christ-follower."
-Madison Prinzen, married for 7 months. Instagram: Madi.Prinzen
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"I never really got marriage advice that I can remember. Plus, I probably didn't listen to it anyways. We got married young, 18, so we were just out to figure things on our own."

-Kayla Nelson, married 7 years. Blogs at www.theaccidentalnomadlife.com
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"How do you deal with getting used to living together as a married couple as opposed to only seeing each sometimes when dating?" 

“It just comes with time. At first, it's so great because it's all new. Then it starts to get hard because you start to realize things they do that aren't cute. Communicate with your husband and let him know what really bothers you. You need to analyze things to and decide what you can live with and what drives you crazy. Then you just work on them together with LOTS of patience :) "
- Kylie Paulsen, married 3 years , www.fellowshipandlattes.com
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"Remember that you are still two individuals with different interests and need for alone time.  Don't expect to suddenly be joined at the hip. Respect each other just as you did while dating. Also realize that you come from two different backgrounds when it comes to living arrangements.  When disagreements arise over household things, work together to come up with a solution that works for both of you rather than thinking there's only one right way (which of course is yours!) "
- Leighann Marquiss, married 20 years, blog: www.leighannmarquiss.com
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"Living together as a married couple is a transition, and I think having the expectation that there will probably be conflicts is a good perspective to have. The most important thing is to give one another grace, and recognize what's really his problem and what's really yours.
For example, my husband's idea of "clean" is different than mine. I was getting angry with him about leaving a dish in the living room, or about clutter... but then I realized that it really wasn't his problem! It was mine! I wanted a clean house, but I didn't really want to do the work to make it a clean house. Once I took ownership of my feelings, a lot of the conflicts smoothed themselves out.
Also, don't measure yourself against other couples. My husband and I spend a lot of time together- we work together, commute together, shop together... it's just what works for us. But you may have a different way of doing things- you may spend quite a bit of time doing activities without one another. That's okay. Good marriages look very different from one another- but that doesn't mean one is better than another. It's all about what works for your marriage."
-      - Ally Vermeer of The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years
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"Let go of any preconceived notions or expectations you may have. Focus on creating new routines and traditions specific to you as a couple. Creating new routines together will help you focus on each other."
- Samantha Kakac blogs at www.elahtree.com
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"There is this old saying my mom used to tell me: "It is only what you make it" It is so true! When we first got married I looked for positives, instead of negatives. For instance, I loved seeing his clothes in the closet with my clothes, I loved the annoying ‘man habits’ that he had, and I loved waking up to him. All of which reminded me every day that he was my husband, and I loved that!
-Madison Prinzen, married for 7 months. Instagram: Madi.Prinzen
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"With lots of grace. You have to really learn one another and WANT to continue through the hard parts and when you are giving grace, to yourself and your husband, it gives freedom for learning. Learning what you like, what he likes, what is annoying to each of you. It's hard to merge two lives into one but it's so worth it and when you do all that you do with grace, it softens the difficulties. Also, you really have to be prepared to lay your pride down daily and put on a servant heart. At one point or another, I can almost 100% guarantee you that you will have to serve him in a difficult way, whether it's walking the house behind him and turning lights off as he leaves the rooms or cleaning up his pop cans from the living room or picking up the dinner table or his dirty clothes off the bathroom or bedroom floors, etc. The more prepared you are to serve him in this way, the better."
-Kayla Nelson, married 7 years. Blogs at www.theaccidentalnomadlife.com
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If you want to catch up on previous Q & A about weddings and newlywed seasons, be sure to check HERE.

Also, a special THANK YOU to all the bloggers who have answered the questions from the brides-to-be! Be sure to visit their blogs for more of their wise words! 

2 comments:

  1. Ours was a marriage that became much more peaceful after the first year--sometimes it just takes a little while to figure things out! :) We sure had a lot of fun that first year, but we also argued a little more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic post, lady! I love reading other people's perspectives. I'd be happy to contribute if needed.

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Elle Alice