Like every couple in their early marriage years, my husband and I have had our fair share of young love bumps and blues.
Over time we have learned that success in marriage is not accidental.
Every couple will go through strange adjustments early in marriage, where the dreams in their head clash with the reality of married life.
But any couple can grow and flourish past these “clash seasons”, as long as they make continuous choices for grace and growth.
Here are 4 habits that couples in their early married years learn to cultivate
1. They talk
At one point my conflict resolution ‘arsenal’ consisted of “let’s sit down and talk this out and we won’t stop till it’s done“.
We tend to marry our opposites and my husband has always been the ruminator – chewing over things (preferably in his man cave), loving his peace and quiet.
It didn’t take long before we began to figure out that over-aggressiveness and passivity weren’t a great marriage going to make.
Good communication is central in marriage. Couples who thrive purpose early to pursue peace, not just the absence of conflict.
They learn to die to individualistic ideas and preferences, to go the extra mile, for the sake of their spouse and the relationship.
2. They learn
It takes time and effort to build a strong marriage.
But a lot of times we are unaware of kind of work involved when we first get married.
I know at one point in our marriage I was dying for marital bliss, but I was not quite ready to let go of my blues.
And I am not the only wife who has desired mountain top marriage experiences but sat back and hoped to drift her way there; put in minimal effort and still reap a strong thriving marriage.
But strong couples learn early that cleaving and learning go hand in hand.
You can’t genuinely adhere to another person without their permission. Permission comes through trust and trust is gained as you learn and grow together. (Share this)
Of course most marrieds would rather be masters at something but effective young couples learn to fall in love with the student seat.
They adjust expectations, accept the humble (but powerful) position of being a life long student of their spouse and marriage. (Share this)
3. They have fun
My husband loves to inject fun and play into serious moments.
But I am the kind of person who does not appreciate fun when I am stressed out or focused on something.
Over time I have grown to deeply appreciate my husband’s fun side.
Laughter and fun are the unseen oil of a happy marriage. (Share this)
A pillow fight, a piggy back across the parking lot, a stolen kiss, an unexpected tackle and tumble – they all make the rest of life smoother and easier.
Happy effective couples understand that the things that drew them together – fun, laughter, smiles – have to be intentionally cultivated after marriage.
They don’t sit back and and hope that honeymoon love will carry the day.
The stay invested in the little things.
4. They give
Francis Chan says “Our lives should be more than just focusing on our marriage but on focusing our marriage toward what God’s mission is for us as a couple”
All living things have inlets and outlets.
You got to have both in order to support life.
Couples who desire to grow and thrive through the early years of marriage understand that life is not all about them.
Question – What other tips can you share? What has worked in your own marriage?
If you would like to have Intentional Today delivered to your inbox, simply click here: Subscribe to Intentional Today (you will also receive a free copy of my eBook, Navigating Change). We can also connect on Facebook.