The hectic pre-wedding and planning days are over. The many and oft-times nerve-racking visits to his parents, his friends, cousins, colleagues… feels like you’ve seen just about everyone you’ll ever need to see in this lifetime. The glorious wedding day has come and gone. The heady honeymoon too. The last wedding gift – you gave it out to your mother last week.
Hunky husband has resumed work and so have you.
The reality of wedded bliss is here. No movie-like, dreamy, Cinderella trailers. Just the behind the scenes, unphoto-shoped authentic deal.
Allow me to talk to you; tell you a couple of things about this new and exciting journey that you have just begun. Let me talk to you about these early wedded days; you will discover that they are very private days, filled with innovation, elation, learning, training, excitement, growth, stretching. Let us cover a few important areas;
Number one. He won’t “go home”.
And you won’t be able to “go home” either.
Home is where both of you now live.
Weeks back, you could walk out of a restaurant after yet another disagreement about his mother…and the color of his wedding shirt. You could go home (your home) to cool off, studiously ignore his calls. No more. Even if you switch off your phone now, he’ll find you. Cos you now live together.
Communication. Conflict resolution. Talking. Its your new language. One that you need to muster well. And continue mastering for the rest of your married life. You need to find flow with hubby. Without taking intermittent breaks to ask your girlfriend for advice. Using social media to air the not-so-clean laundry is very un-neat.
You can’t go to your mum’s for a few hours to “bring him to his senses”. That’s throwing a very bad spanner in the works. Now is the time to dust up your premarital notes and actually practice what you were taught. Develop a spine. Stick it through. For better or for worse.
He is not as neat as his smart suits made you believe.
Well, that visit to his house?
He was expecting you and your friends, he had done a mini house-makeover. And yes, his breath, it’s not that fresh and minty in the morning. He likes his pancakes brownish, not black.
And those socks….why do they have to be rolled up in a ball and thrown into clean-cloths section?
It will not be easy adjusting to each other’s quirky habits and ingrained behavior. But that is the essence of marriage. Adjusting to each other. He may change. Eventually. But it’s not your call. You can’t change him (same as he can’t change you). He’ll do the changing all by himself.
Now you see why all those pre-wedding hangouts were so important. Hopefully, you were not just checking out his cute dimples but were actually paying real attention to the whole man – his behavior, how he treated the waiters, family, women, his default thinking. Change takes time. So change requires love..lots of love. And by the way, the correct spelling for the word love is COMMITMENT. Iron sharpening iron. Patience. Patience. Acceptance. Acceptance. Talking. Talking. You get the drift.
Most new brides cry a lot.
A whole lot.
Someone shared with me that little morsel just before I got married. I wanted to slap her mouth shut…how rude, backward. The knack of old women! (Yes, the person sharing the morsel had more than three decades of marriage tucked to her belt) I should have listened. Cos turned out she was right.
So why do new brides cry? Emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, social adjustments.
Let me encourage you, when you cry, you are not being a cry-baby neither are you weak. No matter how glorious, how awesome and mind-blowing the newly- wedded bliss is, it’s also a season of serious transition for you. Moving from “me” to “us” is not easy. Ad most women cry generally.
Those who refuse to cry have to get some other not-so-pleasant ways of release. Like smashing dishes, developing ulcers, gossiping hubby with others, stunted emotional growth,..and years down the line, they have a tendency to explode and walk out on their man.
Embrace your femininity, your womanhood. It beats having emotional or hysterical outbursts with your sweet brand new husband. Tears clean the heart, the same way they clean the eyes (wink). Thing is this; try to get yourself together in private first – cry, weep, think, whatever – before you try to do it in public. It helps your communication, helps you get your point across better. When you think first, you speak even better.
Ah yes, you dislike cooking, cleaning, washing, dusting, market shopping, folding laundry and all other things that have the tag “domestic responsibilities” written on them.
Or even if you enjoy dabbling in a couple of things domestic, it’s usually to your convenience e.g when you’ve had an easy day at the office and you get home early. Now you are trying to get the hang of running a home – and it’s not dependent on your mood or day.
Let me encourage you, running a home does get into the system eventually. No, you may not fall in love with domestic responsibilities entirely but you will definitely fall in love with its results; a healthy happy man and a clean home. And for that, you will discover that you can do almost anything.
And again, domestic chores are not his forte. He can help… he should help. But that’s what it is. Help. It still your primary responsibility.(ok, if you are still chaffing at this thought, lets look at another scenario; when it comes to romance.. you can romance him, you should romance him..buts its still his forte..to chase after you).
Accept that there are roles and responsibilities in marriage. Accept yours. And not just the ones on the domestic end.
Get ready for the questions. You are amongst the fortunate if you escaped the “we are waiting for the kids now!” line on your wedding day. Most people wait until you are about a month old in marriage before they begin patting your tummy, guess your “months’ and generally put their nose in to your private business. Forgive them, most of them mean well. (I know it doesn’t feel that way).
Now, you should have discussed all things ‘baby” with hubby before the wedding. When, how many, spacing e.t.c. If you happen to change your mind about the ‘when” after the wedding, the first thing to do is NOT to ditch the contraceptive or “forget” counting the days. That’s not smart. Plus it will earn you negative love points from hubby.
The first thing to do is to talk. That’s the cardinal rule when it comes to making decisions in your marriage. You consult each other. Consult again. Be in agreement. Or maybe, you are one of those who want to wait before having the bundle(s )of joy, always remember that it’s your relationship. It’s your marriage. Do what works for you. Once baby comes, baby stays. For a minimum of two decades at least. Straight up, no breaks. So breath easy, there is no baby bump competition going on.
Oh here’s a biggie. One that you will pass on to your daughters.
You will not be able to tell your girlfriends everything about your home, hubby, relationship.
Actually, rephrase that, you should not tell your girlfriends about your private goings on. He left his mama and daddy for you. And you did the same. What happens in your home stays in your home. (It does not go to your Facebook or twitter either.)
By now (hopefully), you already feel the sacredness of your union. You can sense that some things are beyond an un-married mind. So don’t beat up yourself if you can’t share everything with your friends who want to know all the details of the honeymoon and marriage.
Don’t feel faint if there is no glamor and glory to chatter about. It’s okay to hold your tongue and sound boring, just so you keep your sanity and honor in your marriage. Marriage is not easy. Not everyone gets that. But now you get it.
On the same breadth, keep your mentor relationship strong and thriving.
You’ll have crazy days and you’ll need someone to talk to. Yes, someone, not everyone. That’s what a mentor is for. Also cultivate at least one married peer relationship, someone whom you can share your heart with. Share your heart and life, not gossip your husband or marriage. There’s a heaven and earth difference. A girl, especially a newly-wed, needs a friend. You must look for and cultivate yours.
Learn to forgive yourself.
You don’t know it all. Relax. Just like kids don’t come with a manual, so does the institution that they are born into. You are writing a story and as all good stories go, they get better down the chapters. It will get better, these adjustments. Keep hope. Keep faith up. Connect deeply with God.
Try not to figure out everything in advance
It will kill you. Live one glorious day at a time. Let this adage be true for you, that your vision is etched on stone but your goals on sand. Stay flexible, easy and pliable.
Make that man happy.
*Remember you can pick up my book, Blues To Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years and learn how to navigate the early marriage years.
Are you an early-wed or older wife? Going through unlovely marriage blues? Instead of the much anticipated wedded bliss? There’s hope! Take a journey through marital subjects like sex, communication, finances, expectations (and many more) and learn how to build a foundation for a marriage that will last!
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