This is my and my husbands’ first year of marriage. We turned a year on the 14th of April. Ending up of #anniversarymonth. I would love to share some advice on things I have learned. It takes effort, love, patience and forgiveness to build a marriage. I am grateful that God kept us through.
Long post ahead but worth the read. A marriage is like a farm. It needs constant care. You must water, dig, plant and weed it before the harvest. It has good harvests and bad harvests, but you must keep cultivating it. Below is the best marriage advice i would give to you.
Love: Love is the key ingredient that keeps you going in a marriage. Love especially in times when things are not going well and when you are angry with your sweetheart and you feel like lashing out by not showing love. Showing love in these circumstances helps build a marriage. It takes practice and patience to show love to one another.
The same way you would feed your body and nourish it is the same way you show feed and nourish your partners body. When you get married you become one. That is why you use the same surname and live in the same house. When life throws all sort of twists, turns and straight roads at you. Love sees you through and holds you close.
“If you love someone, you want the best for them as you want the best for yourself.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient, kind, doesn’t boast, is not proud, is not self-seeking, doesn’t dishonor others, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in evil rejoices in the truth, always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:13: ‘Now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
Mark 12:31:’…. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
Care: Caring for someone means that you are looking after their wellbeing and safety. This means to feed them by cooking or ordering takeaways, to clean after them but this doesn’t mean that the other person should take advantage of this. If you are a stay at home mom, this means you do a lot of the cleaning because you are in the house more often and you have a little of spare time.
But your partner should also be able to step in and help when they are done with work and over the weekends. This also means giving your baby a massage when s/he is stressed out and tense. Not for them but for you. They will be a much nicer person when relaxed. My husband and I take turns massaging one another. The same way you want to be taken care of is the way you should take care of your partner.
“Be the change you want to see in your marriage.”
Finance: This one is tricky, and it depends on what you have decided as a couple on finances. Whether this means you have one joint account or three separate accounts that is up to you. But you must be able to discuss things fairly and equally. Many people divorce based on finance issues. You should be able to save and share finances equally.
Even though one is working and the other is a SAHM. You work equally. You as a sahm are working to keep your children and household, while your partner is working out there. There should be no his and her money. Its your money together as a married couple. Look at paying for priorities (rent, baby necessities, groceries, loans, school fees, all fees, accounts) first. Then work down your way to that extra money that you then divide equally to spend as you both wishes.
Remember that verse I mentioned earlier where the two shall become one. Your finance should become one as well. Sit down with your partner from the beginning and talk through finances, what you both expect, how you will divide, budgets and all. When you do, you should both stick to this. As time goes by, things change and finance changes too, sit down and calming talk things through. I also learnt that if you are getting for one person, get for the other as well. It is not about you alone. Relying on one income also means that you will be forced to cut down on lots of luxuries.
“Save and share your finances equally.”
Acceptance and tolerance: Acceptance means to accept the person as they are and not try to change them. There is a common saying where I am from, “You can’t force a cow to drink water.” You can’t change a person. Period. No matter how much you can try. Change comes from within. Only if a person wants to change, there is potential to change. I must also say its hard to stop bad habits. It takes commitment and the will to change. That said if there are small things that your partner does that you are not in agreement with, let your partner know about it.
If your partner is willing to change encourage them to. Don’t push them to. If your partner loves you, they will try and change. You should be able to acknowledge these small changes as well. We usually expect big sudden abrupt changes which never happens. If your partner has a hard time changing be tolerant with them. Time, patience and prayer will see you through. You may as well try and work your way through influencing them to change. Not hard knocking and beating them down. The best you can do is pray for your partner to change.
Communication is a two-way street:
You are two different people and somethings you say, do and react come out in a wrong way to your partner. You have different understanding skills and evaluation skills. When you communicate in a calm way it helps to clear out many unnecessary arguments. It is also good to listen. When you have two people barking down and wanting to be heard, it fuels the argument.
It is good to be quiet and listen to your partner. What is on their heart. When they speak, think about what they said. If it means taking a time out, do that. When you take the time to think things through your mind clears and you are more open to look at the other persons’ needs. Afterwards you may calmly sit your partner down and talk things through. It is hard to see another point of view when both of you are angry.
Proverbs 15:1: ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’
Romance: Romance is not in the big gestures Hollywood movies have lied to us. Romance in a marriage is in the small things, a kiss goodbye, a romantic meal, dates nights. You should make constant effort to romance your partner. Wear something sexy for them. Call just to say I love you. Call them sweet names. Talk and listen to them. Be a shoulder they can lean on. Touch them. Touch is very important. Learn your lovers love language and romance them in that way. My husband loves to touch.
I love it when he gets me small gifts like roses, socks and chocolates. Make it alive in bed as well. If you do these small gestures fuel your needs in bed. Respect them as well. Do the small things your sugar pie loves. If you can do those big romantic Hollywood gestures. Shout on the mountain top that you love them. Engrave your names in wood. Write I love you in the snow, take a picture and send it to them. Everyday has something romantic to show your lover.
“It’s the small things that count.”
Openness: Openness paves way for you to communicate with your loved one. Be free and open with them. Don’t keep secrets from them. Be authentic. Secrets are like a terminate hole. They eat you rotten inside and blow over massively. Don’t entertain other people in your marriage.
It’s between you and your partner. Be open to speak out your needs. If you like it this way let them know. If you keep silent it boils inside, you and they won’t be able to meet your needs. Don’t go on social media asking for help when it would be easier to speak to your loved one. Are there things that you are hiding from your partner? If there are, go tell them.
Cleanliness: Be clean. Be clean in your heart, mind and body. If you are clean inside, you will be clean outside. Take a bath every day. Spray some perfume and roll on, brush your teeth and hair, put on that beautiful dress that lays in your drawer. Make extra effort to look good for your husband.
He will want you more when you do. Yes, even as a SAHM, you must look and smell good. Your home must be clean as well. Make your house smell welcoming for your husband when he gets home. He had a long day, he missed you and your home. Use these tips to make your house smell nice: https://mrschettylifestyle.co.za/fresh-smelling-house/
Trust: Do you trust your partner? If something were to happen to you today. Would you trust them to take care of you even when you are unable to? Trust is a big component in your marriage. Your lover must learn to depend on you and trust you. Trust their decision making as well.
The husband is the head of the house. You can advise him, but he makes the ultimate decision. As long as, you are not in harms way. Trust him. If he falls, he will come back to apologize, and he will learn to trust you as well. Then you can tell him I told you so. Lol. That gives you an upper hand for next time. 😉
Us, me-time and family time: It’s good to make purposeful time for you and your husband. And for family time as well. Spending time with him helps you see why you fell in love with him in the first place. Allow for time as a family as well. Do the things you love together.
Cook, dance, listen to music, go on a picnic, date night and go to the gym together. Date each other from time to time. It’s good to take a break and have me-time. It gives you time to replenish yourself so that you can better replenish others.
The best Marriage Advice: First year of marriage.
Unity: You are one. Unite as a couple in decision making. Unite in what you say about him to other people. Whatever you do, do as one. If Your loved one would do the same thing you are doing, or say the same thing how would you feel? Unite in your finances too. Have the same friends too. Go out together. Don’t go out alone, it calls for temptation. Make good couple friends who encourage you wisely. Sometimes having many single friends makes you act like them. And they advise you in the singleness they know. Find a church you will both go to and like. Be loyal to your partner. Have one sexual partner.
“Birds of the same feather flock together.”
Priorities: This is a hard pill to swallow. Your priorities changed the moment you got married. Your priority must be your family. Family in the sense of your husband. Your husband comes first before anything else. Priorities must also be set in your finances. Many people will argue with me but also when it comes to your kids, your husband comes first.
Parenting: Your children learn from you. However way you treat your husband they will treat him and you as well. You are setting a background for them when they get married. It was your husband and you before the children. Your children will grow up, start their own families and leave you and your husband. Children learn more by seeing than hearing. Respect your partner.
“Set a good example for your children in your marriage.”
Humility: Be humble enough to say sorry when you are wrong. Also be humble enough to admit when you are wrong. Do small things for your partner and he will do it as well. Be willing to make up when you make a mistake and move forward from it. Pick up the lessons learnt and move on.
Contentment: Be happy and content with what you have. Be content in your marriage. I keep a gratitude app for when I am not seeing the blessings I have. You are blessed. If you are content with what you have you will leave a happier life. Instagram and Facebook have ways of making you feel like what you have is not enough. Those are just pictures.
You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Be your own #couplegoals. You have someone who loves you and you love them. That is what matters. Do not compare yourself with others. You are special and unique just the way you are.
Prayer: Its important to pray for your marriage. There are lots of attacks against marriages these days. Pray for you, your husband and your family.
Marriage as a body. Read here for more on how a marriage works as a body: https://mrschettylifestyle.co.za/marriage-as-a-body/
In conclusion: The best marriage advice I would give you is a marriage is not sugar and candy, it takes love, hard-work, input, patience, endurance and all these things stated above for it to work. Both of you must work hard daily to make a marriage work.
More from MrsChettyLife: https://mrschettylifestyle.co.za/first-year-of-my-marriage/