Monday, August 19, 2013

Marriage Mondays: So, You're Getting Married... Part One

I thought it would help me to be more regular in my blogging if I came up with posts that I was passionate about and that I could turn into a regular thing that I do on the same day of the week.  Hence the "Marriage Mondays".

After reading Wife After God, I started thinking about the things that I've learned during my 6 years of marriage.  I also thought about those things that I've learned that I wish someone would have told me before I got married.  I spoke with a few of my friends about this as well and got their input.  So I thought it would be cool to do a couple of blog posts geared to young women who are getting married (or even those who have just recently gotten married).  I'm going to do a mini-series on "So, You're Getting Married...".  If you've been married for many years and you are reading this...feel free to add your advice in the comment section.  The points from this first part are solely from my own personal opinion based on experience.  Take from it what you will :)

1. Do not vent to your parents about your spouse.
     Before I got married, my mom told me "do not come to me with any problems you are having with Darren or tell me bad things He's done or said".  I took that to heart and am glad that I've never done that.  The reason may have an argument or a problem with your spouse and vent to your parents and then shortly after that you reconcile with you spouse and go about your day.  You've forgotten all about it but your parents...they remember!  It puts a really bad taste in their mouth about your spouse.  So make sure that you are lifting your spouse up instead of tearing them down.  This really goes for when you talk to your friends about problems too.  Be very careful about that.  Take the high road.

2. Take a budgeting class.
    I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace".  You can go to the link to the left and see if there is a class near you or I believe there is an online option now.  Either's a must.  And it really helps for you both to take the class so you are on the same page when it comes to your finances.  Having the same expectations about money is key.  Money is one of the lead causes of arguments in marriage.... especially the first year or so when you're still trying to figure each other out.

3. Communication. Communication. Communication.
   This may be a given and I'm sure you've been told before but communication is SO important in your relationship.  Remember that everyone is different.  We all have different personalities, different opinions, different upbringing, etc.  This plays a big part in how we communicate with each other.  It took us a while to get to know how the other reacts to things and really, we are still learning.  Choose your battles and don't sweat the petty stuff.  And if you do get into an argument....don't say anything you'll regret and don't bring up things that you've already forgiven him for.  As cliché as this sounds...count to 10 before responding.  Seriously :)

4. Date your spouse.
   Date nights are important.  Even if it's just the two of you and you spend time with each other every night.  Set a night each week where you plan something and go out.  It doesn't have to cost much or anything.  Go to the mall and walk around window shopping, pack a picnic and go to the park, find things around you that don't cost much but interest both of you.  But also, do things that he likes to do.  Hopefully in return, he will be willing to do something you enjoy as well.

Good Books to read...
Wife After God
The 5 Love Languages
Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married (I haven't read this one personally but Gary Chapman is a GREAT author so I'm sure it's great)
Men Are Life Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti (this is a good one if you like learning about personalities)
From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife (looks like this one may be out of print but you can get it used)

There are SO many great books out there.  I really like authors like Gary Chapman, James Dobson, Elizabeth George, Dennis Rainey, etc.  And I'm definitely preaching to the choir here but find a couples' devotional that you can do together.  It doesn't have to be long but get in the habit of doing the devotional and praying together every night (or every morning...however your schedule allows).
   That's all for now.  I have some more for next time that go a little deeper :) Stay tuned and happy Monday!

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