8 In Family/ Marriage/ My Journey

    A letter to my newlywed self

    Dear Kathryn,

    Welcome to marriage…it’s going to be an incredible adventure that will challenge you to become the best version of yourself. Here are some things to keep in mind as you journey together into the future. Twelve tips for ‘happily ever after…’

    1. Please remember that YOU ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!

    Don’t try to WIN a fight and don’t get so defensive. Remember he loves you and wants the best for you.

    In fact, when you are fighting, instead of trying to come up with all the things he’s done wrong (to justify your anger), think of all the things he’s done RIGHT and it will change your attitude.

    2.  Don’t let little things become BIG things.

    Don’t fight over something that is fixable. You are going to get mad at Ted for stealing the blanket at night. Don’t get ANGRY, just GET ANOTHER BLANKET!

    3. Choose friends wisely!

    Be careful about choosing your closest friends. Your friends, and their marriages, will impact YOU and your MARRIAGE! Choose friends who fight for GOOD marriages. If your closest friends are criticizing their spouse, it’s easy to do the same. Choose friends who speak highly of their spouse (when they are around AND when they are NOT)!

    4. Get some counseling.

    You are coming into the marriage with some baggage. Talk this through with a trusted counselor who shares your values. It will do you, and your marriage, some good.

    5. Say THANK YOU!

    Be grateful and don’t take things for granted. Thank Ted for working hard, thank him for the things he does around the house, thank Him for his integrity. Thank him for loving you well. Be thankful, stay thankful. Tell him THANK YOU for the big things and the little things.

    6. Be your husband’s cheerleader! (Not his critic)

    He may not have anyone else encouraging him. Always cheer him on!

    Don’t ever say things that make him look bad or mock him in front of others. You are the LAST person who should ever do that, and it will make you both feel bad.

    “Be a raving fan publicly but an honest critic privately.” – Andy Stanley

    7. On listening…and responding

    Listen without formulating a response. Listen to UNDERSTAND.

    Don’t say “You ALWAYS” and “You NEVER!”  Don’t blame.

    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply…seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey

    8. The ‘D’ word…don’t use it.

    Remove the word ‘divorce’ from your vocabulary. You may want to sleep in another room some nights and work things out in the morning. You are in this for the long haul.

    9. Don’t say: “That’s just the way I am.”

    We can ALWAYS learn, grow and become better.

    10. Always be kind.

    Sometimes you’ll be tired or irritated, but you don’t have to be rude. Be kind.

    No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

    11. Respect

    You were raised in a house full of women and don’t know how important “respect” is to a man. Do some research on this word, and apply what you’ve learned. (Spoiler Alert: Your future involves a house full of MEN)

    12. When going through a hard time…keep going!

    Tough times will come, fight the problem and not each other. It will get better.

    There’s a rainbow in every cloud. – Maya Angelou


    Kathryn –

    17 years later, I still do NOT have all these tips mastered. I’m a work in progress.  I’m still softening my rough spots and learning to love Ted. But those are some things I wish I knew from our first day of marriage!

    What tip would have helped YOU as a newlywed? Leave a comment!

    Most importantly, if you’ve found this post helpful, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.