Five Top Tips For Newlyweds
Movie goddess Audrey Hepburn once declared: "If I get married, I want to be
very married." She did marry -- twice. But what did she mean by “very
This is the time of year many would-be brides and grooms go through the
same thinking process -- wondering what the key is to being "very married",
in other words, happy and committed to a long lasting relationship. June is
one of the busiest months for weddings.
(Each of Hepburn’s marriages, by the way, lasted 13 years. And there’s no
record of whether she thought she succeeded in her aim -- though she opted
to live with her next lover for another 13 years without marrying!)
Anyway, everyone has different tips about marriage success and they also
know that all long-term relationships have their ups and downs. Your job,
if you're about to become a newlywed, is to find the ways to keep your
relationship on an even keel.
Unless you've been together for a number of prior years, when people marry,
their relationship often changes as they get to know each other -- and each
other’s habits, good and bad.
After all, it's only a short trip from the wedding altar to the laundry
room or the honey-do lists!
But even though every marriage relationship is different and everyone will
offer you a different formula for success, there are five pieces of advice
they nearly all share:
1. It's A Partnership.
That means both partners pulling their weight in terms of running the home
and managing finances. Research by the OECD shows that while men think they
do the most work, women actually do twice as much as them in the home. In
some cases, that might be because of circumstances -- say if the woman is a
stay-at-home Mom. But that's less and less the case these days. The way to
avoid house chores becoming a source of conflict is to agree a
who-does-what and to hold yourself accountable for what you agree to do.
As for financial management, it's okay for each partner to have their own
bank account and cash or credit card (which they pay from their own
account). But there should also be a joint account, with its own card, for
running the household budget. And you need to agree upfront how much each
of you contributes to it -- and then review it every week to identify any
2. Share Space and Make Space
Finding the right balance between spending time together and spending time
apart or even alone is crucial to a solid relationship. Each of us is
different. Some people enjoy being with others, some don't (even with their
partners). It's important to do things together that you both enjoy. But
it's just as essential that each of you has your own space to which you can
retreat -- whether it's a den, a garden shed, a bedroom used as an art
studio, or even just the kitchen.
Get to know your partner's boundaries, true nature and preferences and then
respect them. Wondering where to start? Try -- and get your partner to try
-- this free online personality test:
It'll also highlight each other’s strengths and weakness, providing further
information and understanding about your partner.
Never take your partner for granted. Listen to what they say, whether it
interests you or not. This is a vital behavior when there's a disagreement.
Listening to the other person and accepting that they believe in what they
are saying can open the way to a proper, rational discussion.
Listening also helps you pick up nuances hinting that things may not be
quite right -- so you then have an early opportunity to fix them.
According to Sheri Stritof, co-author of The Everything Great Marriage Book, one of the main reasons
couples divorce is because they lost the ability or never had the skills to
communicate with one another. She offers 10 tips on how to become a better
4. Settle Family Issues.
Mother-in-law jokes aside, family relationships are a serious issue and
often the source of marital disharmony. That can happen in many ways -- for
instance, at holiday family gatherings, when one partner brings a child or
two into the new marriage, or disagreement over whether you'll have
children or even a pet!
Discussions about additions to the family ideally should take place before
the marriage. If one wants children, or a dog, or a cat, or a parrot, and
the other doesn't, this can prove toxic in a relationship. And even if
you're both in agreement, you need to discuss and agree timing. Remember,
ever addition will cost you money.
As for your extended families, make it a rule not to get involved in
disputes with your partner's family -- or to criticize them too forcefully.
If you're not happy with the way your partner interacts with your, his or
her family, discuss the issue calmly when they're not around.
5. Plan For The Future
While you enjoy the novel, early years of marriage, know that many
challenges, financial and otherwise lie ahead. At the outset, it pays to
put money aside for the future, even if you can only afford a little. And
commit to adding a proportion of any raise into savings.
Of course, money can't buy you love, as The Beatles once sang, but it can
give you a good foundation that allows you the opportunity to focus on your
Make time too to explore and understand each other's hopes and dreams so
you can both work to make them happen and to support each other's personal
growth, for example in a career. Be realistic about the near term but also
think about setting longer term goals -- perhaps by drawing up a bucket
list that you can work together to fulfill in the years ahead.
Don’t Forget This Important Action
As we've suggested above, financial security is one of the keys to a
But, unless you’re very rich, you can’t have true financial security
without insurance to protect your life, your home and anything else that
It's not just a nice-to-have but an essential component of marriage
partnerships and family life.
So, it's not something to be left till later, because later is sometimes
If you want to learn more about insurance, including insurance on a budget,
talk to your broker. In Southern California, just contact the family
insurance experts at Aldrich Taylor Insurance.
And if you are (or about to become) a newlywed -- congratulations! May you
both live in harmony, happily ever after!