Marriage Advice For Newlyweds – The Honeymoon Period and Beyond
The general consensus among society seems to be that newlyweds are pretty much all blissfully happy, enjoying their newly formed union. It’s also often thought that this ‘honeymoon period’ is only temporary, and in actual fact is somewhat exaggerated and candy coated. While there are no official figures to back this up, a web search on how many marriages end within the first year will bring a variety of results from different sources, many of which claim it is 10%. I actually wouldn’t be too surprised if in actual fact, it is higher than that.
I must confess, when I think of newlyweds, I think of a starry eyed young couple, madly in love and so wrapped up in one another that they feel invincible and almost oblivious to the rest of the world. Or maybe that was just my own experience.
Maybe some of you even think of Jessica Simpson(don’t be embarrassed!) and Nick Lachey when you hear the term ‘newlyweds’ – they had a reality show on MTV documenting their first year(and beyond) of married life. Despite seeming like a very well-matched and happy couple, they, like many others, didn’t make it. Without knowing them outside of that reality show and media coverage about each of them, it’s quite easy to come to the conclusion that perhaps they didn’t put enough effort into keeping the marriage alive. Of course, we shouldn’t make that assumption – the truth is, we have no idea.
It doesn’t matter if you have been married a matter of months, weeks, or even days. In fact, this is perhaps the best time to seek help and advice to strengthen your relationship. It’s not only people that have been together years that have difficulties – everyone does at some stage, remember that. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty – is the ‘honeymoon period’ exaggerated, inflated, and possibly even false? Is it a temporary window where you both see each other through rose tinted glasses? In a lot of cases, the answer is ‘yes’, but it would be foolish just to write off this time as something that isn’t truly real. Instead, time should be spent considering just what made that time so special, and just what makes the present perhaps more difficult and challenging.
Every single couple has a time where they can do no wrong in each other’s eyes, they are madly in love and madly in lust. The mere presence of the other person is enough to bring a constant warm feeling inside that brightens up one’s mood infinitely. This period is often for the first few weeks and months of the relationships, but there is usually another one that starts from the wedding day. For couples that have embarked on a relationship and got married very quickly, this initial infatuation can last until well after they have said ‘I do’. But just what are the reasons behind this ‘honeymoon period’? Why does it differ to the rest of the relationship or marriage? Let’s try and break it down:-
-A new relationship or marriage creates an elevated and positive hormonal reaction in both partners.
-The acceptance felt when someone you think highly of and physically desire feels the same is a massive boost to your ego and general mood.
-Getting to know each other, both personally and physically is very interesting and exciting.
-In the beginning, shared responsibilities are minimal – even after marriage the ‘newness’ of things such as living together and sharing finances is an exciting novelty.
So what happens when time passes and all of this ‘wears off’? It’s then that you really begin to find out how compatible you are. Most people that get on well and are physically attracted to each other can make a relationship work for a few weeks or months, but to make it work for many years is a different proposition altogether. Reality will set in at some point, bringing with it everyday challenges and obstacles and it’s then that you will both need to work at things.
It doesn’t matter how in love you are, how well you get along etc – EVERY couple has to work at their marriage. It’s impossible for two lives to merge together and for it to be plain sailing for decades. Life just doesn’t work like that. Don’t think just because the magic of the honeymoon period has faded, that it means things can’t work. Far too many people make this mistake. In fact, I’d say that’s one of the most common causes of conflict and eventually, divorce.
I’m sure you know people who were married a matter of months(maybe even weeks) before they decided to throw in the towel. In some of those cases, it was probably the contrast between the initial feelings of love, lust and infatuation and the reality of day to day life that was the catalyst for things to end. Don’t make that mistake – accept that the ‘elevated’ feelings you may have now will actually always be there if you work at things. Marriage is a wonderful thing – but like anything else, it takes some work. If you’re prepared to put in that effort – you can have a sensational marriage for many years. Get to know each other, communicate and be honest about what you want out of the marriage and life.
To summarize, here are 4 things to remember:-
1. The ‘honeymoon period’ is temporary and will end at some point, but that doesn’t mean your marriage can’t go from strength to strength.
2. Marriage takes work, but remember that anything that is worth having does.
3. Communication is the key to a successful marriage.
4. Life is full of ups and downs, and so is marriage – there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. There is such a thing as a great one though.