I’m going to start off by saying I am no marriage expert. My husband and I have plenty of things to work on and I am by no means saying we have everything figured out! But now that we’ve been married over 5 years (how did that happen?) I can look back and clearly see 5 marriage lessons I’ve learned in 5 years of marriage.
5 Marriage Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Marriage
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1.) Fights will happen. Be prepared.
My husband might kill me for saying this, but we actually got into a fight on our honeymoon. I specifically remember being very upset as we walked around the Mayan ruins in Mexico but for the life of me, I can’t remember what I was upset about.
Regardless if you get into a fight on your honeymoon, on your wedding day (I’ve heard stories!), or five years into marriage, they will happen. And that’s OK. Marriages are made up of two very different people trying to figure out life together. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say all marriages are made up of sinners who have their best interest in mind too,
Again, fights are not a problem. They are actually useful for strengthening our marriages. It’s how we deal with them that’s the important part.
Over the course of the nine years that my husband and I have been together, I’ve had to work on NOT running away at the first sign of disagreement. When it comes to fight or flight – I tend to flee. And he had to learn to sometimes give me time to process my thoughts and feelings instead of addressing the issue head-on.
Now he’s great at being able to tell when I’m upset even when I feel like I’m doing a good job hiding it. My husband’s always been a keen observer. And he’s so blunt I don’t have any questions about when he’s upset. 😉
Also, if you’re looking to boost your marriage, I’ve heard great things about this devotional for couples from Tony Evans.
This brings me to my next marriage lessons learned.
2. Never complain about your boyfriend or husband to your family.
I know I said these were marriage lessons, but this is a great lesson for dating too. Of course, there are many different circumstances. If you’re dating someone abusive you don’t want to hide that from your family and friends because you will need help and support. But I’m talking about normal skirmishes and arguments here.
Go tell your friends about your boyfriend or husband if you absolutely need to verbally process it. But better yet, turn to an older, trusted mentor. Additionally, journal about it and definitely pray about it, and ask God for guidance.
But if you’re always sharing every fight with your family don’t be surprised if they start to look at your boyfriend or husband (or wife if you’re a guy reading this) negatively.
It creates one unhealthy situation.
Along similar lines, once you are married, leave any “mediating” to the spouse and their family. Thankfully, we haven’t had any issues with this, but here is a totally made-up, hypothetical example.
Say a married couple had an issue with the shows their grandparents let their kids watch – they are full of swearing and violence. The daughter-in-law or son-in-law should not address the issue with the grandparents. The daughter or son should. It will help prevent a lot of unnecessary tension.
3.) Realize your spouse is going to do things differently than you, and that’s OK.
4.) Learn to budget together.
I’m no financial expert, but if you and your husband still have separate bank accounts and pay off your bills like roommates, I might reconsider. First off, money is the number one reason for divorce, and having separate accounts creates trust issues.
Here’s what Dave Ramsey says about combining your money, “We can’t keep each area of our marriage neatly separated. Money touches everything, so if a couple is fighting about money, that tension can also affect areas like trust, parenting, or intimacy. But when a couple manages their money together, they’re agreeing on their hopes, dreams, and goals—and on how to reach them.”
My husband and I have been on the same page about money from day one and I can’t tell you how refreshing it’s been. We budget every month, plan for goals, and learn to save, spend, and give away wisely.
Check out this article on how to combine your bank accounts if you are ready to take that step.
5.) Learn to have fun.
Now, if you’re anything like my husband and me, you are great with your money but terrible at having fun. True story: after taking a 9-week premarital class, our counselors told us we would be great at handling money and shared the same strong values in life, but we should work on having fun. haha
I’ll be honest, we are still working on this one. My husband is probably “more fun” than I am but I can be really boring. We are realizing that we really need to push ourselves out of the house and go enjoy life sometimes. So please leave suggestions! 😉
How many years have you been married? What’s your best marriage lessons learned during that time?