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.
Related: How I’m STILL Learning to become Wife Material.
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! 😉
If you enjoyed this, make sure to grab my latest ebook, Pursue Simple: a 7-day devotional to live with less and pursue God more.
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I am going on 15 years this April. These are all great. I think another important factor is letting each other do their own things. You need activities you do separately.
We celebrated one year of marriage a few months ago! I feel like I’ve already learned so much and know I have lots to still learn. I loved your five lessons and can easily identify with so much of what you shared. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to keep an open line of communication and talk about everything with each other! Communication clears the air, clarifies and builds unity, trust and understanding in a marriage.
Love these lessons! Our 5 year wedding anniversary is coming up. We’ve been together for 10 years.
Congrats! and thank you
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
Good lessons, for sure! They’re things to practice, and practice again. My husband just celebrated out 25th wedding anniversary. I can’t even believe that! Enjoy your time together because it sure goes fast!
wow congrats to you!
These are such important things to learn about relationships! I remember before I got married, my sister said “you’ll fight – but remember to fight with purpose. Come out stronger than before!” and that stuck with me. Now, whenever my husband and I argue, I take into account how we can grow from that argument, rather than letting it pull us apart. I also appreciate you mentioning how couples are going to be different. That’s very true! My husband and I are *complete* opposites in almost everything, but to this day, I think that’s one of the things that makes us better! We complement each other! Love this post!
That is such great advice from your sister!
Nadalie Bardo says
These are great lessons for any relationship! Never ever ever complain about someone to your family is great advice.
Nicole Kauffman says
Never complain to your family – best advice I’ve ever gotten! Helps to keep the respect on all accounts 🙂 Great post!!
Number two is absolutely KEY! I couldn’t agree more.
I’m not married yet, but I think all of these apply to me and my boyfriend as well. I’m all about having fun, so we like to do lots of seasonal things, try different local restaurants, take road trips on weekends, go camping, go hiking, and just enjoy the quality time together.
Great lessons! My husband and I will celebrate our 20th this year. It’s so crazy that that much time has passed. When we used to argue early on, it would last days. Now, we might exchange a few words and then 20 minutes later be laughing together. Small stuff just doesn’t matter. We definitely have our own things going on, but at the end of the day, it’s so great to catch up with your best friend and know love. One lesson we’ve learned in the just the last year or two…day dates are awesome! (We can’t stay awake to go out at night anymore.)
Love day dates. haha. I can’t stay awake to go out at night anymore either!
These are great! #1 was a hard one for me to learn when I first got married. My wonderful husband is much better at dealing with confrontation than I am and he has taught me a lot about how to deal with problems head-on instead of burying them somewhere deep inside and letting them get worse over time. It has been a long, hard lesson, but so worth it! Thanks for sharing your experience!
Yes, I feel you on that one!