The “Honeymoon Phase” of my marriage was the hardest, so far. Being apart of a blended family is not easy. I could call the first few months of 2019 the real honeymoon phase of my marriage because my husband and I are happier than we’ve ever been. We’ve grown together. I don’t want to go back to the beginning, but if I had to, there are some things I would do differently. All in all, through my marriage, I’ve grown in life and in my relationship with the Lord. So I don’t regret the things I’ve been through. But I do have a list of things I did that helped me in my earliest days of marriage, as well as things I would’ve done had I known better.
- Pray. In the early days of my marriage, I was a new Christian so I was just delighting in and marveling in the Lord and I just prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. Not all of it was bad, but the hard parts I got through because I prayed and left the things I couldn’t handle on my own up to the Lord.
- Rely on the Lord for your happiness, not your spouse. The purpose of marriage is to make you holy and to grow you in Christ. To glorify God. If you’re focusing primarily on your spouse to make you happy and bring you joy, you’re going down the wrong road and you will be disappointed. Your spouse is not perfect and can not fulfill all of your desires, all of the time. Especially when you are just learning how to live with each other.
- For blended families: Don’t force the relationship between stepmother / father with step kids. It will only cause problems. Let any relationship between you and your step kids happen naturally. This is a big one!
- Get outside counseling. From a couple you trust who has been successful in their marriage or a trusted pastor. This is something I wanted to do, but didn’t and wish I had.
- Set boundaries and household rules. Outline who is disciplinarian of children and establish and enforce respect. Another big one!
- Communication. If you have something that needs to be said, say it! To your spouse, especially. Make sure your voice is heard and make sure you listen just as much. Consider what your partner needs and be willing to consider and compromise if you need to.
- Unity. Make sure that you and your spouse are in agreement with household decisions. Any decisions that will affect the household should be discussed between husband and wife and agreed upon.
- Don’t consider divorce to be an option. Do whatever you have to do to make your marriage work. Keep in mind that you made a covenant between you and your spouse WITH GOD. Go to Him if there is anything that you need to resolve. You and your spouse are both imperfect people who are going to make each other better through your relationship if you both are seeking the Lord and growing.
That’s my list. Some of these things happened in my household, and others didn’t. Like I said, my marriage is stronger now than it was before. Because we pushed through and didn’t give up. We have a long way to go! I believe 7 years is still just the beginning! But if you are both seeking the Lord and loving each other unconditionally and willing to grow together, it will work.