©iStockphoto.com/Kzenon Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/Kzenon
Alison McGill, the editor-in-chief of Weddingbells, has seen it all, from makeups to breakups, and shares the top five lessons newlyweds should learn to maintain a lasting marriage.
1. Communicate with each other
Whether you see something on his Facebook wall that bothers you or he does something that gets you riled up, it's important to voice your concerns without the fear of being a nagging wife. "You can never underestimate the importance of communication, and I don't think you can really ever overcommunicate," says McGill.
She suggests being mindful of how open you're being with each other. Once couples are married, their communication style tends to change and becomes less frequent. "Make sure you're talking to each other. If you have a problem, clear the airwaves. Don't ever sit on unresolved issues because they can ruminate and cause bad feelings, and that's where communication starts to break down," McGill warns.
2. Be honest with your partner
You need to be honest with each other at all times in order for your marriage to work. "Don't try to hide things from each other," warns McGill. "Confront any issues and be honest about them."
Women often have the tendency to say that nothing is wrong or to stay silent for fear of rocking the boat when, in fact, something is wrong. If something is bothering you, instead of being passive aggressive or waiting for your husband to read your mind (which he likely will not be able to), be honest about what's going on in your head and about how you're feeling.
Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more great relationship tips for newlyweds on page 2
3. Be independent
You like to read in the evening, he likes to watch TV. Instead of sitting together, both miserable that you're not doing what you want to be doing, McGill suggests going into a separate room with your book and enjoying some "me time."
"It's really important in a couple dynamic that you come to the relationship as an individual. Maintain that individuality and have your alone time," she advises.
You don't need to spend massive windows of time apart, but maintaining some separate activities will lead to a healthier relationship. Even if it is just taking an hour to work out at the gym alone or making a habit of going for a solo morning walk with the dog, savour that time and be grateful for it without waiting on or worrying about your other half.
4. Remember the old adage "For better or for worse"
Life is a rocky road and it's important to remember that every relationship will have its share of issues.
"Sometimes couples go through ebbs and flows. There are going to be changes, it's going to feel different and it may not be going as smoothly as expected," says McGill of life after the honeymoon.
Newlyweds go through a lot of changes together. Whether it's moving into a new home, planning upcoming travels or dividing housework, you need to understand that no matter how great you think things are -- or want things to be -- there will be ups and downs in your relationship. Everything will not always be easy.
5. Have fun with your partner
This may sound simple, but a reminder to relax and simply enjoy each other is warranted for many new couples. "When people are in the aftermath of the wedding they often forget to have fun and forget to do the things they did before this phase of their life," says McGill.
Just because you have a ring on your finger doesn't mean you can stop putting effort into yourself and your relationship. "Plan a date night, take part in the hobbies you used to do before getting married, see a movie together and have fun together," McGill advises.
Unfortunately, many of the divorces happening these days are occurring out of the newlywed category -- a fact that doesn't shock McGill. However there are some simple ways to prevent the downfall of a new marriage.
"I think people head into marriage not prepared or not in the right headspace. If you're busy and you're not willing to invest in your relationship, it could go south," she says. "There is no secret ingredient that makes a successful marriage. It's not always easy-breezy -- you just have to work for it."
Page 2 of 2