After a beautiful wedding and a whirlwind honeymoon, your first year of marriage truly begins. It may not be as easy or straightforward as you may think. Here are some top marriage tips to keep your feet firmly on the ground and your head on your shoulders.

Be honest

It’s clichéd, but it’s true. No matter how much the truth may hurt, this is the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Sometimes you need them to say the stuff you won’t say to yourself, and vice versa.

Date night

Schedule a time every week for the two of you. If you’re worrying about money – don’t! This easy marriage tip can be anything from a trip to the movies, a romantic dinner, to an hour-long walk or a Netflix night in your pajamas. It’s best to do something that gets you out of your normal routine though, and bonus points for cutting out all technology.

10 Tips for the First Year of MarriagePhoto credit: Megan Curren Photography

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Whether it’s her make-up cluttering up surfaces or his dirty socks not quite making the laundry basket, there will always be little things you don’t like when you live with someone else. Even though you will likely encounter some little thing every day, don’t let it be the focus of your marriage. These are miniscule in relation to your marriage and within five minutes it will be forgotten anyway, right?

But notice the little things

You should never stop saying thank you. Take time to notice when your other half takes out the trash without you asking, or makes you a cup of coffee, and be appreciative. It’s easy to let yourself get to the point of neglecting this, so start out with the best intentions. The more someone feels appreciated, the more likely they are to continue with little good deeds.

10 Tips for the First Year of MarriagePhoto credit: We Heart It

Compromise

They want football, you want soccer; they want a quiet night in and you want a big night out. You may be the happiest couple in the world, but there are bound to be times when you disagree. This is where compromise comes in, and it’s not always easy. Be fair, but be firm. If you want that night out, you will have to concede next time.

Communicate

Along with being honest, an important marriage tip for every couple is to always communicate. Everybody has off days where they just snap at their other half. Don’t expect them to read your mind and understand how you’re feeling. Always communicate, even if it’s just to say “I need some space and time alone.”

Learn how to fight

Yes, we give you total permission to fight – and often! Sometimes, you just need to get it out of you. Calm conversations aren’t always feasible, but if you need to fight, you need to fight fair. Listen to each other without interruptions, give each other space, get out your anger, but come to a compromise before you go to bed. Sleeping with a clear conscience and clear head is much easier.

10 Tips for the First Year of MarriagePhoto credit: Bride Canada

Have separate time

While the two of you make a couple, it is important to acknowledge and enjoy your separate lives. Remember who you were before you got married: spend time with friends, spend time alone, connect with yourself and your hobbies.

Take advice from married friends

There are only so many marriage tips on the internet – the best ones come from those around you. Always be open to advice and listen to what your married friends have to say. They may be able to shed light on things you notice now, and things you will notice in the future. A problem shared is a problem solved.

List your dreams

Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon making a list of all the things you both want to do. These can be activities you look forward to and plan over the rest of your marriage. Skydiving at 60? Why not!

10 Tips for the First Year of MarriagePhoto credit: Hobbies for Couples

Banner photo credit: Sid Wedding Photos