If you’re reading this, you are probably getting married soon so HUGE CONGRATS to you! I truly hope you are happy and excited. Probably stressed and anxious as well right? Wedding planning is NO JOKE. I’ve been there! My husband and I have been married 7 years and I still get stressed out thinking about all of the wedding planning we had to do. I remember distinctly once we said our vows and the ceremony was over, the sense of RELIEF we had was totally amazing! All we had left was to party with all of our friends and then we jetted off to Florida for our honeymoon.
Let me tell you from experience, being married is incredible, but it DEFINITELY has its challenges! It’s a totally different dynamic than when you were dating. Especially if you were not living together yet. I met my husband in college, so we had been together for a long time before getting married, so I pretty much thought the transition would be seamless…boy was I wrong!
In the end, we found a totally new groove, a different way of communicating. I think I finally cracked the code to being happily married! Breaking some bad habits is a MUST. Would you like to hear about what habits I think should be broken before tying the knot? OK, grab a coffee and come back to this, I think it will save you a lot of struggles down the road. Mindset going into a marriage is huge, so expect some bumps along the road and keep these in mind as well.
You need to break these habits TODAY to have an easier marriage, TRUST ME!
BAD HABIT #1: Bickering about small things: As you start getting older, you realize that life is short. We start to see our loved ones and older couples having health issues, some of our grandparents or even parents get sick and pass on, leaving their partner alone in the world. It is crucial to develop a thicker skin for little arguments and start thinking about the bigger picture. Is my partner healthy and happy? What are we really fighting about? Are there underlying tensions or external forces making us bicker about cake flavours for our wedding? Are we being too extreme? Think of this: What is the WORST that can happen if you let your significant other have their way this time? Can you come to a compromise? These are all the questions that should be coming to your mind if you stop and think about the meaning of small, pointless arguments becoming bigger ones. Stopping the fighting, and recognizing that there really isn’t something large to fight about and maybe just better communication should happen instead is the key here.
BAD HABIT #2: Zoning out in front of screens all the time: Screens and digital communication are absolutely necessary in most lives in this day and age. In order to function, work, be entertained, make plans, and socialize, we need technology. However it is SO easy to fall into the cyber “black hole”. One second you check your phone on a nice lakeshore drive with your partner (as the passenger, of course, don’t ever check your phone while you drive!), and the next second you realize you’re home, you didn’t even talk to each other and you didn’t even take in the nice scenery. Who can relate to that? Definitely, right? So keep in mind to just put your phone down when you are together for at least an hour a day. TV is a huge distraction as well at night. You’re both exhausted from a long work day and you just both want to zone out and watch a movie, which is awesome right? My husband and I always watch our shows at night, but before we turn them on, we chat for a short time about our day, or our plans tomorrow, something that was frustrating, or a dream vacation we love to plan. It’s like “WE” time. I look forward to it, even if it’s for a few minutes. And it’s so important for new couples to do!
BAD HABIT #3: Not putting your relationship first: When your decisions are guided by what your family or friends want/need/expect, you are not putting your relationship first. You have to both be happy about a decision, especially if it affects both of you. It’s a common occurrence to feel guilty about not spending time with a friend that you used to spend a lot of time with before being with your partner, but keep in mind that if your friend is toxic, making you feel guilty, or too needy, it weighs on your relationship with your partner. You have to make sure that both of you are happy in your relationship, and all your needs are met, and then the rest of the world comes after that. Remember, who do you spend the most time with, go home with at the end of the day? That’s the person you need to get along with the most. The rest comes after that.
BAD HABIT #4: Being too stubborn about your point of view (not being open to new problem-solving solutions): This is a big one! If you’re constantly trying to prove your point, to prove yourself right and you are not thinking about other ways to problem-solve an argument or issue, you’re doing a disservice to your relationship. When you’re married, you’re living one life together, but you are two different people with different personalities, so it makes sense you will have different views. You must respect each other’s point of view, listen and hear your partner out, explain how you feel as well, and then try to come to some sort of agreement. Even if it’s not exactly the outcome you wanted. Sometimes things turn out best when we compromise or use a different problem-solving tactic. What works for one situation might not work for another. Work it out together, and don’t forget to talk, talk, talk!
BAD HABIT #5: Being impatient: Patience is a MUST when you’re married. If you’re impatient now, you will have a hard time in your partnership, especially if your partner sometimes takes longer to decide on things, or do some things. Take some deep breaths, think about something else, distract yourself, and give your partner the grace and time that they need to make their decision, or get ready for an event. If they are chronically late and indecisive and it frustrates you, you can address it for sure in a respectful way. Pointing out personality flaws is not usually an easy starting point to a conversation, so make sure you are both in a calm relaxed state and keep in mind each others feelings.
BAD HABIT #6: Hesitating to show affection (waiting for your partner to initiate): It is common to wait for your partner to initiate affection. If you continue down that path, you might subconsciously give your partner the impression that you are no longer attracted to them. It’s important to kiss, hug, hold hands together, and initiating it is never a bad thing! It will encourage your partner to initiate at other times as well, and your sparks will always fly!
BAD HABIT #7: Taking each other for granted: Saying “thank you” and “I appreciate you” often get pushed under the rug in marriages. DON’T ignore your partner’s efforts! When they do the dishes, thank them! When they run an errand for you, thank them. Tell them that you appreciate what they do for you. It establishes a mutual appreciation and respect. Your partner should say these things to you as well. Even if it’s something that you frequently do, like cook a meal, wouldn’t you feel so great if your partner told you “wow, that was delicious, thank you for working so hard to make that meal for us to enjoy”! It means so much to me when my husband tells me that. And equally, I will tell him that I appreciate when he does the laundry, since I hate doing it! It goes SUCH a long way.
BAD HABIT #8: Taking life too seriously: I saved the best one for last. Guess what? MARRIED LIFE SHOULD BE FUN! You should laugh together, tell jokes, be silly. Often, life is taken way too seriously. There are lots of things to be stressed out about in a relationship, so many huge decisions to be made: financial burdens, whether or not to have kids, then raising kids when they are so difficult. The BEST thing to do to counteract all the negativity is to laugh together. Inside jokes, even watching funny movies or comedy shows are so good for that. You should have light-heartedness in a relationship, or else it will feel too hard to get through the difficult times.
I can pretty much say that these are the bad habits that my husband and I have tried to break as the years have passed. Some are harder than others, and of course we tend to forget some of them and have to go back and reflect on what we can work on together as a couple. But if you work on breaking even a few of these bad habits, you will definitely live happily ever after.
Ellenie is a wife and mom to one amazing and spirited little boy. She is a social media manager and virtual assistant. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a special focus on generalized anxiety disorders and OCD. She has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks her whole life. Ellenie has been finding positive ways to conquer her mental battles every day and would love to share them with anyone who also suffers from an anxiety disorder. She also has Crohn’s Disease, and has written about living with its struggles and raising a young baby. Ellenie lives in Montreal, Quebec, but is planning on travelling a lot in the near future. She loves to stay active and eat healthy, a few of the key lifestyle changes that have helped her with her mental and physical health struggles.
You can find her on her website, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.