Sometimes couples have unrealistic expectations about what marriage should
be like for them. These needs are everything from provisional to emotional.
Trying to meet these expectations can be quite a task. Presupposing these
expectations will be met can be disastrous. When your expectations are not
met this sets you up to be unhappy and to complain. This can quickly frustrate
even the happiest of newlyweds. Strengthen your marriage with a solid
foundation. Make sure you start off with the right tools.

1) Remember that it is an adjustment to being together. Give it time.
Working out the questions of who is going to do what and how should it be done
can cause conflict. Questions like, " Who is going to pay the bills?" "Who is
going to clean the bathrooms?" "Which church are we going to attend?" must be
answered. Don't let these adjustment challenges come between you and the one
you love.

2) Embrace your spouse's differences verus criticizing them or trying to
change them. Be your spouse's biggest fan. Stay away from stereotypes that
your partner won't be able to fulfill. You will break their spirit if you
expect them to be just like your mom, your dad, or someone else you admire. Be
appreciative of your spouse. It takes time for a marriage to mature.

3) Fortify your commitment to each other. Never threaten divorce. You'll
probably think about it at some point in your marriage but don't ever say it.
( This does not apply to situations that involve abuse.) Threatening divorce
will dilute the commitment between you. Your message needs to be, "I'm Here
For You No Matter What."

4) Don't let friends, parents, or in-laws interfere with your marriage. You
are inviting trouble if you do. Be quick to set limits with people who try and
interfere with your marriage. By not speaking up you will be setting
yourselves up to have your marriage undermined. You and your spouse need to
establish your own expectations for your marriage.

5) Try not to go to bed angry. Staying connected to each other is more
important. However, if you catch yourselves in a situation in which emotions
are too high, you may have to back off and readdress the matter at a later
time. Conflict if handled properly can be productive. Promise to fight fairly
and do the right thing even if you don't feel like it.

Keep These Points In Mind At Times Of Conflict

* Don't Yell

* Don't Out TalkThem

* Don't Use Profanity

* Don't Interrupt

* Don't Name Call

* Don't Dismiss Their Ideas As Stupid

* Don't throw all of your problems into the conflict

* Don't Forget That You Love Each Other

*Try and stick to the subject at hand

6) Get away with each other about every 6 to 8 weeks. This means by
yourselves. No friends, no parents, and no children. I know this is easier
said than done but it doesn't have to be anything extravagant. It can be a
simple day trip to a near-by town or state park. So near-by or far away, just
go. My Marriage and Family Therapy Professor at Valdosta State University, Dr.
John Curtis, used to teach us that this is one of the best ways to keep your
marriage fresh and alive.

If you are a newlywed, practice these principles. If you've been married for a
while, recommit yourself to these principles. Strive To Have A Wonderful
Marriage.

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