12 Women on How to Survive the First Few Years of Marriage

12 Women on How to Survive the First Few Years of Marriage

Solid marriage advice from wives who have been there, done that.

By Leah Maxwell

With wedding season in full swing, you may soon find yourself with the opportunity to pass along bits of wisdom about surviving and thriving in the early years of marriage. (Or maybe you’re getting married yourself or are a newlywed who could use some extra pointers.) Here, married women share their best advice for the first few years of wedded togetherness, from how to solve practical problems to how to lay a foundation for happiness until death do you part.

1. “Be honest and kind. Hard, honest words can still be said kindly and respectfully.” -- Rebecca M., Dublin, California

2. “Whoever cooks doesn’t clean up.” -- Jessica R., Los Altos, California

3. “Despite what most people will tell you, it is OK to go to bed angry. Sometimes, you just need to sleep on it.” -- Anna O., Cannon Falls, Minnesota

4. “Before picking a fight (or bringing something up that you know will upset your significant other), ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by mentioning it, and then make sure you’re broaching the subject in a way that will help you achieve that goal (or at least not send you in the opposite direction). Picking or nagging for no reason other than to feel superior is a terrible way to hold up your end of the bargain, but you’ve got to be able to talk about things that bother you. So, if you can both agree to mention the things that bug you in the most constructive way possible, you’ll likely have a much friendlier dialogue about those things (and, if all goes well, a better resolution to whatever is on your mind).” -- Kristen S., Sarasota, Florida

5. “Still go on dates! Never stop going on dates.” -- Leiah K., Lindenhurst, Illinois

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6. “Don't worry when your wife starts chucking magazines at the wall because she's mad. The second year will get better.” -- Jessica W., Rock Springs, Wyoming

7. “It won’t always be like this -- good, bad, or whatnot. Put your spouse first.” -- Steph F., State College, Pennsylvania


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8. “Just say what you want/need. It’s much quicker and more effective (and less painful) than waiting for the other person to figure it out.” -- Christina M., Plymouth, Michigan

9. “Learn the other person’s love language and use it to love on them.” -- Becca S., Nashville, Tennessee

10. “Have separate toothpastes.” -- Anne F., Chicago, Illinois

11. “Let it go ... Let it go ... No, seriously. Let little things go. Hold your tongue. Be kind.” -- Jessica B., Greenville, South Carolina

12. “Don’t forget you’re on the same team. Use energy to take on the world, not each other.” -- Katie D., Rochester, New York

What’s your best advice for couples in their first years of marriage?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/Squaredpixels

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