Realities for Newlyweds

Realities about Newlyweds and Marriage, Part 1.

  1. Dating and Marriage are two TOTALLY different things; despite the fact that dating leads to marriage.
  1. Dating is about presenting yourself in the best possible light in hopes of attracting a mate.  The focus is impressing the other person.
  1. Marriage is about living together and addressing the realities of life…work, kids, laundry, dishes, etc. The focus is life; doing life’s work with the other person.
  1. Our society tells people marriage is an extension of dating; a continuation of impressing the other person. This is not true.
  1. Our society also tells people that a true sign of dating the right person and a good marriage is frequent and mind-blowing sex. This is also not true.
  1. We marry as much for love as for familiarity. We learned a “dance” from our family about how relationships work; typically from our parents.  We then (unconsciously) seek out the same type of person when we married (even though we may have said we would never be like either one or both our parents).
  1. Your partner didn’t tell you everything about their past. Neither did you. You had reasons for not telling them…you were trying to attract them. Your partner has the same reason… they were trying to attract you.
  1. You will find out those hidden things about your partner as time goes on, after you are married. There is no way to discover those things BEFORE you marry.
  1. Some of the things you will find out about your partner will be bad. You will feel betrayed by your partner. You may resent your partner for this.

Realities about Newlyweds and Marriage, Part 2.

  1. When you say, “I do.”, you agree to a lot of unknown things… besides that you will have sex only with your partner and live the rest of your life with them.
  1. Consequently, if ONE of you has a problem, you BOTH have a problem.
  1. You will need to make changes to be happily married. Your partner will need to make changes also.
  1. You two will not change at the same rate… at the same time…or for the same reasons.

5 . You cannot make your partner change.  You can ask them to change but you can’t make them change.

  1. If you make your partner change (against their will), you lose…as far as the relationship is concerned. Your partner will resent you.
  1. After the first 12 months, look at your partner. That is the way, basically, they will be for the duration of your relationship. Can you live with that? Your partner will look at you after the first 12 months and conclude you are the way you are and will be asking themselves, “Can I live with this?”.
  1. Your partner will have their own particular peculiarities. If you want to be with them,  you will have to accommodate these peculiarities.  If you have married another person, they would have their own peculiarities and you would have to accommodate them if you want to be married to them. Your partner will have to accommodate your peculiarities also.
  1. Marriage is more about cooperation and negotiation then love. Love is what started the process.  Love keeps the two together as they are cooperating and negotiating.  Research shows the couples have the same opinions on different issues only 35% of the time. They have to negotiate the other 65% of the time.
  1. Look at marriage like business. Customer service counts in business; “please”, “thank you”, doing extra to get the customer to come back. It is the same in marriage.

Realities about Newlyweds and Marriage, Part 3.

Ladies, stop taking care of others so much.  Start taking care of yourself as much as your husband. You’ll be happier and he’s less likely to take you for granted.

He will never want to do housework.  He should/may/will do it but he will never want to do it. Nor will he do housework exactly how you would do it.

His way of doing housework is just as legitimate as your way. But, it is helpful if you two can agree on some standards for completing a job.

Stop being “hurt” by the things he says or does. Men, in general, don’t understand “hurt”. They understand consequences.  Tell him how you feel about what he said or did, expect (and demand if necessary) an apology, be clear about consequences for such behavior in the future and follow through. Being “hurt” too much makes you sound like a victim.

If you begin to cry during a fight, don’t leave or feel bad because you cried.  That is what women’s bodies are geared to do when upset…cry. Men’s bodies are geared to get mad or do something when we get upset. If you cry, either talk through it or take a minute and calm yourself and go right back to your point. If you leave because you cry, you’ll be mad at yourself because you’ll think you look weak and he will either resent you because he’ll think he made you cry and will feel like a heartless jerk or think he “won” the fight.

Control your emotions and nagging.  Emotional drama confuses men and we will avoid you…which is exactly what you don’t want. Further, nagging makes us feel weak and we respond with anger, which is also what you don’t want. If you ask him to do something and he agrees; if he fails to do it, address it directly and without attitude in your voice, i.e., “You said you were going to take the trash out. You didn’t. When are you going to do it?”. Women often ask, “But won’t I sound like a bitch if I say that?”. You might but you will sound like a bitch if you nag. Second, you have been called a bitch before AND YOU DID NOT DIE. Third, “bitch” is a name others call you.  You have very little control over what others say or do. It is better if you decide if you are a bitch versus try to make other not call you a bitch. Fourth, there is a difference between being assertive and being a bitch.  Above is an example of being assertive, not a bitch.

He is not a woman:  He will never understand your logic, your view of the world, how situations and emotions effect you or guess what you want. Stop expecting him to be as accommodating as you are, see it “your way” first or know what you want (without being told…specifically). As a group, we need a lot of training…. “please”, “thank you”, holding the door, etc. TRAIN HIM.

Feel OK about telling him, “We are going to say “please” and “thank you” in this marriage.” We are a lot like dogs…we want to please you, are scared of you and typically respond positively to praise and reinforcement. And yes, that means giving him sex (when he treats you well) AND  something like, “Thank you. I feel so loved when you do _____ for me.”, or “I feel so proud to be with you when you do _____ for me.”.

Don’t ask him if you look fat in this or that outfit.  You know the answer to that question and if not, ask a girlfriend.

Guys, stop insisting on getting your way with everything.

If you want sex, you have to:

  • be nice to her (manners, politeness
  • apologize (and mean it) when you mess up
  • LISTEN to her
  • accept the fact that she doesn’t always know what she wants and will resent you if you force her to choose
  • tolerate her moods when she is on her period
  • and initiate sex, 99% of the time

Marriage is not a bus ride.  You are an active participant in the relationship. You must be in the front passenger seat, giving directions, discussing the trip, asking how she wants to get there, etc. And yes, she will probably ask you to drive AND THEN EXPECT YOU TO FOLLOW HER DIRECTIONS. THIS IS THE WAY THEY ARE….MOST WILL WANT YOU TO BE IN CHARGE AND ALSO LISTEN TO THEIR SUGGESTIONS.  ACCEPT THIS OR BE DIVORCED!

You HAVE to talk about your thought, feelings, hopes and dreams, how your day was (even if it was the same as yesterday) and ask her, each night, how her day was AND remember what she said yesterday about her day.

Don’t beg for sex and stop humping her leg when she says “No” and don’t grope her breast.  WOMEN HATE THIS!!!!!!!! Yes, breasts are amazing and it is hard to understand why they don’t want to do something (like have sex) that makes you feel so wonderful but if you persist when she says “No”, she is less likely to say “Yes” later. And let’s face it, they can go MUCH longer          without sex than we can.

Most women don’t care how long your penis is or how muscular you are (This is not to say that it’s ok to be out of shape. They want you to be reasonably in shape.). They want you to be a gentleman and treating her like a lady.

Believe it or not, most women are trying to please you in what they do.  Look for that in what she does.  In this sense, they are much more honorable than we are.

Both of you…don’t call each other names, break your partner’s possessions, hit or manipulate each other or threaten divorce.

Often, when a women recalls something he said or did, her recall is skewed by the emotions she has by what was said/done.  Men, in general, have a difficult time remembering what they said or did and most don’t consider how, what they said or did, will effect others. Neither way is “wrong”; both ways are incomplete.

You two can (and will) look at the same thing and see it differently.  Both views are accurate AND incomplete.

When recalling conversations, you will forget (important) things that were said. This is worse during a fight. So, be cautious of what you think your partner said.

Preface your comments… “I’m not trying to pick a fight but…you did promise to visit my mother’s this weekend (instead of going hunting).” This is SO important.  It lets your partner know you are sensitive to them when you have potentially upsetting news to share.

It is possible to have a “blow-up” and the next moment, act respectful to one another.  This is common but should be infrequent and needs to be explored by the couple.  It is similar to the “check engine” light coming on momentarily on your car dash.  You should have it checked out.