A Beginners Guide to Marriage-ing | Part 2The Newlywed Notebook

The Newlywed Notebook



May 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Marriage-ing | Part 2

Written by Lindsay Ropella

In case you missed it, last week I shared part 1 of “A Beginner’s Guide to Marriage-ing.” If you missed it, be sure to read that one first before continuing on to part 2.

I want to thank you all for your sweet comments, tweets, and shares on the first post in this two-part series. Hopefully today’s part 2 does not disappoint! Alright, enough babble, let’s just jump right in!

Being a newlywed can be a challenge. Today I decided to put together "A Beginners Guide to Marriage-ing" — a guide to help you screw up less than I did.


Six || Let Your Husband Speak. 

Okay, this one might sound crazy to you wives out there, but this has been a bit of a relationship revelation for me. This topic probably deserves a post entirely to itself, but for right now I will just say this: let your husband talk until he blatantly let’s you know he’s finished with his thought.

Men process information so much differently than women do, and a lot of times when we converse with them we are assuming or expecting them to communicate like a woman. When women talk with each other, we just say whatever we are thinking at the time and interrupt each other and talk over each other. And we don’t do it to be rude or inconsiderate to the other person or anything like that; as women we just communicate well with each other that way and can get through a lot of topics and information quickly.

However, when we talk with a man this way, they shut down. Men like to take time to form a cohesive thought in their mind before they say it out loud (a technique I dare say I could learn a bit from). So sometimes their responses may be a bit slower or their thoughts may have short breaks in-between; it’s not because they don’t know or didn’t understand the question, but because they are working to form a great and honest response. So next time you ask your husband (or any man, really) a question, just sit there and wait for them to talk. And when they pause don’t start talking again unless they clearly state they are done with their thought by either asking you a question back or saying something to the extent of, “I’m done” or “that’s it.” I know it sounds crazy, but it will totally happen! When I first read about this in the book, The Queen’s Code by Alison Armstrong, I thought it was just nonsense, but was shocking to discover it actually works! I have learned so much about my husband and the way he thinks by just letting him speak.


Seven || Set Up a Budget.

I won’t go into this much since I wrote an entire blog post about creating (and living on) a budget a few weeks back, but I do just want to remind you how important it is to have a plan to manage your money set up early on in your marriage. Financial issues are one of the biggest stressors in a marriage, so it’s important to set up financial guidelines for yourselves early on that are realistic, agreed upon, and something you will stick to month to month.


Eight || Take on One New Responsibility Together. 

When you get married, you will more than likely find shared interests and things you enjoy doing together. Which is super important! But sometimes couples will just take on some of their partner’s interests. I think that that’s awesome and it can be such a bonding experience to teach your spouse, but don’t overlook the need to learn to deal with new, and often times unpredictable, situations and experiences together. That’s why I think it’s so important for a couple to take on one new responsibility together once they get married. Whether it’s something big like a puppy or home ownership, or something smaller like learning to tend a garden, make sure it’s something you can both be responsible for and learn together.


Nine || Set Your Own Rules.

Don’t feel like you have to do certain things or run your household a certain way just because that’s how your parents did it. You are your own family now and are free to set your own rules. Try things and don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes here or there. Every family is different and you have to figure out what works for you. So don’t be afraid to try new recipes, set up different family rules and schedules, and explore various traditions and methods that you’d like to have be a part of your “new” family.


Ten || Don’t Do Anything Now You Wouldn’t Be Thrilled to Still Be Doing in 10 Years.

Things that you tend to do fairly often became habits faster than you might think. So make sure the things you do over and over again and the habits you are creating now are habits you would be happy to still have 10 years from now. For example, if you are happy with the way you currently spent your time or the way you and your spouse communicate, then keep right on doing it! But if you find yourself choosing work over your husband a little more often than you’d like, staying in more often than you think you should, or communicating with your husband in a way you both feel is less than desirable, work to change those habits now so they don’t stick with you and become a part of your story.


And here ends, “A Beginner’s Guide to Marriage-ing!” So now tell me — are any of these things ones you agree with as well? What other tips would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!


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  • chelsea @ the new wifestyle

    i especially love the one about making your own rules! big fan of that :) also great point about creating habits now that you will want in the future, so so true!

    • Lindsay Ropella

      Thanks, Chelsea! Haha I started learning that last one the hard way. ;) I’m working to now be more intentional with my time and my actions!

  • Bre

    I love the part about budgeting! It’s so important and incredibly hard! Definitely something we are still trying to figure out, loved your post about budging- very helpful :)

    • Lindsay Ropella

      It is SO hard! Especially when you spend a little bit too much time online shopping. ;) I’m so glad to hear you found that post helpful, it’s a tough subject to talk about as it really is so different for every couple, but hopefully can help to get things started on the right foot! :)

  • Elyse Murray

    I love the set your own rules, rule! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of doing what other people are doing, but EVERY household is different.

    • Lindsay Ropella

      Exactly! It’s good to remember things you’ve been taught and learned growing up, but it’s okay to be yourself and your own couple too when you start your family! :)

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  • Lauren

    AHH this is such a great article. I am in my first year of marriage, and these nuggets of advise are so encouraging and affirming. I think the sweetest piece is “take on new responsibility together.” It can be easy to make decisions on my own because that is how I am use to doing it. Thank you for sharing. I would love hearing what you have to say about the content I have begun writing on marriage at my site God bless!