Everyone says that the first year of marriage is the hardest to get through and after that it gets easier. At least, that's what everyone told us before we got married. I'd like to say that it wasn't true and we have no problem getting through our first year without bickering or miscommunication, but it isn't like that at all. We have our times when we get on each others nerves and bicker. We have our times when what I say or he says isn't what the other person hears or understands. Yet, we have set some definite ground rules when it comes to our marriage.
We went through pre-marital counseling with the pastor who married us just a few weeks before our marriage and it helped us set these rules of ours. They aren't set in stone, we've written them down kind of rules. These rules are ones that are understood between us and have resulted from past issues that we have worked through together.
One such rule is our promise to not have any secrets. We have no secrets from each other, absolutely none. This means that we tell each other everything, from purchases we wish to make, to past debt needing to be resolved, to bad feelings we are having, prayers we need, things we did wrong and want to make right. It doesn't matter what it is. If we feel that the other person should know, regardless of how bad or good it is, we share it. It has cleared up a ton of issues that could have hurt our marriage either immediately or as a slow acting poison.
Another rule that we have an understanding of is that we never go to sleep mad at each other. We have a sign above our bed that says "Always kiss me goodnight" and that is such a great reminder. If we get into an argument, I may want to just go to bed and pretend nothing happened but I see that quote and I just am incapable of going to sleep. So, I end up going back downstairs or Brian comes upstairs and we work it out before we go to sleep. If we let the fight go undiscussed it would just come back later and hurt us again. It's better to resolve the issue than to pretend it never happened at all.
The last rule we have is the respect and love we have for each other. We realize the distinctly different needs we have in our marriage. Brian needs my respect as he is the leader of our family and he needs to hear me vocalize that respect as often as possible. I need his love and I need that vocalized as much as possible as well. If we don't vocalize these often enough, we have a disconnect that leads to problems. Even though Brian is the leader of our family, this doesn't mean I'm not included in decisions. We have a joint partnership, but one distinct leader when it comes to our marriage. I give my input and Brian respects it, but in my respect for him I give him what he needs in order to lead us successfully.
So, those are a few of the rules that we live by in our marriage and they have prevented so many problems in this first year of our marriage. We're already halfway through and haven't had as many disagreements as we thought we would have.
Here is a Bible verse that we set our marriage in:
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and I may pray that you being rooted and grounded in love..."