Lets ease into this article with saying that this article is aimed at all those newly married couples who might struggle to find their newly married feet! Hopefully we can shed some light on a very sensitive subject.
The public is so ill-prepared for and ill-informed about marriage. They don’t realise that the first two years of marriage is the time when a NEW CIVILISATION is hammered out.
We mislead by calling it the “honeymoon” phase. We send them off without the basic understanding of what to expect or the skills they’ll need to lay the foundation for a life-long marriage.
It’s cruel and barbaric – we’re still in the dark ages when it comes to marriage – teaching couples – equipping them what to do – and who to improve their odds – That is the Key!
“The first three years also has the highest infidelity rate. Very few people realise that. So much needs to be done in the area of marriage education” (Diane Sollee – Smart Marriages)
Did you realise that the first 2-3 years is such a vulnerable stage of marriage? We didn’t, before we started studying about it. As a matter of fact we recently learned that i’t predicted that, “One in 12 couples is heading for the divorce courts after24 months – more than double the figure for seven years.
Dr Michael Svarer, who led a study in Denmark, said the risk of a split rose rapidly throughout the first 18 months of marriage and then slowed before reaching a peak of 2 years” (James Mills, from News. Australia article titled, “Two Year Itch Infects Marriage”)
That’s one of the reasons we’re saying something about this in the message so we can be especially supportive to those who are newly married.
Our society idealises weddings and the honeymoon period of marriage so much that we don’t consider the fact that this is really a time of “hammering out” a joint life-style together.
It’s a time where two individuals with differing backgrounds, expectations, and living styles are working together to build a home, a marriage of wills and living styles. it only makes sense that this would be the most vulnerable time when ideals are hit with the reality of having to readjust to working as a team.
So, your’e newly married or have been married a long time, there’s something to be gleaned by all in the following advice. It comes from the smartmarriges.com web site ( in the topic, “Ask Dr Romance”):
“THEY CALL THIS A HONEYMOON? Question: We’ve only been married four months and all we do is fight. I can’t believe things can start out so good and fall apart so fast. We dated for two years and I thought we were so in love. now we can’t even agree on what to eat for dinner – I’m totally miserable. When I got to work this morning, I looked up number for divorce lawyers. What would you do in my shoes?
“Answer: I’d slow down. Most divorces happen in the first three years because our concept of marriage is built on a Big Fat Myth. We think that if we’ve found the “right” person and “true” love – then we will all agree on everything. Nothing could be further from the truth!
All couples disagree – all the time. Even if you lived with your best friend, or your clone, you’d disagree. If you get divorced and marry someone else, you’ll also disagree with them. you disagree because you are two separate individuals.
Which bring us to another Big Fat Myth: we do NOT actually “become one” at the altar. You will both continue to have opinions about everything – till death or divorce do you part. And, they’ll be strong opinions because you care so much. You MUST learn how to handle disagreements in a way that makes your marriage stronger and more fun.
“Successful couples don’t have fewer disagreements, they just accept them as a normal part of marriage, and know how to handle them.”
Not knowing how to fight is not a character deficiency, it just means you didn’t lear how. Understanding that disagreement is normal is the first big step. The fact that you are newlyweds disagreeing when YOU’RE “supposed” to be madly in love has probably blown things WAY out of proportion.
“The second step is to learn how to thoroughly discuss the issues. Before you begin, agree to take timeouts if things get nasty or either of you gets too flooded with emotion to think clearly. Take turns speaking and listening. many times this is interpreted as taking turns debating – big mistake. The emphasis needs to be on listening , not on winning.
“if you can come back in three days and actually explain your partner’s point of view, you’ve listened. Ask questions like, “Is there more?” I understand what you’re worried about, but I don’t understand how you’d like it to do it differently. Can you clarify? – You must do this without contempt, sarcasm, blaming or mind-reading. It takes practise.
Use the next few years before there are kids on the scene to really get this down. Realise that the biggest myth of all is calling this the “honeymoon stage”
It should be called the “clash of civilisations” as you hammer out all your differences and come up with a new culture, new rituals and a new family. So relax and respect the enormity of the task the two of you have taken on.
All of us, whether we’ve been married for a short period of time or for a long time, will sooner or later realise that it’s difficult to “live a life of love, just like Christ loved us” as the Bible talks about it in Ephesians 5. It takes a lot of prayer, determination and a pro-active effort to work together to apply the principles of the Bible to live together in a way that honours God and honours each other.
“Honeymoon” stages will end, but love and respect and growing a wonderful healthy marriage doesn’t have to. It takes intentionality and the “want to” and the “heart to” do what is needed, on both your parts to make that a reality.
We hope you will make the effort to do your part!
*Note from Inspired Women*
Quite a few years ago I saw this article posted on FB and this morning I saw it come up on my Newsfeed once again, and thought that this is too powerful not to share. Healthy marriages is the cornerstone of a healthy society!