THE MARRIAGE BASICS
Welcome to the marriage basics podcast, the podcast for your marriage. We go back to the basics of relationship building for a strong, healthy marriage. I’m your host, Anna, and today we’re talking about what the marriage basics are. First of all, I want to give a big shout out and a huge thank you for all those that have supported the blog over the years and the encouragement to turn it into a podcast. It’s such a popular way to get information out today, so we want to make that switch, which I’m so excited to bring you the marriage basics in a new fun format. Today we’ll be talking a little bit about what the marriage basics actually are and why they are so essential to a long lasting happy marriage.
Most people don’t realize that there are marriage basics just as there are sport basics. When you learn a new sport, as in soccer, you have to learn the fundamentals and basics of soccer in order to learn how to play the game and to compete. Without those basics, you’re not going to have a successful soccer team or any sports team or even when you may be able to play somewhat and get through the game, but you may not be any fun. And losing is definitely no fun. I’m pretty competitive and I’m, I like to win a lot. So learning these marriage basics will help you and to build the foundation and gain the fundamentals to a long lasting happy marriage. You’re probably newly married within the last couple of weeks to up to 10 years. I would say that’s still a pretty newlywed couple. We’ve been married now almost 25 years. Next year will be 25 years for us. We were married at the young age of 21 we were babies ourselves. We didn’t even know the basics or fundamentals of life at that point. We thought we did, but we definitely didn’t. And we struggled not only growing up, but, definitely being able to get along in our marriage.
We had dated a very short time and engaged probably a total of a year and a half and then married and then got pregnant pretty fast. We had our first daughter at the age of 22 getting ready to turn 23. The rest is history, so we moved pretty fast in the beginning. What we didn’t realize is that we just didn’t understand what marriage was really about. We had so much fun during our dating and our engagements and we just partied and did whatever we wanted, went wherever we wanted, didn’t really have a lot of responsibilities. We just enjoyed each other, getting to know each other. There wasn’t really anything that we needed to work on. We were happy being with each other and we accepted each other fully at that time because we just were so in love and I don’t know if you are in that mode still or if you remember that there wasn’t any arguing. There wasn’t any fighting. You didn’t disagree often at with your fiance. Maybe even in the very beginning of your marriage, maybe in the first six months, up to two years, you may have not had any of those challenges either. You were so excited to have a wedding. You were so focused on your wedding that you didn’t really take the time. And none of us really do to learn what it is to have a relationship with somebody else, to live with somebody else, to move in with somebody else and to try to live with them for the rest of your life, because that’s usually the plan. Most people get married to stay married for ever, till death do us part. Nobody realizes or thinks that it’s going to end in a couple of years. Unfortunately though, the statistics show that most divorces happen between two and seven years into the marriage, which is really, really unfortunate and sad and we just need to help each other prevent that and just show each other that there is a way, that there are things that we can do to help move on. So during your wedding planning stages, you’re so excited and the guys might not always be too excited. They are probably pretty stressed about the whole thing, trying to figure out how to keep you happy while you’re planning it ladies. And they’re counting the dollar bills, just flying out of their wallet. You also may have had to have some required or voluntary pre-marriage counseling or coaching.
When we got married, we were married in the Catholic church and we had to take Pre-Cana, it was over the weekend, workshops and tests and quite a few things. I don’t remember much from it because it was a required thing. We just did it because we had to do it. I don’t remember learning much from it or even having any of those principles with me today and they may have been good, but it probably just wasn’t the right time and I wasn’t in the right mindset to be able to accept those things that would help us in our marriage. We actually had to also take a test and pass it, or the church wouldn’t have allowed us to get married because we would have had too much not uncommon. So for our tests, we had to go in separate rooms. We could not be near each other. And we did not have cell phones 25 years ago during this. So we couldn’t cheat at all. The tests, had I believe, 400 questions. Then we had to set up an appointment to meet with another couple that had been married for many years, go over our results and our results. I think we had everything answered exactly the same except for two questions. I don’t even know what the chances of that are. And they were even shocked. But like I said we were in separate rooms there was no way that we could cheat, but that’s how much we thought we had in common with each other. The couple that did our coaching with us was very surprised, there was suppoed to be a two day coaching session and there was not much for us to discuss because we agreed on everything. So it was a one day very short coaching session. So we’re excited and we knew we were meant to be together. We got along very well. We had a ton of fun with each other.
But after probably six months to a year of being married, life became a reality of we have to take care of each other. We have to pay for each other. We have to pay for our apartment, we have a baby coming, we have to pay for our food, we have to cook our food. We have to plan all these things out. Well, all of a sudden we started having disagreements. I did things this way and he did things that way and I didn’t think what he was doing was the right way and vice versa. So our loud conversations got even louder or A.K.A arguing. And loud fighting. No, no physical fighting. But I’m sure there were moments that we probably wanted to throw things at each other. We just got that aggravated and irritated with each other.
There were things as simple as, you don’t help me do the housework. You must not love me for him. You don’t touch me anymore. You must not love me or be attracted to me. And little did we know that there were marriage basics. If we would have studied these or knew about these very early on in our marriage or before we got married we would have understood why we weren’t getting along and why these little things that should have been okay. We were just getting under our skin and just irritating us so much.
So we looked to a few resources. The internet wasn’t as huge as it is now for for asking questions and figuring things out. And there weren’t bloggers out there at that time yet, unfortunately. So you know, you talk to your friends and we were so young when we got married, most of our friends were not married yet and they just couldn’t really give us much advice. Our parents did not have the relationship that that we wanted. Neither, neither of our parents. My husband’s family and his parents were divorced and my parents were still together and are still today, but it’s not an ideal marriage. I’m not one that I would want to have and they are great and I am so thankful that they never did get divorced because that helped me to have a little bit more of a solid, childhood and growing up and even teenage years, even though I rebelled against them a lot, but you know, we went to well meaning people, and just got the wrong advice and things were not getting any better in those first five years Things were rough about six months after our daughter was born, I went back to college and I don’t know if I did that because I knew things needed to get better as in our financial situation or I just wanted to get away because we were just fighting so much.
I was getting a biology degree to go to medical school and the divorce rate for medical students was at about 90%. I started looking into marriage coaching at that time or counseling, but didn’t really pursue it. We were really on just a downward spiral spiral. And we probably would have been divorced pretty fast. Thankfully God brought an awesome couple into our lives that are still our best friends today, and they were the ones that started to introduce us to books and concepts things we had never heard of that really help us realize what the problems were and didn’t even realize it. They were showing us the marriage basics. They were married less time than we were, but they had a good solid relationship. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. It was somebody, a couple that we could look up to.
Okay, so why was it important for us to learn these new marriage basic steps? It was important because it stopped us in our tracks from fighting about the little things. It taught us some core concepts about relationships and relationship building. What can you do to help your marriage along to stop the fighting and the tracks to get close to each other again?
First of all, you have to take a moment and realize that there is an actual honeymoon phase in marriage and when you’re young married or engaged, you don’t think that it is possible that that honeymoon stage that you keep hearing about actually will end. You think there’s no way, we are the perfect couple. We are so in love. We’re having so much fun. We get along, everything with us is 100% or 99% in common. Kind of like what we thought because I mean after all we took a 400 question test and only got two wrong from each other. Everything else, 398 questions we answered identical. I mean, that is the perfect marriage. Obviously as you heard me say that within five years we were just about ready to get divorced. We were very angry at each other. So please realize that there is a honeymoon phase. It lasts approximately two years. So, depending on how long your engagement has been, if it’s only been six months to a year and a half, you’re likely going to be coming off that honeymoon phase within six months to a year or so. And it can be different for everybody, but the rough average is around two years. If you’ve been dating a lot longer, engaged for a lot longer, you may have already completed that honeymoon phase and have learned a couple of things or maybe had have had some great help on what to do next to build a relationship before you get married.
And you’re probably going to have an easier time once you get married. But majority of us will end that honeymoon phase within six months to a year and a half into our marriage. And then we’re going to start having problems.
So step number one is realize that that stage is going to come to an end. And this is not a sad thing and this is not an end of the world thing. And this isn’t a, Oh, why should I even get married thing. Absolutely get married. This is the love of your life. You do get along and have a great relationship and you will continue to have that if you know the marriage basics and apply them to your relationship because there is happiness and there is that pure love and there is hope that you can have a wonderful marriage.
Step number two, it is up to you. If you want your marriage to work, you can’t rely on your spouse or if you’re not quite married yet, your fiance. IIt is not up to them. If you’re going to have a good marriage, it is up to you. You need to make that decision right now. This is the tough love portion. This is the mom portion coming out in me. Ask my 22 year old daughter. She will tell you, Oh, that’s the mom voice. This is up to you. You are in control of your marriage. You are in control of your life and what you choose to do and how you choose to prepare for the rest of it is completely up to, you know, your spouse may not act exactly like you want them to and they shouldn’t. They should act like they’re supposed to, but things aren’t gonna change in the snap of a finger or the blink of an eye or tomorrow change takes time.
When we’re learning the marriage basics, we’re learning a new concept and it’s not anything weird or crazy, it’s just some basic relationship building blocks, but they will really help build a foundation for a solid marriage.
Step number three is to keep up with the podcast. We’re going to go through the next several weeks of introducing you to the marriage basics. They are on our blog, you find them on marriageandfamilytoday.com but we’re just going to start from scratch here and you can follow along with each episode.
Next week we’re going to talk about your vision for your marriage. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a vision board. A lot of people do it for succeeding in their career or building a business or many different things. Building their dream house though, actually literally get out like a poster board, cut out pictures from magazines and put that up there and have that in front of them so they know what they want.
We’re going to do the same thing, but it’s going to be for your marriage, a marriage vision board, I’m pretty excited to bring that to you. And then we’re going to talk about,feeling stuck in your marriage already. Does he hear you or does she hear you? Are you listening? Do all you hear is negative? Walking and talking. What are your personalities? What are your love languages? You’ve probably heard of a couple of these things before. So we’re going to talk about all these different things, all these different marriage basics and help you to implement them into your marriage so you can have a long lasting marriage.
Again, it’s up to you to make the changes to work on your marriage. It’s the only way it’s gonna happen. It’s the only way that my husband and I have stayed married for almost 25 years and no, it’s not perfect. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns, but I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else. I trust him so much. I can put my trust in him. I am comfortable with him. I believe in him, you know? Yeah. We both make mistakes. Yeah. We both screw up, but at the end of the day, we’re who we want to be with, who we want to grow old with. We have so many dreams and goals and visions. We’re so excited about some new things that are coming up with us. You’ll have to ask us about our Mini-Cooper adventures and stepping into a new stage of life. But we’re so excited about helping you and teaching you move on to the next stage of your marriage and helping you understand the marriage basics and creating an awesome long lasting, loving, a fun, very cool marriage. Wow.
That was a lot to cover in a short period of time. We finally come to an end learning about the marriage basics and why they are essential to your marriage and hopefully you found some great marriage tips or beginning tips and are intrigued and want to hear more, but that you plan to implement some of these tips for your own marriage. Now, if you did find some valuable tips in this podcast today, please take a minute to subscribe to the podcast because it will only get better from here. Again, this is the first one, and be sure to share it and tell all your engaged and married friends about it on Facebook and Twitter and all of your other social media sites. I would truly appreciate the social media love, so thanks again for listening and I can’t wait to connect with you again. Bye for now.