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The Keys to a Successful Transition into Marriage in the First Six Months

Updated: May 23

The first six months of marriage are really important for setting the tone and direction of the relationship. Habits formed in the first six months of a marriage are particularly tough to break. Here are some tips for a smooth and successful transition into marriage.


Communicate openly and respectfully


Communication is key to any relationship, but especially in a newly formed marriage. It can help couples express their needs, feelings, expectations, and goals, as well as resolve conflicts and problems. There's evidence that married people have better mental and physical health than those in less committed relationships. However, it depends on how well you communicate.


According to one study, couples with more positive communication and less negative communication are happier and less likely to divorce.


To avoid criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling with your spouse, it's imperative to communicate openly and respectfully.


Supporting each other


Communicate with intention. Some successful couples meet weekly and focus on prompting each other with questions to gauge how well they feel they are supporting one another. Here are five questions Modern Husbands Podcast co-host and advisory board member Dr. Bruce and his fiancée ask each other weekly.


  1. What brought you joy or excitement this past week?

  2. Is there anything I have done to hurt you this past week that we can repair now?

  3. What are you looking forward to in the upcoming week?

  4. What’s something worrisome/hard that’s happening in the upcoming week(s)? Is there something I can do to help?

  5. What can I do next week to make you feel more loved?


Conversations about money


Talking about money can be difficult for some couples. Much like the need to meet regularly to discuss how spouses can support each other, it is equally important to meet regularly to discuss money. Such meetings are often referred to as Money Dates.


Read What is a Money Date? To learn more about the art of talking about money with your spouse, and gather ideas and resources to have meaningful conversations.


The keys to a successful transition in marriage

Maintain intimacy and affection


Intimacy and affection are also important for a successful marriage. Intimacy is the emotional connection couples have, while affection is the physical expression of love and care they show each other. Intimacy and affection are associated with higher marital satisfaction and lower marital conflict, according to research. Marriage happiness can also be enhanced by intimacy and affection.


We share a number of ways you can spend time together in previous posts.



Adjust to new roles and responsibilities


When you get married, you may have to change your roles and responsibilities. For example, you might have to adjust to sharing finances, doing chores together, or making joint decisions. These changes can be stressful and challenging, especially if they're not discussed or agreed upon beforehand.


An abundance of research shows that role expectations and role performance affect marriage satisfaction and stability. So you have to talk to your spouse about your expectations and preferences. You have to negotiate fair and realistic agreements, respect each other's autonomy and boundaries, and support each other's goals to adjust to new roles and responsibilities.


We regularly share ideas and resources on our Household Chores page for husbands committed to partnering with their spouses to tackle the division of labor at home together.


Here are a few examples.



Build a support network


Your other relationships or activities don't have to go when you get married. Research shows that having a supportive network of family, friends, co-workers, or community members can be great for your marriage. When you need emotional, practical, or informational help, social support can help.


Maintaining contact with friends and family, making new friends as a couple, joining clubs or groups that share your interests and values, or seeking professional help if needed are key ways to build a support network.


Here are a couple of articles full of specific strategies to maintain or build your support network.



 


 

Plan for the future


Marriage isn't just about the present, but also about the future. Getting married can help couples align their visions and goals, as well as prepare for potential challenges. A sense of teamwork and cooperation between partners is also possible when you have shared goals and values. Planning for the future can boost marital satisfaction and commitment.


Plan for the future with your spouse by talking about your short- and long-term goals, creating a budget and saving plan, making a will, and exploring new options and adventures.


We hosted Dr. Michelle Kruger CFP® in an episode of the Modern Husbands podcast to discuss how couples can plan for their financial futures. Dr. Kruger holds a Ph.D. in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics. Her dissertation focused on Financial Satisfaction and the Joint Financial Management of Couples.



Follow along


The first six months of marriage are crucial for building a solid foundation for your relationship. Marriage is a wonderful journey filled with joy and fulfillment. Take advantage of the regular tips we share by following us.


Modern Husbands Podcast


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