When you are planning a wedding, everyone is ready to give you advice but once the wedding is over, suddenly you’re on your own. Moreover, while many believe the challenging part of getting married is the wedding, in reality the hard work has just begun. After all, marriages are not always smooth sailing–and relationships have their ups and downs. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before saying, “I Do.”
You will go through a honeymoon phase after the wedding that lasts about one year, according to two studies by the University of Pavia in Italy. After that, the levels of a chemical called the nerve growth factor, which is associated with intense romantic feelings, start to fall.
But no worries, your relationship will strengthen over time as you continue your life together. And experts say fading passion is a good thing. Not being so focused on one living person allows you to expand your community and nurturing skills–giving you a chance to say… start a family? (Not to sound too much like your Great Aunt Martha.)
Marry Your Best Friend
Many people say they married their best friend, and it turns out that can be a good decision. A 2014 National Bureau of Economic Research study found that marriage can improve your overall outlook on life, primarily because of the friendship it provides. However, like in any friendship, this means that both parties need to feel supported and respected. Relationships can fall out of balance if one partner is doing too many of the chores or not making enough effort in the marriage.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 56-year marriage was a testament to how a supportive relationship can strengthen a marriage. Her husband Marty Ginsburg, a highly successful tax attorney, actively supported her career. In fact, they described their marriage as built upon…” mutual respect and equality…and a willingness to share domestic duties.”
Share the Chores (Seriously!)
And speaking of sharing domestic duties: Respondents to a study by Pew Research said sharing household chores was among the top three issues associated with a successful marriage. The trick is to know what you do well. Justice Ginsburg admits she was a terrible cook so her husband took on those duties. Maybe you are better at household repairs than your husband and he cleans better than you. That’s ok–talk it out and you’ll be on way to a happy marriage.
Celebrate Good Times
Come on! (If you are like us, you just sang that song in your head.) Couples that actively celebrate good news are more likely to rank their relationships highly. However, actively celebrating is different than passively celebrating or outright dismissing good news. It means pausing from your day and offering enthusiastic support of your partner’s new accomplishment. And that means when you have good news, your partner will be more likely to give you kudos. How cool is that!
Take a spa break together and reconnect with a couples massage.
Purchase a Spafinder Gift Card–perfect for every occasion!
 Psychoneuroendocrinology, April 2006 and March 2018
 The Washington Post, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advice on love and leaning in,” Elahe Izadi, July 2014.
 The Atlantic, “The Difference Between a Happy Marriage and Miserable One: Chores,” Wendy Klein, Carolina Izquierdo and Thomas N. Bradbury, March 2013.
 Business Insider, “15 relationship facts everybody should know before getting married,” Shana Lebowitz, June 2018.
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