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marriage lessons

“Great marriage lessons will always help you to improve your marriage.” – Unknown

In our first year of marriage, we learned 20 unique and practical marital lessons that we want to share with you, so you can strengthen your marriage.

You will become knowledgeable about the changes you as a person, and you as a married individual will be going through. Needless to say, the lessons are not just for couples in their first year of marriage.

In other words, they apply to individuals who are interested in marriage, engaged couples, newlyweds, and couples have been married for many years.

20 Great marriage lessons we learned in our first year of marriage.

1) We all communicate differently.

We speak different languages. I know we hear it all the time, but actually experiencing it is something else!

For those first few months, I can remember not having my husband understand me and getting so frustrated. “I am speaking English aren’t I ?!” – Ashley 

We both learned we communicated vastly differently.

So take the time to think of another way to explain something to your spouse. Try to look through their eyes and listen through their ears.

Click here to learn how to communicate with your spouse without fighting.

2) Trust God (Higher Power).

Oh my, this marriage lesson has been very important for our whole marriage so far!

We had a lot of things happen in the first year of our marriage, not knowing how we were going to pay the next bill or rent for the month.

All we had left was to trust in our Higher Power and each other.

Read: How to build or rebuild trust with your spouse (with 3 proven steps)

3) Agree on finances and budget monthly.

Marcus introduced me to Dave Ramsey when we were dating and at first, I couldn’t stand it! Eventually, I actually listened and heard the wisdom.

By agreeing on our finances, and budgeting every month together (we each get a say on how to spend our money), it has opened up lines of communication that we never thought possible.

It also helped us to be on the same page, working together towards the same goals. – Ashley

Read: How to talk to your spouse about money.

4) Seek help and guidance when you need it.

There were a few times when we needed help. We learned to not be prideful and asked when necessary.

Seek someone who is matured and wise, not someone who will turn it into a gossip column.

5) Be patient and calm, you will have disagreements.

This was another of the BIG marriage lessons for us, and we are certain that being patient is very important in any marriage.

Remember the golden rule: treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.

Learn how to disagree respectfully; you are both different people with different personalities.

Remember the golden rule: treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.Click To Tweet

6) Communicate and discuss everything. Don’t just assume, ask!

This marriage lesson helps lay the foundation for your marriage. It enables you to really get to know your spouse.

We are always changing, there is always something new to learn.

Use these 69 thought-provoking questions for couples as conversation starters. It will help you to have better conversations, enhance intimacy and build trust.

7) Be yourself, otherwise, it’s an act.

You always hear how people change after the “I Do.”

We think it’s because they weren’t totally “real” to begin with.

8) Communicate your needs.

If I needed Marcus to be more romantic, I had to tell him, and I had to show him how.

He can’t read my mind.

If he needed me to straighten my shoes in the entryway he had to tell me…and remind me a few times. – Ashley

9) Discuss unvoiced marriage expectations.

We did not even know we had marriage expectations. We were both raised in different families with different “normals.”

All you have to do is talk about each other’s marriage expectations, discuss, and learn how to compromise with your spouse.

10) Don’t expect your spouse to know what is in your head or read your mind.

We know this lesson was mentioned above but it’s so important it deserves its own number.

So, learn how to communicate with your spouse!!!

11) Work as a team and for each other.

Marriage is 100/100, not 50/50.

Stick together through the hard times when they come, (because they will come, its part of life!) as well as the good.

Take this marriage quiz to see how strong your relationship is.

12) Be truly unified.

If you practice everything mentioned in this post, you will learn this marriage lesson.

13) Don’t RUSH into having babies.

Spend your first year of marriage getting to know each other as a married couple.

The more time you spend together before kids arrive, the better. (Obviously not too long, but, at least, a year before getting pregnant is our recommendation for newlyweds.)

Spend your first year of marriage getting to know each other as a married couple.Click To Tweet

14) Never disrespect your spouse privately or publicly.

I didn’t even realize I was doing this and felt awful once I realized I was disrespecting Marcus.

I am sarcastic in nature, as a defense mechanism and have learned how to reign that in. – Ashley

The book Love and Respect by Emmerson Eggerichs is a must-read for this marriage lesson.

You can also check out this list of the best marriage books for couples to improve your marriage.

15) Build up your spouse.

This goes hand in hand with number 14.

I love talking about my husband to whoever will listen. As I focus on all his good attributes, the positive thoughts turn into words, love, and respect for my husband.

The same goes for husbands towards wives. – Ashley

16) We GIVE love differently and RECEIVE love DIFFERENTLY.

That’s right, The Five Love LanguagesIt’s a must-read marriage book for your first year of marriage.

Also, check out this list of must-read books for newlyweds.

17) BALANCE your different personalities.

One of us is an extrovert and one is an introvert, one is a saver and the other a spender, among many other differences.

We had to learn to balance our lives with these opposites.

18) LISTEN, pay attention, and not just hear.

It’s so easy to get distracted today! Put the phone down when your spouse is talking.

Sometimes when Marcus is busy with school or business stuff I say, “Honey, let me know when you have a minute.

I have something I need to ask, or tell you” this works wonders because I don’t feel ignored and get frustrated. – Ashley

Take this free quiz:

Relationship Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Spouse?

19) Schedule time to connect with each other every day.

Even if it’s just 15 minutes. It’s SO important especially when you have children.

We as humans grow and change. If we don’t take the time to connect with each other, that’s where the growing apart starts.

TALK for at least 30 minutes every day.

Do something together. For example, you can play a board, card, or dice game together.

20) Learn to balance being yourself, an independent person, while also being interdependent with your spouse.

You are one, and you are separate.

Ever hear those people who say, “I just lost myself somewhere in the relationship or marriage and need to find myself. I don’t know who I am anymore.”

It’s easy sometimes to get lost in the role of mother, wife, husband, father, business owner, or whichever hat you wear.

You have to remember to take some “me” time.

Now that we have children, I call it “mommy time”. – Ashley

You have to give each other space to be alone, do your own hobbies, pursue goals and interests. Remember to do the same together.

This marriage lesson is one of the important lessons that will follow you throughout your marriage.

You are one, and you are separate.Click To Tweet

The 20 practical marriage lessons in printable PDF format

We have summarized and made all the lessons available in a printable format for you. To download, just:

Click here to get the printable pdf version

Print or save it to your computer or mobile device so you can access it whenever you want to. You could also bookmark this page.

Learning these marriage lessons did not come in a minute.

You should not expect to have all of these marriage skills in a minute.

It will take some time, dedication, and intentional effort on your part to learn and apply them in life.

And of course, in your marriage.

Final thoughts

Even though each marriage lesson was different, being truly unified was what all these lessons helped us achieve.

We hope you will apply these lessons and get a head start on your marriage.

Because each marriage lesson will improve and be beneficial for your marriage.

Your turn

What are some of the marriage lessons you learned in your first year of marriage?

What other marriage lessons do you have to add?

You might also like:

30+ Inspirational Marriage Quotes for Couples

How to Reconnect with Your Spouse Emotionally, Sexually, and Physically

101+ Fun Things for Couples to Do Together

69+ Thought-Provoking Conversation Starters for Couples

 7 Signs You Are Drifting From Your Spouse (and What to Do About It)

Image courtesy Phaitoon/

20 Marriage Lessons We Learned From Our First Year of Marriage