You and the man of your dreams have successfully jumped the broom. You’re happy. He’s happy. All’s right with the world. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to make all right with your home. Combining two homes into one is no small task, but it can be done. In fact, it must be done if you truly desire a place where you and your new spouse can find peace and serenity.
But, aside from determining whether his faux leather couch goes with her suede loveseat, combining homes offers many great opportunities to start your marriage out on the right foot. As husband and wife, you begin to utilize three of the most important qualities of a lasting marriage. How you handle the process can determine whether your first year is headed for smooth sailing or choppy waters.
In order to make sure your newfound living arrangement doesn’t suffer a major setback, both you and your spouse have to effectively communicate exactly what you expect. He wants his autographed Tom Brady helmet front and center over the fireplace. She needs a place to display her original art pieces. A good conversation must be had in order to reach an amicable solution.
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While making sure you each find your moment of zen when you walk through the doors is critical, your communication style at this point can be even more crucial. By and large, communication is the mother of all skills when it comes to whether you enjoy or simply endure your marriage. Unless you begin to iron out the kinks to this skill from the get-go, your marriage will be in for some turbulent times.
So, how do you make sure you each get at least some of what you want?
No, compromise is not a cuss word. Say it with me and learn to let it roll off of your lips. In every happy marriage, it is a word, and lesson learned quickly. The days of him saying “I just do what she says” will eventually find their way into her life. But for the newlywed couple, those days are earned at the school of compromise hard knocks. There is always, always a way to meet in the middle.
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Interestingly the art of compromise is nowhere near as important as the why of compromise. Chances are that you wouldn’t have been able to walk down the aisle and pledge a lifetime of love if the needs of your spouse didn’t matter. So, if the neon orange plates he received from his dearly departed Nana didn’t matter before the wedding, don’t make them a point of contention after. Though her handmade sculptures won’t win her any awards, they are a source of pride and accomplishment and should be prominently displayed. Compromise because:
- Your spouse’s feelings matter
- Your spouse’s thoughts matter
- Your spouse’s needs matter
Throughout the course of your marriage, you’ll need to remind yourself of these three things over and over again. As newlyweds, you might as well start saying it about the furniture.
So, how do you learn to give in even though you don’t feel like it?
When a baseball player steps up to the plate and his teammate needs to make it home, he can hit a sacrifice fly to give his team a chance to score. Though the act can hurt his personal average, it’s more important that his team advances to a win. While I’m no baseball enthusiast, the concept behind this act is legit in my book when it comes to setting your marriage up to win.
From the start, you should begin to view your marriage through the lens of a team. It’s no longer his and hers, but ours. Though the bathroom towels might be embroidered according to gender, does it really matter if which one of you uses them? Most likely not. So, while you compromise to preserve what matters to your spouse, you sacrifice to advance what matters to the team.
If her rabbit hair rug throws off the feng shui of his solid oak nightstand in your bedroom, step up to the plate and let your beloved piece of furniture go. The love you make in that room will matter more than the decor, so step up to the plate forfeit your style. Your willingness or unwillingness to sacrifice in the early stages of your marriage can be a telltale sign of things to come. I suggest you start learning to take a hit for the team right from the start.
Combining your two homes into one can be quite the undertaking. But don’t get so caught up in the look of your home that you forget the peace of your home. Interior design should always take a backseat to the interior of your relationship. But, you can use the former to serve the latter by developing your marriage skills in communication, compromise, and sacrifice. And then you can really enjoy your home sweet home.
BMWK, are you enjoying or enduring your newlywed status?