Advice for the Newly Wed

After the big ceremony, exchange of wedding rings, reception and honeymoon, now is the time for learning to be a married couple. Once you get married, a lifetime of experiences awaits you. Here are some suggestions for the newly wed to make a loving bond a lasting one:

Express appreciation. Never take one another for granted. Every day, find a reason to say "thank you" and the time to say "I love you." The words are wonderful to hear, they never get old, and they contribute to a healthy relationship. Make a commitment now to say these words each and every day.

Spend quality time together. Once or even twice a week, turn off the TV and just talk. If the weather is nice, sit outside. Or, go out to a restaurant. Talk about things that matter, and talk about what you do when you're away from each other. Be sure to listen. Communication is essential for a healthy marriage.

Establish a foundation of trust and love. If you know that the other person loves you, in spite of your shortcomings, then you can feel secure enough to admit a mistake and know that the love won't disappear. Knowing that this foundation is there makes problem solving a team approach, rather than something that pits you against each other. Trusting each other makes it more likely that you will be honest.

Don't hold a grudge. Arguments happen; people make mistakes. Couples get angry at each other. Try to end arguments by finding constructive solutions to the problem. The best way to solve a problem is to work together, and then let it go.

Be supportive. If you believe in each other, be there for each other. Help each other to succeed, and nurture the best in each other. If your spouse takes on a new hobby, you don't have to like it, and you don't have to participate, but listen when they are telling you about it. Enjoy their enthusiasm. Give them space to pursue it. Agree to help each other achieve your goals.

Keep romance alive. Surprise your spouse with notes, calls, little gifts or gestures of appreciation. Expressing love and feeling loved will keep your marriage strong.

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