3 Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married

Updated on March 22, 2020
Happylovejoy profile image

Kawai loves to learn new things and explore ways just to make life taste and feel a little better.

Before I got married, my friend handed me two books titled Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married and The 5 Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman. Dr Chapman is a New York Times bestseller and has more than 30 years of experience in couples counseling.

When I got the books, I didn't jump right into reading them (too busy preparing for the wedding!). It was three years into my marriage before I stumbled upon the books again and decided to have a go at them.

The books aim to provide an insight on what marriage is about, what we can do to gain marital bliss, and basically how to live happily ever after. And I must say I quite enjoyed the books and can somewhat relate to what the author is saying and still learn quite a few tips (with three years of marriage under my belt and endless marriage advice from my parents).

So, I have picked out three great points that I found useful for all of us who are embarking or have embarked in the marriage journey. Take some time to go through them and I do hope you find them useful.

The 5 Love Languages/Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married Set
The 5 Love Languages/Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married Set
Dr Chapman is a New York Times bestseller and has more than 30 years of experience in couples counseling. He provides valuable advice on how couples should interact and maintain healthy relationships. This article is inspired by 2 of his most famous books so do check them out if you are interested to learn more.

1. Love Comes in Two Stages

According to Dr Chapman, the first stage of love is almost effortless. During this stage, we are so in love that we will do almost anything for each other and it will not feel like a chore or sacrifice to go the extra mile for our other half. We could queue up for hours just to buy that popular new gadget for our partners or travel thousands of miles just to spend some time together.

At this stage, couples can also get so absorbed in the relationship that they can become oblivious to the world or to the obvious issues or flaws in the relationship (remember the times when our friends or family warn us about our gf/bf and we angrily brush them off?).

The second stage of love needs a lot more effort - it requires us to have a much deeper understand of the needs of our other halves in order to sustain the relationship. The second stage usually takes place about two years into the relationship.

In order to stay happy when we are at our second stage of love, we need to understand our love language, as well as our other half's and act on it. So what exactly is a love language?

As Dr Chapman explains, love language is our own individual interpretation of how love is expressed and how we can feel loved. The five language of love as described by Dr Chapman includes:

  1. Words of Affirmation - this refers to the act of using words to admire or appreciate a person. Examples - " You look really great in that dress." or "You are really sweet for helping your friend with that chore."
  2. Acts of Service - this simply means that love is expressed through actions rather than words. To perform acts of service, we need to understand what our other half values and want us to do for them.
  3. Receiving Gifts - this basically means love is expressed and felt by the giving of gifts.
  4. Quality Time - spending time together and enjoying each other's company is also another way of expressing love and making the other half feel special.
  5. Physical Touch - touch such as hugs, holding hands can also help individuals feel loved and connected to their loved ones.

So for example, if your spouse's love language is acts of service and he/she likes some help around the house, then helping with the house chores is (according to your spouse), an expression of love for him/her.

2. Resolving Conflicts Without Arguments

Arguments occur in every marriage and sometimes it can get so bad that we may question ourselves if we have married the right person or saying things that we may regret - "Let's get a divorce!"

The first important rule to remember, according to Dr Chapman, is that having conflicts does not mean you are married to the wrong person. Conflicts are a part and parcel of life.

To sustain a good relationship, every couple must find an effective way to resolve conflicts and one of the first steps to addressing conflicts is to practice listening to one another. Allowing each other to express their opinions (without interruption) and acknowledging what was shared helps both parties to feel that their feelings and needs are valued.

After having a clear understanding of the problem, the couple should then discuss the solution openly and be willing to compromise. Being able to compromise with one another is extremely important in a relationship and it may occasionally involve sacrifices on our part - this is a necessary step if we want to peacefully come up with the best possible solution.

Do you think you have an effective way to resolve conflicts with your other half?

See results

3. You Are Not Just Marrying One Person

Marriage is not just about the couple, but also their families. When we get married, we are not just marrying one person but also marrying into the whole family.

To have a happy marriage, we should make effort (to the best of our abilities) to have good relationships with our spouse's family (whether they are distant relatives or close family members like mother and father in law).

Everyone is different and has their own opinions, needs and demands. So how do we try to have positive relationships with a variety of individuals whom, we honestly cannot really ignore?
In his book, Dr Chapman suggest that we practice empathetic listening. Empathetic listening is listening with the intent to understand the views and feelings of the others and withholding judgement until we have clear knowledge of the situation.

For example, your in laws may request that your family have dinner with them at least twice a week if possible. At first, it may sound like they are trying to be a little demanding and controlling. However, when you try to listen to their point of view and understand how they feel (without judgement) - i.e. reasons for the request was that they feel lonely because they had no other family members living near them other than yours and they would like to bond with their grand children, you will likely be more receptive of their request.

A love language is our own individual interpretation of how love is expressed and how we can feel loved.

As much as possible, we should try to accommodate to our spouse's family needs. However, to maintain positive relationships and keep ourselves equally happy, we should also learn to negotiate our way around certain requests and expectations (instead of keeping everything to ourselves all the time and one day explode). And often, it is the manner in which we negotiate that helps to us to increase the chances of reaching our desired outcome.

Taking the above example, instead of flatly rejecting your in laws' request and behaving in a 'take it or leave it' manner, you can find some time to talk with them to offer an alternative proposal and also cite reasons for your proposal. You should also make more references with 'I' instead of 'You' so it would not sound like you are making any accusations or are being too harsh.

For example, "I have an unpredictable work schedule so it can be difficult for me to bring the kids over twice a week. I think it will be less stressful for us to come on Sunday's to spend time together." - instead of using "You want us to come down twice a week but it will be difficult. If you want too see us, we will need to make alternative arrangements.".

Lastly, we can also learn the love language of our spouse's family and likewise share ours to help build and sustain better and more loving relationships.

If you have questions and would like more practical tips on a how to have a happier and healthier marriage, you can refer to Dr Gary Chapman's books Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married and The 5 Love Languages for more guidance. Happy reading!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Kawai


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Happylovejoy profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Singapore

      Wow! I hope one day my hubby and I will also be able to resolve quarrels before they start! ☺️ Agree we need to be open..especially open to discussing the problem without becoming angry at each other..thanks for dropping by!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      Lots of wisdom shared in this article, Kawai. We've been married so long our arguments are sometimes solved before we begin! Seriously, couples must communicate and be open to change, if necessary, to make things work well. Great post and educational!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)