After Exchanging I Do's: A Guide to Marriage for Beginners

Newlywed couple learning guidelines for marriage for beginners.
Is there a rulebook for marriage for beginners? No, but we've got helpful advice.

Marriage is a journey that goes far beyond the wedding. Most newlyweds, still high from the ceremony, are unable to imagine the immense highs and lows that await them in the years to come.

Some people call being a husband or a wife the hardest job in the world. It can also be the most fulfilling role you can undertake.

Maintaining a healthy union requires more than love; commitment, effort, and respect are just as necessary. When couples are unable to go beyond just the sensation of love and affection, a marriage will start to show cracks.

How can newlywed couples navigate their lifelong commitment to each other? Here, we give tips for a steady marriage for beginners. While you may relate to some of these insights early on, some tips become relevant as you spend the years together.

10 Qualities of a Good Marriage

What does a healthy and thriving marriage look like?

Every marriage is different. Things that work for some people may not apply to others. However, there are key qualities that make marriages long-lasting. Most, if not all of these are unsurprising, but some tend to overlook them anyway.

These qualities should be on every couple’s healthy marriage checklist:

1. Honesty

If there is one person to whom you must totally bear your heart and mind, it is your spouse. This openness brings comfort and encourages honesty and trust.

Let’s say your spouse did something to break your trust. This doesn’t just hurt you, but it also changes your marriage’s dynamics.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your marriage is irreparable. You know your spouse is an honest and trustworthy person if they show remorse and work on winning your trust back.

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2. Commitment

There’s a reason this quality comes up whenever you look for tips on marriage for beginners. Your feelings for each other can only do so much to sustain your union.

Marriages don’t work if commitment isn’t a part of the equation. That commitment comes with good, bad, and ugly things. And with that, you and your spouse should be 100% sure about sticking with each other through everything.

3. Communication

Communication is the glue that holds relationships together. If you want a marriage that works, you and your spouse should be effective communicators.

Great communication means sharing your honest thoughts and feelings without hesitation. This also goes for disagreements; even when you’re arguing with each other, you should be able to deliver your points without blaming one another.

Effective communication includes effective non-verbal cues. If you want to communicate more positively, make sure your body language expresses positivity.

4. Respect

One of the fundamentals of marriage is mutual respect. Everyone yearns for respect and appreciation from their spouses. Having both is a great source of comfort. You have someone who’ll cheer you on and won’t judge you for your quirks and endeavors.

A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone. A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone.

5. Companionship

Quality time matters. What’s the point of getting married if you don’t have companionship?

Fortunately, quality time doesn’t just mean a fancy date at an expensive restaurant. As long as you and your spouse enjoy each other’s company, methods won’t matter. But you can try new things for variety.

6. Affection

Intimacy and affection are the language of romance. Couples who stay together long always find ways to keep the flame burning. Try to regularly fulfill each other’s needs for intimacy and affection or risk having a loveless union.

7. Stress and crisis management

Some hidden keys to a loving relationship include the ability to handle stress and crisis. It is often in marriage where you experience frustratingly high-stress situations, whether you are experiencing disappointment with your spouse or regularly getting into heated arguments. Practice increasing patience and tolerance because you’ll need it during bouts of anger and frustration. You can even ask for space to process your problems properly.

Man holding an umbrella for a woman.
To foster a marriage that works for you and your spouse, you must know how to handle stress and crisis effectively.

Whatever you do, remember that you and your spouse should work through issues together.

8. Compassion

Because you love each other, you must care for the well-being of the other as you care for your own well-being. As much as you have needs, your spouse has theirs too. In marriage, you vow to be together in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. Your spouse’s sufferings are now your own, so take care of each other.

9. Empathy

You should be able to acknowledge and empathize with your spouse’s emotions and thoughts, and they should do the same thing. Empathy boosts emotional intimacy, which always makes marriages stronger.

10. Adaptability

People change—even spouses. Your relationship dynamics shift over time too. You’ll need to embrace those changes and adapt accordingly.

There will be disagreements along the way, and that’s okay; you won’t always be on the same page anyway. The sooner you adapt to that, the better your marriage will turn out. Strong-arming one person into doing things in a specific way won’t do.

Couple embracing each other.
Commitment is one of the 10 qualities of a good marriage. You can’t have a long-lasting union without it.

Things to Consider Before Getting Married

Are you contemplating marriage? If so, you and your partner have much to talk about.

Since marriage is a life-changing decision, you should go over some considerations before tying the knot, several times over if necessary. Here are things you must discuss as early as possible:

1. Finances

Money is an essential part of building a family. You may not be materialistic, but it is a necessity to manage your finances regardless. Not only do you have to pay utilities, but you’ll also have kids to take care of. You and your spouse should have a healthy financial state before committing yourselves to marriage.

You must also be in agreement with how you manage your finances. Talk about your ideas when it comes to saving and spending. This will help you avoid future disagreements and frustrations with how you spend your money.

2. Who Provides for the Family

Your bills won’t pay themselves, and nor will your hunger satisfy itself. Traditionally, the husband would work and the wife would stay home and take care of the house and kids. Today, however, the set-up is however you choose.

Depending on your needs, both of you may work. Or one of you can work while the other takes care of domestic duties. Whichever setup you choose, make sure to talk about it so you’re all comfortable in your roles.

3. Overall well-being

Marriage for beginners can be scary, which is why you’ll need a healthy mind and body. Since you and your partner should rely on each other, you’ll need to be in great physical and mental condition—especially in rough times.

Always strive to be healthy. One or both of you being severely sick can cause you both emotional and financial hardship and can change the course of your marriage drastically.

7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage, Even if it’s Great

Even if your marriage is in great shape, you can always look for ways to strengthen it. No matter how many years you spend together, there will always be something that needs fixing. There’s no harm in seeking improvement, yes?

Couple hugging each other.
As the years go by, you will need to seek ways for enhancing your marriage to keep it happy and fulfilling.

Considers these “secrets” as keys to enhancing your marriage:

1. Get solvable problems out of the way.

Are you and your spouse having pressing issues that need immediate attention? If so, those problems are, more often than not, solvable and direct. Find a resolution by tackling them calmly and looking for compromise.

2. Up your intimacy.

Physical touching is relaxing, but this isn’t the only effective form of intimacy. It’s best paired with an honest conversation because it makes you and your spouse feel validated.

3. Change the momentum.

If you feel your marriage is getting stale, that may be because you and your spouse stopped expressing love and affection. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean affectionate acts should stop.

Change the momentum by engaging in loving and affectionate gestures. A warm hug after a long day is a good place to start.

4. Encourage positive change.

You can’t force someone to change themselves to fit your mold. However, you can encourage them. Give that a try by sincerely voicing your feelings without blaming them for their actions. Your honesty may let them take your hint.

5. Have Regular Date Nights

Married couples tend to lose the sense of romance over time, especially when they are faced with the responsibilities of work and family life. Set a day in the week just for the both of you to bond and appreciate each other’s company.

6. Run to each other instead of running away.

When your spouse wants your time and attention, try to be available. Brushing them off will only sow resentment.

7. Break away from gridlock.

This is different from item #1. Unlike solvable problems, gridlocks can’t be resolved quickly and easily.

Do you find yourselves endlessly fighting over a specific matter? Get to the bottom of your issues by having a calm and constructive discussion. Go over the areas requiring addressing and work from there. Resolutions will take time, but it’s much better than letting problems fester.


Marriage for beginners can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be constantly difficult. We hope our guide will remind you to embrace and enjoy the good while weathering challenges together.

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