A word to newlyweds, or any couple really. Maybe so many marriages suck today because they started wrong. I can’t think of a single married couple that I have been close to that didn’t start the same way. Newlyweds. Get as much house as we can get. Get a car, no, two cars. Both husband and wife (or at least one of them) working as many hours as they can get. Grab a movie here, dinner there. If this isn’t you, please message us and share your experience.

Consider this alternative: For the first year of your marriage, get the cheapest possible place to live together. Try not to own a car if you can avoid it. If you can’t avoid it, only have one car. Work as little as you possibly can. Don’t have a TV or at least put down the screens when you are together. Make the beginning of your marriage less about the stuff you acquire or escaping from the stressful hours that you work. Focus on each other, on spending quality time getting to know one another. Focus the first year on your marriage.

Think about this scripture: When a man takes a new wife, he is not to go out with the army or be given any business or work duties. He gets one year off simply to be at home making his wife happy. Deuteronomy 24: 5 The Message

First year of marriage

What Newlyweds Can Expect If They Decide To Do It.

If you decide to make this commitment, you can expect naysayers. They will sound something like, “you guys can be married and have a real life” or “you shouldn’t have to give up your life for your marriage.” Of course, that is the mindset we are setting ourselves against, right? So, the naysayer is no big surprise. To them I would quote Chris Guillebeau, “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” (To learn more about living a remarkable life in a conventional world, read Chris’ The Art of Non-Conformity.

So What Do We Do For A Year?

Well, the scripture says the husband should “give happiness to his wife….” But how?

A meeting of two: eye to eye, face to face. And when you are near, I will tear your eyes out and place them inside of mine, and you will tear my eyes out and will place them inside of yours, then I will look at you with your eyes and you will look at me with mine. -J.L. Moreno

Spend the first year getting to know each other well enough to see through their eyes. How do I see with her eyes? How does she see with mine? It certainly starts with talking and listening. It is certainly accomplished over the long term with a plan. Plan to read a book together, or to take a trip together. Plan on cooking together, hiking, exploring your city or town, playing games together. Plan whatever, but do something.

A special note to men: I have noticed that when men are interested in a new hobby, they have a certain method they follow. Each man is a bit different, but there are some consistencies in their method. It usually starts with talking about the hobby with somebody that knows a little more than they do. It might involve buying (or at least reading) a magazine about the hobby. Google it. YouTube it. If there any tools that support the hobby, we find a way to buy them. Why wouldn’t you use the same method in your marriage?

Whatever you do to learn or improve a new job, hobby or craft  —  use that same method to learn or improve your marriage. If you want a better marriage, focus on each other.


© 2014 Donnalee and Brandon L. Blankenship Alabama Birmingham Hoover Pelham