1. Never underestimate the influence of your family. It is indeed true that you “marry a family too.” As a couple, you will forever have part in the blessings and burdens each of your birth families bear.
2. There will always be people who know you too little, care about you too little, but talk too much about your life. They’re called busybodies. They’re not likable at all; but the good news is, they don’t have one bit of true bearing on your life.
3. Don’t compare. They may be friends, relatives, colleagues, or any other people in your life. They may always seem to have an easier life. Don’t compare. Comparison breeds pride, self-pity, or just sheer contempt. Don’t compare. Did I happen to mention not to compare?
4. Your spouse should be your very best friend. No person in the whole wide world will ever share experiences the way you two will from now on. What your spouse thinks, acts, and says should be in sync with how you do. Build unity.
5. Turn to God. When trials come, don’t talk behind your spouse’s back or spread rumors about your frustrations. Cast all your burdens upon the One who can truly love and bear your burdens eternally.
6. Ditch the pursuit of romance. Measuring marriage by romance is a self-destructive goal. Romance is what results from, not what begins, a solid relationship of marital love.
7. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. In every new marriage, the husband or the wife will have to do certain responsibilities that their birth parent of the same gender never had to do. Allow your expectations to become flexible. Enjoy figuring out your roles and tasks together. Marriage is, at the end of the day, a partnership.
8. Adjustment is normal. No two individuals naturally agree in everything. Don’t let differences frustrate you. Work them out patiently—over days, weeks, months, or years.
9. Respect your spouse’s family traditions. Those traditions may seem strange or uncomfortable to you, but they’ve been around for a while in your spouse’s life. While you don’t have to embrace them, do respect them and participate when you can. Respect the elders’ habits, and start your own traditions with your spouse.
10. Live by God’s timeline. How we plan our life is usually different from how God plans it because He knows better. Don’t try to get ahead of God nor lag behind Him. Maximize your marriage with what He gives day after day.