Marriage 101 -- A Beginner's Guide to Marriage

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Marriage 101: Before You Set a Wedding Date

Bride and groom outside chapel in Mexico
Pam McLean/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you are considering getting married, or are just beginning your own marriage journey, here is your own Marriage 101 guide and help for you to create a successful and prosperous marriage.


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Marrriage 101: Understanding the Importance of Communication in Your Marriage

Photo Credit: ©Clara Natoli
Photo Credit: ©Clara Natoli.

Just starting your marriage journey together? Here's some of what you need to know about communication to have a successful marriage.

  • Keep your lines of communication open with one another. Be sure to talk frequently and make sure you are talking about your feelings
  • Accept that all marriages go through stages. Maintaining a healthy marriage is a life long process. 
  • Learn about your relationship fighting style and how to fight fairly. Happily married couples don't avoid arguments. They know how to handle conflict in healthy ways. 
  • Avoid the main "marriage killers": criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.
  • Be willing to seek help through couples' therapy if you find yourselves starting to be defensive, critical, or distant from one another. Don't wait too long to get help!

    Couples who postpone seeking professional advice often find that the damage to their marriage is too extensive to save it.

  • Consider using the tool of dialogue on a daily basis to stay emotionally connected.


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Marriage 101: Issues Many Married Couples Have to Work Through Together

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Photo Credit: ©

Just starting your marriage journey together? Here's some of what you need to know about marriage issues to have a successful marriage.

  • Finances are one of the biggest reasons couples divorce. Regularly discuss money issues in your relationship.
  • Conflict over chores around the house is also a common conflict in a marriage. This is a topic you can't avoid talking about.
  • A sexy, exciting marriage doesn't just happen. You need to stay intimate with one another and show your love and passion for one another on a daily basis. 
  • Although children are a tremendous joy, they do have an impact on a marriage. Your relationship will change after you bring a baby into the picture. You also do not want to develop a child-centered marriage.
  • Realize that your in-laws will be a part of your marriage whether you like it or not. Learn how to set boundaries with your in-laws and how to enjoy them.
  • Don't let stress in your marriage tear you apart. Learn coping skills to help you through the tough times.

  • Interfaith, interracial, and intercultural marriages have their own set of unique challenges to face. If you are considering one of these marriage relationships, discuss your differences before you get married.

  • Don't wait too long to get help if you find you can't resolve conflict on your own. 

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Marriage 101: Celebrating Your Marriage Relationship

Photo Credit: ©
Photo Credit: ©

Just starting your marriage journey together? Here's some of what you need to know about celebrating your marriage to have a successful marriage.

  • Make time to have fun together. The word "recreation" means to re-create.
  • Remember to celebrate the special days in your lives, especially your wedding anniversaries! Here's your Anniversary Gift Guide
  • Plan ahead for the holidays and how you will handle your in-laws' expectations.
  • Establish rituals to keep your marriage strong.
  • Do things to keep the spark alive. Do not become complacent or think you spouse is supposed to make you happy. 
  • Be open to learning and growing both individually and as a couple. Stay educated on what it takes to make a marriage last for the long haul


*Article updated by Marni Feuerman