Transitioning from the single life into a relationship and marriage isn’t always easy. Even the most selfless of women get into a pattern of choosing themselves first. Especially when you’re an independent woman without children. This isn’t a terrible quality at all. Self-care should always be a priority but today I want to talk about that transition from ME to WE. How can you make your partner feel #1 in your life? How do you make this transition without sacrificing the “me-time” that you so desperately need?
8 ways to put WE before ME in marriage
As a newlywed and Mom-to-be, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that I’ve practiced in my relationship for the past 5 years. Some of you may scoff at the idea of taking advice from a newlywed. What does someone who’s only been married for a few months know? As a woman who’s been through the fire and back, I live presently in my relationship which means My life is a constant work-in-progress. I don’t settle or slow down because there’s always work to be done and changes to be made. With that said, these practices have set me up for a long and strong marriage. I hope they can help you too!
1. Stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Before I met my husband, I'd refuse to “meet the parents”. I never felt like it was worth it to put myself through so much anxiety. It wasn't until I met him that I realized he was worth it. In the 5 years we've been together, I've stepped outside of my comfort zone a lot – more than I had in my other 20 years of living. Even when I felt like I was going to have a downright panic attack, I still did it for him, for us. Not only will stepping outside of your comfort zone show your significant other that you're putting WE before ME, it will help you to grow as an individual. You'd be surprised at how much your life can change from doing one little thing that makes you uncomfortable.
2. Making time.
I live my life by the quote: “You make time for those who you want to make time for“. Whether it's within your marriage or with friends/family, making time is the key to any good relationship. Sometimes we're tired and feel like we have a million things to do. Making time is much easier said than done but it's important. You must make time just for your spouse, even if it means sacrificing an hour of sleep to watch TV together or to discuss your day. Monthly date nights and little moments throughout your day are also great. I know it's not always easy. We're all busy and sometimes we might even be frustrated with our spouse, but making time for them means that you're putting your marriage before all of that. My favorite moments in my marriage are the simple ones where we're at home, catching up on our TV shows together. These are the times that are priceless and irreplaceable.
3. Picking up the slack.
As much as you want to deny it, romance changes when you're married and living together. We can't help but to think of romance as rose pedals and candles but in marriage, it's much different than that. Putting WE before ME sometimes just means doing your partner's chores or picking up the slack somewhere else in the marriage. Cook dinner, take care of a task that your partner promised they would do, go out of your way to make their day a little more enjoyable or easier. One of the most romantic things my husband has done for me is clean the litter box without me asking him to. I never thought I'd find romance in cat litter, yet here I am.
4. Sweet little nothings.
It's the little things, people. I mean it! Being the emotional woman that I am, there have been many of times that I've teared up when my husband showed up with my favorite candy or left me a love letter. He works 12+ hour days, comes home to work on our new house, and still puts our marriage as a priority. Just knowing that he spends a little time to do a sweet little nothing for me, just melts my heart every single time.
5. Making decisions together.
Transitioning from the single life into the married life means that you're no longer making decisions alone. This isn't always easy, especially for women who have a dominant personality or who are used to being the sole decision makers in their own life. Putting WE before ME means that most decisions should be made as a couple. You're now a team. Even the annoying “what's for dinner” decision will likely be made together. I personally never thought I'd be asking someone else what I should do in certain situations. Especially when I already have my mind made up. Giving your partner an input in your decision making not only makes them feel involved but it allows you to be a little bit more vulnerable than you'd be with other people. This ultimately makes you feel like an WE instead of a ME.
6. Choosing your battles wisely.
Putting your marriage first means letting go of your stubborn ego. It means giving in even when you're passionate. Sometimes, it even means apologizing when you don't really feel like you were wrong. It means biting your tongue and stopping yourself from nagging.
There's no room for an ego in love.
Give in, don't give up. If you really feel like the situation needs to be discussed further, wait until things have calmed down. Then, bring the subject up in a more gentle way that you know you're partner will respond to. Don't forget that you know your partner better than anyone in this world. You know their love language, so use that to your advantage when choosing your battles. And remember, not everything needs to be discussed in depth. Sometimes, you just have to let it go because not every battle is worth fighting. Isn't love and marriage so much nicer when there isn't tension in the air? Your marriage is far more important than proving a point.
7. Really listening.
Electronics have taught us to not fully listen to anyone anymore. We're so involved in social media, video games, and the television that we don't give our full attention to anything. If my husband walked into my office to talk to me right now, I probably would only half-listen to him. We're all guilty of this. However, it's important that you do take the time to talk to your spouse. Unplug for a little bit, put your phone away, turn off the TV, close your laptop, and really listen. Give him/her direct eye contact. Ask questions. Involve yourself in an actual conversation! *GASPS*
My husband and I are not even close to perfect. We are both guilty of staring at our phones instead of really listening to the other. However, I can proudly say that my husband makes the time to really listen to my stories. He involves himself in my life to the full extent. He gives his input when I vent about “drama”. He listens to me go on and on about my favorite TV shows and he even asks questions about my blog. We talk about everything. He knows more about me and my life than anyone in the world. I wouldn't have it any other way. There is no ME without WE.
8. Being involved.
Being involved goes right along with really listening to your partner. Insert yourself into different areas of his/her life. Participate in their favorite hobbies. Tag along during a sport's event. If he's having a guy's night in, make the guys snacks and BS with them a little bit. Be involved in his every day life as much as he allows you to be. Whether that means mingling with his coworkers or planning a spa day with his mom, it's important to be involved in all areas of you partner's life – even if it makes you uncomfortable. This will bring you closer as a couple and will give you some more stories to tell later on.
How are you putting ME before WE in your marriage? Tell me in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! I hope these marriage tips helped you a little bit. Be sure to read them to your partner or, for a less direct approach, share them on Facebook. Maybe he/she will get the hint!
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