Q&A: Making our marital relationship work

Q: I recently got married – and my new husband and I are feeling a little overwhelmed. Even in just a few short weeks, life together isn’t quite measuring up to what we anticipated. Is this normal? We both really want to make this relationship work.

A: Being a newlywed can be scary. No matter how strong your relationship with your spouse, the lofty expectations you had before the wedding rarely match the reality after you say “I do.” 

A couple had a rough time early in their marriage. The husband had come from a broken home with no male role models, and the wife was dealing with depression. If not for counselling and help from their friends, they might have withered on the vine.

That’s why it’s so important for young couples to have “marriage mentors” in their lives. Quite simply, these are older couples with years of experience under their belts. They can offer wise counsel to young couples who might be feeling uncertain and overwhelmed.

Some newlyweds come from stable families, and might see their own parents as potential marriage mentors. However, mums and dads don’t always have the objectivity to offer unbiased advice. According to Doctors Les and Leslie Parrott, a marriage mentor is not a mother or a father or a close friend. Marriage mentors are not “on call” for every crisis, they don’t have perfect marriages themselves, and they aren’t know-it-alls. Rather, they’re friendly acquaintances who can model a healthy relationship and offer insights when needed.

We hope you’ll take the time to seek out marriage mentors. And a word to the “old pros” reading this – it’s worth seeking out a younger couple with whom you can share openly about the joys and challenges of a lifelong commitment. You just might learn something in the process.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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