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You’ve just met the one and are now happily married. Congratulations! You are starting a new chapter of wonderful experiences for your life. But before you start thinking too much about house shopping, baby talk, and finances, devote some time to consider what your marriage will really mean in your life, and how you can keep it strong despite any negative outside influences.
Allow People Some Time to Get Used to the Idea
Most people in your life will be instantly happy for you, while others might seem to be against your union at first. This negativity can hurt, especially when you just want your friends to support you. Keep in mind that when someone important in your life just can’t seem to share your bliss, it might be a sign of something they’re dealing with in their own life. Maybe they are secretly jealous of your happiness because they’re in a bad marriage, or have yet to meet the right person.
Other people just don’t like change in any form, and expect your friendship to stay the same – meaning that you’ll always be single and available to them whenever they feel like going out. Give your friends the benefit of the doubt in the beginning and allow them some time to absorb your new “married” status.
Ask Your Nay Sayers to Explain Themselves
Once you’ve given your more apprehensive friends time to adjust to the idea of your marriage, you may have a few that still can’t seem to be happy for you. This can be hurtful and disappointing, especially when you’ve been a loyal friend to them. Trust that your friends care about you, and ask them directly why they can’t just be supportive. If they give you a valid reason (you’ve suddenly taken up gambling, you drink too much when you’re with this person, you don’t care about your job anymore), consider their concern and answer appropriately.
Make a Stand With Those Out to Sabotage
Weddings are times when the true nature of friendships come out. Those happy for you will do everything they can to ensure you have a great day. Those that still can’t be happy for you, however, may resort to tactics close to sabotage to cause problems between you and your mate. Again, ask these people to explain their behavior to determine if they have a valid concern.
If, however, they can’t seem to give you a real answer, or say things like: “I’m just being protective,” “I don’t feel like I know him well enough,” or “you just haven’t spent enough time with me since you got engaged,” be wary that your friend may never be on your side. These excuses all have one thing in common: they mention your friend and not you. In other words, some people are all about them, even when it’s your marriage and your happiness. While you want to make sure you give your friends the benefit of the doubt, you need to make it clear that you expect their support.
Strengthen the Bonds With Your Support Network
There are going to be challenging times in any marriage, so surround yourselves with people who are positive influences on your life. Strengthen same sex friendships and bonds with like-minded couples. Understand the damage infidelity or an emotional affair will do to your union. Spend time with people who understand where you’re coming from, and want the best for your life.
Seek Your Family’s Support
Your parents should be a help to you during the time of your new marriage. After all, they once dealt with some of the same issues you’ll now be dealing with. But sometimes the addition of a new person can magnify negative issues that have been around for several years in a family. Some family members feel threatened when new people arrive, and may try to get the rest of the family against the new person, even before anyone can get to know them.
Allow some time for family members to adjust, but remember, there’s never a reason for anyone to be mean or nasty. You need to confront these people in a loving way, and if they still behave poorly, distance yourself from them until you can all talk like civilized people.
New Marriage, New Family
When you and your spouse get married, you start your own new family. Even if it’s just the two of you, it’s important to develop your own traditions. You might have a different preference as to how you’d like your family run, compared to the way you were brought up. While you want to please the other people in your life, it’s still your life. Be respectful and make every effort to blend families and unions. Remember that if people truly love you, they’ll support you and not cause negativity during this happy time. Take care of your new marriage and safeguard your new family. Doing so will strengthen the bond between you and your new spouse, and any family you have ever after.