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No marriage is perfect — not even newlyweds Brangelina. "I don't believe in 'perfect' relationships or perfect anything," says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband).
So with that out of the way, let's get into the nitty-gritty. We went to the experts to find out the four most common mistakes every newlywed faces, and how you can void them:
1. Talking about everything — except the important stuff.
"It's a good idea to put potential issues on the table right away so you can find solutions that work for both," says Syrtash. Think about setting up family boundaries before you wed, for example, rather than waiting until your first Thanksgiving, confused and fighting over who will cook the turkey. Also tackle talks on debt, kids and career plans, as uncomfortable as they may be.
2. Thinking that happily-ever-after exists with one person, under one roof.
"If you depend on one person to sustain you until death do you part, that's a ticket to divorce," says Iris Krasnow, author of The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes To Stay Married. "A marriage that runs on multiple tracks makes for a happier wife who gets to have it both ways — a committed marriage and adventures in uncharted territory." So even though you'll be tempted to soak up as much time with your new spouse as possible, don't let your hobbies go to the wayside.
3. Letting date nights die away.
"Part of the work of relationships is keeping the play alive," Syrtash says. Make an effort to get out of your home once a week for a date-night adventure. It doesn't need to be expensive or fancy, but simply something to break you out of complacency. Take turns planning nights out so neither one of you becomes overwhelmed by the responsibility each week.
4. Forgetting about your girlfriends.
"The wives with the highest marital satisfaction have a tight circle of warm women friends with whom to regale in girls nights outs," Krasnow says. "Girlfriends infuse our lives with confidence, laughter and a clearer sense of self, helping us become the best partners possible in our intimate relationships. Our girlfriends also provide the escape hatch when the inevitable hurdles arise in a new marriages, as honeymoon perfection turns into the grind of everyday life, dealing with bills, snoopy in-laws, cranky moods after long days at work."
And remember, even if you read this and still find yourself in the middle of these mistakes, that's normal. "Mistakes are a good opportunity to learn more about your partner and your partnership," Syrtash says. "It's a big life step to merge lives with someone, so inevitably, you're going to hit a few bumps along the way."