Photo: Getty Images
Fawn Weaver is The New York Times bestselling author of The Argument-Free Marriage and the founder of the Happy Wives Club, a community of one million women dedicated to shining a positive spotlight on marriage. Here, she reveals the secret to happy first year of marriage.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret: The secret to keeping your first year of marriage happy and free of arguments is not really a secret at all.
Creating a marriage in which love reigns supreme and arguments are shown the front door is easier than you may think. But let's be real. The merging of two lives is no easy feat. Combining two distinctly different personalities under one roof can oftentimes be a challenge. But there is one surefire way to accomplish both in your first year of marriage, and every year thereafter, and that's by doing this one big thing: Stick to the original emotion.
Think about the last time you got upset. I mean, really upset. It may have been at your spouse-to-be or someone else you love. Now, that you've got that thought in your mind, hold it there for a second but don't allow yourself to get upset all over again. That would defeat the purpose. Let's talk about it. What was the original emotion you felt? I'm talking about what you felt, not what was said. If the emotion that came to mind was rooted anger...let's go back a little further. What was the vulnerable emotion you felt? Was it hurt? Disappointment? Fear? Sadness? It is the vulnerable emotion that is always your original emotion. Unfortunately, what many couples do, especially in their first year of marriage, is rather than speaking from a place of honesty, they cover up their vulnerable emotions with more aggressive, defensive responses. They quickly go from hurt to angry, from sad to mad, from disappointed to vengeful, and from fearful to ready-to-fight.
So how do you keep that from happening to you? Rather than speaking angrily or saying words you may later regret, remind yourself how amazing your spouse is (I'm assuming they are because you had millions to choose from and you chose only one) and calmly say how you feel. Be honest and say things like, "What you just said hurt me and here's why..."
In your first year of marriage, if you want to keep it filled with bliss, make a habit of doing this one thing. If you feel yourself getting frustrated with your spouse, and believe me at times you will, just pause for a moment and look inwardly to find the original emotion. Then speak to your spouse from that honest place.
For more of Fawn's expert marriage advice, pick up her new book The Argument-Free Marriage available now at Amazon.