The Honeymoon’s Over, Now What?

The Honeymoon's Over, Photo by Charlie Foster

Dear Selfless Esteem,
I’ve been married for about a year. I thought my spouse and I were compatible, but it looks like we’re the complete opposite. Is there a way for us to stop arguing about everything, or did I marry the wrong person?

Signed,
The Honeymoon’s Over

Dear The Honeymoon’s Over,

Most likely, you didn’t “marry the wrong person” because the honeymoon phase ends in every marriage. During the courtship, people are usually on their best behavior because they’re hoping another person will fulfill their needs. Then after a commitment is made, people unrealistically and unwittingly expect the other person to meet all of their needs.😓

After the honeymoon phase, the contrasting qualities, which people admired in each other during the courtship, start to cause problems and power struggles. To complicate matters further, people subconsciously try to heal childhood wounds through their relationship with their spouse.

The Honeymoon's Over

I encourage you to try to work through this stage of your marriage by using the following four steps. But safety first: if there’s any kind of domestic abuse or a threat of abuse, I advise you to have a safety plan, including emergency numbers, such as 911 for imminent danger. The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) can link you to domestic violence help centers, shelters, or legal aid agencies. (See “Domestic Abuse Victim Is On the Fence.”)

1. Prayer

The Bible defines love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. For example, it states that love is neither selfish nor irritable, yet that’s our human nature when we don’t get our way. (Have you ever witnessed two toddlers fighting over a toy? They’d battle till the bitter end if no one stops them.) Ask God for help, and He will give you the resources you need (Matthew 7:7). God, who is love, (1 John 4:8), can help us love each other.

In fact, no one can love us as much as God does. Spend time with Him in prayer and receive His unconditional love. For more details, see the posts, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”

The Honeymoon's Over

2. Therapy

Find a competent marriage therapist to help you support each other and communicate effectively. At the same time, find a quality individual therapist to guide you in identifying your needs, expressing your emotions, and exploring any correlation with your childhood or past relationships. (See the posts, “What is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP.”)

3. Humility

Looking for love

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). Humility in a marriage means being considerate of each other. Beware of any form of pride, which sabotages relationships. Instead, show kindness and forgiveness.

1 Peter 4:8 commands us to love each other fervently because love covers “a multitude of sins.” In other words, when love is the priority, our differences and imperfections become secondary. As a result, we can listen to each other objectively and validate each other’s feelings. (You may also be interested in the posts “4 Ideas to Revive Your Marriage and “How To Address Problems with Your Spouse the Right Way,””

4. Self-Care

Dischord is so stressful. Be sure to take care of yourself. Besides, if you’re more relaxed, you may have more patience with your spouse and be less prone to argue. For more details, see the post, “6 Effective Ways to Manage Stress.”

I close with “All of Me” by John Legend to inspire you to love each other just as you are and grow together. As you do, your relationship will reach another level you could not have imagined.💗

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  1. TC

    Really loved that you mentioned the role that childhood trauma/household dynamics can play in our adult relationships-so true! I enjoy that “All of me” song as well, was a pleasant surprise to see the reference 😊

    1. Gina Leggio

      Yes, that’s a great song! Thanks for your comment. It’s true that people bring their backgrounds and the style of communication they learned in their family of origin to the relationship. When couples become cognizant of that, they can begin to understand each other better.

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