Commencement: Now that you are married…

Congratulations! You’ve made it through a very stressful time in life—planning your wonderful wedding. So you are back from a lovely honeymoon and now what? Here are some tips and suggestions for how to start off your first year married together with grace and vision and joy.

Give yourself a break. First off, you may find that you are struggling with post-big-event letdown. Please know that you are not alone in that feeling. Check out my article, Post-Wedding Blues Bringing You Down? for some tips to help lessen your blues. Don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t sure what to do now that your wedding is over and you are married. Change can be very exciting—and difficult. Be kind and give yourself time to adjust to you new life.

Be present to your new partner in life. The first year of marriage, and every year for that matter, provides you such a wonderful opportunity. You have an opportunity to create a life together that is better and fuller than one by yourself. By really listening to everything that your partner has to say—by being present—you will lessen miscommunications and get to understand your partner better. Set aside time when you both can talk without interruptions or distractions. Perhaps in the whirlwind of wedding planning, you quickly agreed to things because they didn’t seem all that important. And possibly they weren’t all that important in the long run—you know, decisions like shall we go with gray or blue for the invitations? Yes, some of your future decisions will be small ones like color choices, but more often they are big decisions that need your undivided attention. The more you are present to each other every day, the less likely you will be caught off guard when some new issue comes up.

Practice dancing with your new partner. I don’t mean dancing as in ballroom dancing—though that is also great. Now that you are hitched, you might find that you are so used to being on your own and making your own choices that you bump into your partner. It takes practice to coordinate and dance with someone smoothly. Practice makes perfect so practice your new relationship. Practice taking the lead. Practice following. Practice compromising when you come to an impasse. Remember that you are unique individuals and you won’t always agree on everything. Treat this as a lifetime of practicing to dance with each other and you will learn and grow together.

Commencement means honoring your accomplishment. When we graduate from school, we have commencement to recognize the degree we achieved. We celebrate with public graduation parties. In a similar way, you just graduated from wedding school to commence—i.e. begin—your married life. And so you celebrated and honored this new chapter of your life with your wedding reception. But even though you just had a really big public celebration, there is always room for more celebrating. (Of course I am a celebrant so I am inclined to believe that celebrating is welcome anytime.) Nonetheless the kind of celebration I am referring to is something more private. Privately, you can honor what you and your spouse are stepping into together. Take the time to revere the new family you are creating together—regardless of whether you have or will have children. Your future is forever changed because of your vows to be together. What an honor you are bestowing upon each other. Let each other know how big and important this event has been for you. Let it truly sink in. Own it, honor it, and celebrate your commencement.

XOXO Rachel

Published by Rachel Mueller-Lust

I'm a writer, executive & life coach, wedding officiant & Life-Cycle Celebrant®, psychologist, media researcher and teacher. I explore language, relationship & connection, living a fulfilling life and the beauty & wonder of the world.

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