Now you are married, having a whole new relationship to explore can be daunting as well as exciting. You have the chance to start a wonderful new life, but questions about sex on the wedding night, and sharing a house with someone who is a relative stranger, may be praying on your mind.
To help you to get to know your spouse — and make sure your marriage gets off to a happy and positive start — hitched has lots of tips to help you adjust to your new life together.
Whether you met your spouse before the wedding, or they are a completely new person in your life, a marriage that your family has arranged is bound to be different to that of a couple who fell in love before they were betrothed. But that doesn’t mean that a love match is always easy; all couples have good times and bad, however they met and married. It pays to remember this as you begin your arranged marriage.
Face your Fears
For many couples in arranged marriages, sharing your personal space with a relatively unknown partner is difficult to start with. You also have a new family to deal with, and that isn’t always easy. But with each day that passes you will get to know your husband or wife — and their family — a little better. The chances are that you are both feeling unsettled by the situation, but take the time, and make the effort, to get acquainted. Rather than avoiding each other, try to interact as much as you can. By getting to know each other better, the happier you will feel.
Take it Slow
It is impossible to expect a new relationship to blossom immediately; it takes time to get to know one another and discover each other’s personalities. If you are frustrated because you feel awkward around each other, don’t be tempted to rush things — it’s not something that can be forced. Time will help you to become more comfortable every day and form a healthy bond that can grow even stronger as your marriage progresses.
Prepare to Compromise
In the early days of an arranged marriage, you might be snappy with each other, or make unrealistic demands around the house. Marriage is a time for compromise and you both need to set boundaries. Communication is so important. Arrange to have an honest discussion about your likes and dislikes at home; who is going to do what around the house, and any ground rules about each other’s behaviour that you wish to establish. This might not sound romantic — but romance can come later. Learning to love one another is much easier if you have a harmonious home.
Find a Support Network
Rather than spending less time with trusted friends and family members now that you are married, you may need them just as much as before — more in some cases. While you are still getting to know your partner, a process that could take months or even years, you may need your emotional needs to be fulfilled outside the home. Having someone to confide in is really important; just make sure you explain this to your husband or wife so they understand why you continue to seek support from others. Point out that having a support network takes the pressure off your spouse and will allow the emotional bond within your marriage to develop naturally.
Focus on the Positives
When you embark upon an arranged marriage, you know that you have to learn to love your spouse — so rather than focusing on little problems or irritations that don’t really matter in the long run, focus on their positive qualities. It may help to keep a diary and note down the kind or loving things they do, or even make a list of the qualities you really like about them. And when your spouse does something kind or loving, show them how much you appreciate it rather than taking it for granted. If they can see that their actions make you happy, they are more likely to keep up the good work!
Be Honest About Sex
For most modern couples in arranged marriages, sex is something that should happen naturally, once you have got to know each other and feel comfortable enough to take the plunge. If your partner insists on wedding night sex, but you are not happy to go ahead, be honest about it; it won’t get your marriage off to a good start if you sleep with your spouse against your will. If you are attracted to each other immediately, sex may happen spontaneously on the wedding night — and there is certainly nothing wrong with that! But if you have reservations about sharing your bed with your spouse straight away, it is much better to confront the issue as soon as you are alone and explain that you would like to enjoy a period of courtship before you have sex.
Let Love Grow
Love is the goal of every marriage and an arranged marriage is no different. “Love at first sight” may not happen — but that’s nothing to worry about. Many couples who fell in love before they got married knew each other as friends or colleagues before love started to blossom. It may take time, but eventually love will grow. One of you may start to feel the stirrings of love before the other, so prepare to be patient. If you fall in love with your partner but your feelings aren’t reciprocated at first, work out how you can earn his/her love. If they declare their love before you are ready, gently ask them to be patient; if you show kindness and understanding towards them it will protect their feelings and they will appreciate that.