Why The Honeymoon Stage Is So Important In A New Marriage (Plus How To Rekindle It Down The Road)
You’ve spent months planning a beautiful wedding, dealing with mothers, mother-in-laws, flowers, bands, and dresses. Now you’ve exchanged vows and had a beautiful wedding and honeymoon. Now what? In a new marriage, the honeymoon stage is very important to share and experience with your partner.
The honeymoon stage can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, and even some research shows up to 8 years. During the honeymoon stage, your brain chemistry is altered temporarily to aid in your ability to focus on each other and your relationship. You can use this time effectively by focusing on your similarities, being curious about each other in this new stage of life, and taking time for each other.
Three Stages of Love
Dr. Gottman, founder of Gottman Couples Therapy, describes three stages of love which can help you solidify the foundation. The first phase, Dr. Gottman called, Falling in Love, which is usually described as the honeymoon stage.
In the first phase, many people ignore signs and issues that they should address because they are focused on those “feel good” hormones.
During the second phase, building trust, you can help the honeymoon period last with a few essential keys. First, you should be careful to have the ratio of 5 positive interactions to 1 negative interaction. You can build trust in your relationship by showing your spouse that you have their back, hear their pain and listen to them.
The third phase, building commitment and loyalty, can help you build a culture of gratitude and appreciation, deepen your love and ensure fairness and balance in your new marriage.
As you move through the honeymoon stage, focus on successfully moving through these three phases to ensure a safe and secure new marriage.
5 Ways To Rekindle Your Marriage
As you move out of the early part of your marriage, life will return to “normal” and paying bills, changing diapers, and doing chores may become commonplace. Oftentimes, you may be so busy that you want to put your marriage on “cruise control”. However, you need to focus on your relationship to ensure it will thrive.
Use these 5 simple activities to rekindle your marriage:
- Ask yourself: How can you create a newness in your marriage? Is there a new activity that you can perform together? A new hobby you can do together? When you create a sense of newness and excitement in your marriage you can maintain the sense of connection.
- Time Away: Time away together is a great way to renew and refresh your relationship. If you do not have children, getting away may not seem important, but new surroundings and not having to cook, can reenergize couples and create fun memories. If you do have children, see if you can find a babysitter or family/friend that can keep your kids (offer to swap in a few weeks) so you can have alone time without kids crying, yelling or knocking on your door. Think about-Is there a small vacation or get away that you can both take?
- Surprises: If your partner likes surprises, think of something they would enjoy doing and plan the entire outing or if it’s a gift they would enjoy, buy them the item.
- In-Home Dates-Some couples can’t or don’t like leaving their home, so that describes you, then think of activities, games, or movies your partner would enjoy. Next week, for fairness, you should be able to pick the activity, game or movie to watch. You can also listen to a podcast together and discuss it, or take dance lessons together via YouTube in the living room.
- Take the 7 Day Challenge-Every day say 5 positive things to your spouse. Here’s some examples of the 5 positive things: say something positive about how they look, what they did that was meaningful, caring or loving towards you, how they helped you, what you love about them and/or a compliment. Bottom line-find something positive and tell them throughout the day or if it’s easier, pick a set time to tell each other 5 positive things.
You can activate or reactivate the honeymoon stage by learning how to remain connected and create a sense of security. You can learn how 5 simple activities can rekindle your marriage when things return back to “normal”.
Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a licensed counselor in the state of Maryland and Virginia. She is a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist and PACT Level 3 Candidate. To find out more about improving communication in marriage, reach out for a 30 minute free private consultation today.