After a happy and successful four years together, we compiled our uncommon marriage advice (along with action items) for newlyweds.
Most of these marriage tips for newlyweds were picked up from family, friends, our research, or experience.
On our wedding day, we asked guests to share words of advice for us as newlyweds in Chinese wishing pots. We recently read our one year anniversary advice, so we’ll share the list of quotes for marriage advice at the end of the article.
Read on for our uncommon marriage advice to newlyweds.
marriage advice for newlyweds
1. Pull your weight around the house
Dividing labor is essential for married couples. Share the responsibility to keep the house clean, plants watered, refrigerator stocked, and meals on the table. Make a plan together and ignore traditional gender labels.
Dividing labor in your new family is such simple advice to newlyweds. In our experience, it’s simple to do, and simple not to do. Divvy up tasks and check in frequently to make sure both parties are pulling their weight.
2. Speak your partner’s Love Language
Did you know that pulling your weight around the house could be a great way to show your spouse love? This is our best advice for newlyweds: know your partner’s love language and speak it daily.
Your partner’s love language can change. Therefore, retake the quiz when you experience a major life change like a move, child birth, or new job.
When we left our corporate engineering jobs to travel, Alex’s love language changed from Quality Time to Acts of Service. After retaking the quiz together, Ryan started making the bed daily to show Alex love.
3. Have financial discussions and budget
Talk about money together. These marriage words of wisdom are critically important for newlyweds. Money is the top marriage stressor.
Have financial discussions and create a plan for how you will spend, save, and earn. We created a joint account for bills, food, and travel but kept our individual accounts for play money and retirement savings.
In addition, spending secrets are not allowed. These are important words of advice for newlyweds. Decide on the maximum amount one can spend without consulting the other.
Talk about who is the saver and the spender. Put the saver (Alex in our Duo) in charge of the budget. Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.
Did you know that saving 20% could allow you to retire in about 40 years while saving 65% makes retirement feasible in 10 years? More on our finance thoughts in our Couple’s Finance Guide.
4. Always support each other
Never put-down or argue with each other in front of friends, family, or colleagues.
Furthermore, do not criticize or complain about your spouse to others. Instead, when there is a challenge in the relationship talk about it. As newlyweds, you’re a family, and family has to come first.
We heard this marriage advice from numerous married couples early in our marriage. We continuously focus on supporting, respecting, and honoring each other both in private and public.
When a complaint arises, pick a time when you will have these more challenging discussions. Confrontation before bed, or in the heat of the moment is not productive.
For us, we chose to have these talks together during our morning coffee ritual.
5. Be healthy together
This marriage advice for newlyweds is vital. The first year of marriage is the time to set the foundation for a healthy family. To have the best marriage, you have to be your best selves.
Eating the healthiest foods is a great start. For example, one study from the University of Warwick shows that “happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.”
Our favorite advice to newlyweds, is to work out together. It’s the most critical marriage tip for newlyweds based on our experience working with hundreds of couples.
We’d love to help you and your spouse level up your healthy lifestyle. If you are the betting type, sign up for our Couple’s Clean Week Bet to focus on your fitness and nutrition as a couple for 7 days.
Working out together at-home has been game-changer for our fitness and relationship. For best results and convenience, we highly recommend Beachbody On Demand.
6. Date night movies as a form of couple’s therapy
Did you know that certain date night movies can cut your chance of divorce in half?
Research from the University of Rochester found that movies that spark meaningful conversations can be as effective as marriage counseling. Pertinent questions asked include:
What did you like and dislike about how the couple resolved their problem?
What did you like and dislike about how the couple communicated their feelings?
Not all movies are created equal, and their research shows what the most effective films are. We share a list of best movies for married couples and the science behind the research in the below article.
While this is uncommon marriage advice for newlyweds, kick back and indulge in some good movies and good conversations. Science proves it will better your marriage!
7. When you celebrate go big
When it’s time to celebrate a birthday, anniversary (wedding, dating, first kiss… all the anniversaries), graduation, or work accomplishment, go big!
Actions speak louder than words. Just because you sealed the deal, doesn’t mean you can slide;)
The most meaningful way to celebrate is through gifting experiences, planning a surprise vacation/staycation, or cooking a new recipe together at home.
Our highlight celebrations were Ryan’s 30th birthday party in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Alex’s 30th birthday summiting Volcano Lanín, for instance.
As aspiring minimalists, our favorite piece of marriage advice for newlyweds is to collect memories, not material goods. This will make you much happier in the long run.
8. Say “I love you” way too much
As previously mentioned, actions speak louder than words. However, the more you say these words the more meaningful they become.
Send texts, leave notes hidden in their luggage, or make a toast at dinner and say “I love you” to your spouse.
Here’s the most simple marriage advice ever: Never go to bed without saying these magic words.
9. Experience new things together
When you experience new things your body releases feel-good hormones. And, when you experience new things with your spouse your brain associates the good feelings with them.
For us, new experiences keep the child inside of us alive. Having fun and creating memories together is what fuels relationship growth. Variety is the spice of life, so look for new activities to try together.
For example, our favorite new experience has been backpacking trips. Backpacking is one of many hobbies for couples that we started after our wedding.
Don’t tell, but we actually took some money from our “dream home” wedding gift fund. Our tent was our dream home at the time.
10. How you argue determines your fate
Dr. Gottman, a leading relationship scientist and founder of The Gottman Institute, can predict with 90% accuracy if a relationship will succeed or fail.
How does he do this? His research found that there are four strong predictors of relationship failure: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling, which he coins ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.’
All couples have fights, and arguing is a healthy part of a healthy relationship. However, how we respond and react to conflict is even more important than the issue itself.
As long as arguments are done constructively and supportively, you can add years to your marriage.
One of the most important pieces of marriage advice for newlyweds that we can give is to be aware of how you act and react to arguments.
Take two minutes to watch this short video from The Gottman Institute on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
11. Check-in often
Regularly ask the question, “How can I be a better spouse?” If there is no answer, great! However, when there is an answer, make a plan to resolve any issues.
For example, we recently had a chat because one of us kept interrupting the other while they were talking. So, we devised a code word to let them know when this happened which helped to solve it.
Our final piece of advice to newlyweds is to be problem solvers. Find creative ways to help each other improve.
Next time you check in with you spouse take a look at these questions every couple should ask before marriage. It’s important to revisit these important questions.
12. Don’t be afraid of making decisions, nothing is irreversible
We have discussed dividing chores evenly already, but there are more things in life that also necessitate division. Such as how much time will you spend with each side’s family? Or where should we live?
These questions often come to some sort of compromise that may or may not make everyone happy. The truth is, that’s sometimes how life is.
So don’t despair, and know nothing is irreversible. We have friends who have bought and sold homes and moved across the world. We also have friends who have tried living in their spouse’s hometown, but ultimately decided to move.
You’re never ‘tied down’ when you’re with the person you love.
If there’s a question that you can never agree to answer, don’t sweat it. Or if the same argument comes up, again and again, without resolution, that’s okay.
All you can do is make the best decision with the information you’ve got. And remember this marriage advice for newlyweds: you can always change it later.
13. Journal and share memories
As newlyweds, you have great memories from dating and your first year of marriage. So, at dinner, before bed, while working out together, and whenever you’re reminded of them, reminisce.
One way we capture and share our memories together is through GoPro video. We document all of our travels on our YouTube Channel, and each year we make a best of video for our Anniversary.
You can learn about documenting your adventures with our free guide on how to make GoPro videos.
Our best marriage advice for newlyweds is to write nightly in the Q&A a Day: 3 Year Journal for 2 People. We love this journal. It’s an amazing way to connect before bed and it becomes highly entertaining in year two when you can look back on past entries.
14. Make big life changes, often
Getting married is one of the biggest life changes you can make! So what do we mean by this piece of marriage advice?
As you know, our brains are amazing at consolidating effort and creating a routine to make life easier. That’s why we can drive to work without remembering how we drove there. Our brains put us on autopilot.
The problem happens when our brains do this for longer periods of time.
If our days, weeks, months, and years are too similar, they’ll start to blur together. Our brains will save space by categorizing life into “phases” — like those five years Ryan worked as a diaper glue engineer in a corporate office (true story).
Fortunately, it’s not hard to change this.
Cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists say it’s more about creating memories than the actual passage of time.
While there’s no doubt that this year will always be remembered as the year of the pandemic (and hopefully this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing), make sure each month or year after this remains unique.
Whether that means becoming vegetarian, selling your TV, or going all-in to better your relationship with our 365-day program for couples, Just Duo It, adding variety and intent creates lasting memories.
15. Make more deposits than withdrawals into your relationship
The Gottman Institute, a renowned relationship research center, describes everyone as having an “emotional bank account.” This concept is similar to Dr. Chapman’s “love tank” from the bestseller, The 5 Love Languages, but focuses on the dynamic between deposits and withdrawals.
Dr. Gottman’s studies found that for every negative interaction (aka a withdrawal from your emotional bank account), it takes five positive deposits to make up for it.
The best way to make deposits is by consistent, daily acts of love. This not only leaves a buffer when a withdrawal is made, but research shows people prefer daily positive actions to sporadic, over the top pronouncements of love.
So, that vacation every spring is great, but more important are your daily actions. So, our final words of wedding advice wisdom is to focus on being loving and nice, as often as you can. Simple, right?
Our Proven Tools for Healthy Couples
Based on our research and experience, these are our proven tools to optimize your relationship.
Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, and games for healthy couples.
Marriage advice from our wedding attendees
Wishing pots are an ancient Chinese tradition where you invite good luck, fortune, and wishes for the future. The wishes are handwritten on a small piece of paper, and placed into the pot.
It’s believed that the wishes grow and manifest inside of the pots, and can even be helped along by decorating the pots with meaningful charms and placing them in an auspicious location.
For our wedding, we set up four wishing pots and asked our guests share wishes and marriage advice. Each pot was labeled with a different wedding anniversary date — 1, 10, 25, and 50 — for when we would open them.
Below are the best marriage advice and wishes we received. If you are planning your wedding speech or looking for positive marriage quotes, read our article ‘50 Inspirational Marriage Quotes About Love and Relationships.’
Wishing Pot Wishes for Our First Wedding Anniversary
Below, we share our favorite marriage advice quotes from our 1 year wishing pot. Most of these marriage advice quotes are from married couples. I guess our single friends and family were occupied with the open bar and dance floor.
“We wish that you love each other even more than today, the day you say I DO!”
“You’re no longer newlyweds, but I hope you still live every day as vicariously as the first day you met.”
“We wish you a year of discovery and new things.”
“One year… Good work but the best is yet to come. Wish you health, happiness, and a beautiful family in the years to come.”
“Remember… what’s important.”
“My wish to you is that you always cherish, love, and find happiness within one another. You’re both so loved.”
“One year, easy-peasy. Keep on loving.”
“We wish you congratulations again if you made one year — it’s the toughest one! We love you.”
“This was the year of travel, thrills, and knowing each other. Wow this year went fast! Never give up and always love each other.”
“May every milestone of your first year make your love deeper.”
“Happy first anniversary, Ryan and Alex! I hope you are still basking in the joy of your beautiful wedding celebration one year ago. We all had a ball! All our love and blessings.”
“One year?! I can’t wait to see what this year of adventure brings. My wish is that today, no matter what the days leading up to it have brought, is that you still mean in admiration when you look at each other. It is infectious! Lots of love!”
“Keep the honeymoon going!”
“I hope you take time to remember your wonderful and fun wedding day. I wish you so much love, happiness, adventure, and joy for your second year.”
“My hope is that you are enjoying reminiscing, discussing, and reliving all the happy memories of your beautiful wedding day (and Ryan is singing the song for Alex!). Cheers to your health, happiness, and beautiful partnership!”
“You two are amazing! Continue to laugh often and have fun together. Marriage is the best!”
“We wish for your adventures in life to be everything that you dreamed and hoped for.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed these marriage advice quotes and our 10 best marriage tips for newlyweds. Please share your best marriage advice in the comments.
The Healthy Couples Bundle
A decade of experience, hundreds of hours of research and testing, and over 50,000 words of wisdom condensed into one PDF.
Our proven tools and strategies to optimize your relationship.
Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.
Join our 120,000 monthly readers
Receive our newsletter bringing healthy couples practical tips and life-changing ideas based on science.
As engineers, we know these to be true:
1. What gets tracked, gets improved
2. If you fail to plan, plan to fail
Therefore, when you join, you get our Goals and Habits Bundle to track and plan your best 2022.