Just weeks after our wedding, my husband and I were introduced as “the newlyweds” to a visiting priest at our local church. To our surprise, he turned his attention back to us during his homily that morning. By emphasizing the qualities of newlywed life, he encouraged us—and every married couple in the sanctuary—to embody the spirit of newlyweds through every stage of married life.
Oftentimes, the first weeks of marriage are defined as a “honeymoon phase,” when the innocent novelty of married life outweighs the demanding responsibilities of daily life.
As time passes beyond the wedding day, small transformations begin to unfold:
The honeymoon pictures collect dust in an album.
The groom’s ring acquires its first scratch.
New friends only know you by your married name.
You notice the idiosyncrasies of your spouse for the first time.
The laundry piles up, bills come in the mail, and careers gain momentum.
In Beginning your Marriage, a ‘Catholic marriage manual,’ the author observes, “Familiarity between wife and husband can dampen enthusiasm. Daily routine can clog lines of communication.”
Although familiarity and daily routine can pull couples out of newlywed enthusiasm, building deeper intimacy through a growing familiarity over time can be an invitation for infinite joy.
Establishing an attitude grounded in prayer, gratitude, and a sense of humor can help create a foundation to maintain the spirit of newlyweds throughout the monotony of routine and the emotional ups and downs of family life.
Every detail of your vocation is a gift to you from God. Prayer is a means for God to speak into those details of your life, showing you the beauty he has in store in every cup of coffee, speck of dust, idiosyncrasy or load of laundry. If routine has clogged intimacy in your marriage, turn your heart to prayer and ask for renewed enthusiasm and connection through the gift of vocation.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude turns our hearts to receptivity. When we can look at our lives and say, “thank you,” we receive all life’s circumstances with hope. The virtue of hope renews our strength, trust, and joy. Whether you bring gratitudes to mind independently or in conversation with your spouse, a grateful perspective has the power to reignite the newlywed spirit of joyful surrender in your marriage.
Sense of Humor
A sense of humor and the ability to laugh with your partner is a gift, a skill, and a tool for authentic joy. We most easily laugh at ourselves when we don’t take life too seriously because we surrender our hearts to trust in God’s providence. Of course, this does not include decisions or circumstances which must be discerned with prayer and thoughtfulness. Create opportunities to be playful with your spouse, give yourself permission to laugh at the little surprises of daily life, and celebrate the many transformations of your shared lives with a light-hearted joy.
To embody the spirit of newlyweds beyond the honeymoon phase is an outlier is our communities. Where many couples become bogged down by life circumstances, husbands and wives united through the sacrament of marriage are called to faithfully participate in and receive the mysteries and fruits of vocation.
In what ways do you and your beloved cultivate the spirit of newlyweds as a living testimony to the joy of marriage? We hope you will share your experience with our community on Facebook or Instagram.