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How To

These 10 Tips Actually Helped Us in Our First Year of Marriage

Written by Shane Hall-Minor

Three years ago, I met and started dating the woman who would become my wife. Since then we have bought a home, gotten married and now have two cats.  We are still learning more about each other every day. During our three years together, we used these tips to keep our marriage strong:


1. Communicate. 

Sounds easy, right? For many this is quite frustrating. Robin and I make sure to set aside time to talk about our day everyday. This is crucial because it allows us to be attentive to each other. Even if my wife doesn’t want to hear about how I wanted to scream at my boss, she stays and listens because I am just venting.

2. Laugh. 

Yes, it is the best medicine. I leave random Post-It notes around the house so she can have a laugh. Robin sends me funny messages. Sometimes it’s the little things like a laugh that can get you through the day.

3. Never go to bed angry. 

You won’t get any sleep, and you will regret hurting each other. Always hash out any issues before you hit the hay.

4. Challenge each other. 

We make sure to motivate and encourage each other. That means doing things out of our comfort zones, taking chances and exploring other options.

5. Read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Pick up the book and read it cover to cover. It helped us learn each other’s “love language” and how to communicate with each other. The issue with many relationships is that people equate gifts and money to love. Most women just want your attention, praise, or the like.

6. Give each other some space. 

You should never expect your mate to be joined at your hip 24/7. That signals insecurity and a lack of individuality. And let’s be real, they will resent you for it. Allow your wife/girlfriend to still be an individual and have her space. Let her be social without you sometimes. It doesn’t mean she hates you, it just means that she wants a moment to herself. I have a room in the house dedicated to this particular tip.

7. Be social with each other’s friends. 

We have expanded our circle of friends because of this. There may be a couple of people who may not like your mate, but if that happens, just let it go. At least you tried.

8. Get intimate on another level.

You will find out the hard way as your relationship grows that intimacy is more than sex. Read each other a bedtime story, make dinner in a sexy outfit and spend an hour talking to each other in a seductive manner. The possibilities are endless, but don’t assume she wants sex all the time. Because most of the time she doesn’t.

9. Compromise. 

It’s the only way that you will get anything accomplished. Don’t expect to have everything your way. It’s not realistic and it’s selfish. So come to an agreement that you both can live with.

10. Trust your mate. 

Insecurity can destroy your marriage. If you don’t trust your wife/girlfriend, then you need to speak up and talk to each other. Do not go through her phone, ask where she is 24/7 or the like. Just be upfront. If you are becoming Scooby Doo trying to look for clue, then you need to reevaluate.

And that my friends, is how we have made it through one year of marital bliss. Remember that each relationship is different and what may work for me, may not work for you. Always remember that a relationship should never be about me. It’s about we; it’s about us.

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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