When you marry and become one with your spouse you are merging two different lives, two families, two cultures, two galaxies altogether. Being aware of how different your life will be when you embark on this new journey is important. Real life has been lost in all of the chaos of wedding planning leading up to the big moment when you walk down the aisle. It is when you arrive home from your honeymoon and step over the threshold of your home together as husband and wife that real life sets in and you may need to face the reality that you don’t know this person as well as you thought you did. This sounds like a daunting thing, marrying someone and not knowing completely what you have gotten yourself into. On the contrary though, it is a beautiful new adventure. It is normal to come into a marriage with expectations, and having each of your expectations broken by reality is a humbling process as two become one.

Here are some important ways to make marriage authentic and beautiful, despite challenges that may arise.

Talk things through. Take what time you need to breathe when an argument breaks out, but don’t leave an issue to fester. Foster healthy communication by not giving your partner the silent treatment. When you learn to not go to bed angry, you will be grateful about how quickly a conflict will resolve.

Pursue each other. You might be out of the dating phase and your honeymoon tan has faded, but don’t forget to keep the romance alive by reminding each other why you decided to fuse your lives together. Making time for regular date nights is important, but on a smaller scale simply be sure to make time for each other at the end of a hectic day. It’s easy to forget about pouring into your marriage when it feels like life is busy, but if you take time to sit down with your loved one you will realize why you needed so badly.

Remember that each of you may speak different love languages. While one of you may crave conversation and words of affirmation, the other may communicate love by giving gifts or physical contact. Don’t confuse them expressing how the feel love as them ignoring how you receive it. Being deliberate to show affectionate in their love language and communicate what makes you feel special. By keeping the lines of communication open and learning each other’s love languages, you are able to truly love one another fiercely.

Marriage is a gift. Don’t forget to treasure your new spouse in this exciting time. Soon you will look back at your early years with deep sighs, you don’t want to have any regrets.