There are many instances where the phrase, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is appropriate – and it is especially so when speaking to someone who is engaged or who is a newlywed. I am constantly amazed (and horrified) at the negative and inappropriate things people say! I will give those people the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t trying to dash any hopes of a happy and fulfilled marriage.*
Here are three things that I’ve heard – some of them have been said to me, some to others that I know – and why I think we should refrain from saying those things:
#1 We’ll see how long *that* lasts…
“That” could refer to any number of things, such as…
- He listens to you now, but in 20 years he’ll just tune you out.
- I remember when I used to make dinner for my husband. That didn’t last long!
- Picking up his clothes off the bathroom floor will get old really fast.
- You’ll get tired of spending so much time together.
Why shouldn’t this be said?
You’re just projecting negative expectations on their marriage! If she’s waiting for him to stop listening to her, chances are…he will. And she’ll be ready to accuse him of it. It also shouldn’t be said because it’s basically announcing to the world that you’ve stopped putting effort into your own marriage. Yikes.
Read More —> Marriage Works
#2 When are you going to have kids?
This question comes in many different forms. Here are a few others:
- Your parents will love being grandparents.
- I bet your mom is so ready to be a grandmother!
- You look so natural holding that baby. Doesn’t it make you want one of your own?
Why shouldn’t this be said?
First of all, asking questions about the most private thing in a couple’s relationship – their sex life – is totally inappropriate. Second, you have no idea whether that sweet couple have already been trying, whether they’ve lost a precious baby to miscarriage or whether they are struggling through the heartbreak of infertility. Don’t make them feel even more guilty for depriving their parents of a grandchild. People announce pregnancy pretty early and pretty publicly these days. If you need to know, you will. So stop asking.
Read More —> The Question You Should Stop Asking
#3 The first year is the worst/best!
- Is the honeymoon over yet?
Why shouldn’t this be said?
Once again, this gives them negative expectations. One of the things I’ve learned in five years of marriage is that every couple is different. We all have different ways that we like to spend our time, communicate our love and overcome our differences. Comparing my relationship to anyone else’s is surely to cause discontentment and frustration.
What should we say instead?
I am always encouraged by people who give me hope that a godly and happy marriage is possible. As a Christian, my hope is found in Jesus Christ. He is the answer for every problem and to every question! If you point young couples away from themselves, away from the mess you might have made in the early years of your marriage and toward Christ, you cannot go wrong. Point them to Christ! Encourage them to pray together, to read Scripture and good books together and to seek Jesus first in everything they do.
Read More —> The Truth About My Marriage
Did someone share something encouraging with you during your newlywed years? Tell me about it! Let’s be good examples of pointing young couples to Christ!
*I haven’t had anything like this said to me recently (now that I’m an old married person 🙂 ), so be assured this is not a rant post and is not aimed at anyone in particular. It’s just something I was thinking about and wanted to share!
17 thoughts on “Three Things You Should Not Say To A Newlywed”
As a newlywed couple (10 months) we hear these ALL the time. Before we got married, and right after, we were terrified because everyone told us how hard the first year of marriage was. We expected to be fighting constantly, but now we are hoping that the first year is as hard as it gets! When anyone asks us, we tell them them that marriage is the most fun thing we have ever done! It’s a lot more encouraging than telling them how hard it’s going to be (which it is, don’t get me wrong)
I also love you point about reading scriptures and good books together! We had several people buy Christ-centered relationship books, which has been very enlightening for us! We want to start buying these types of books as wedding presents (along with gifts that were actually on the gift registry, of course)
Thanks for sharing! Yes, we had a similar experience where a group of people in our small group Bible study just barraged us with the “harsh reality” of how much you’d end up hating each other. We were horrified! Love your idea for gifting those kinds of books!
I loved this post, Whitney! I have a great marriage with my hubby, but it is something that we both put a lot of effort into. We work hard to be good spouses to one another and to communicate. I really dislike when people suggest that our marriage will eventually dissolve into resentment or apathy. I agree that we need to encourage young married couples to seek Jesus and learn to love as He does. I also agree that it is inappropriate to question people about having children. We have gone through the trials of infertility and miscarriage and it can be such a heartbreaking subject. Your dedication to your husband and marriage is admirable and so encouraging. Thank you for sharing this post.
Thanks, Ashley. I don’t know why people are so quick to doom marriages to failure, and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with hurtful comments about these things! ❤
This such an excellent post, Whitney! I detest question #2 and will simply not ask it of anyone. I had seen so much of parents pleading “give me grandchildren!” and vowed that I would not put my married kids on that guilt trip (or whatever one might call it). My feeling was that it was none of my business (nor anyone else’s but theirs) and I settled it with the Lord that if we never had grandchildren, it would be okay. He did bless us with many, but no one was under any pressure to produce them!
I also agree with Arlene about social media and how it has made us less courteous and less sensitive. Today you might be likely to see someone whining about their lack of grandchildren on Facebook!
Good for you – I am sure your kids really appreciated the space you gave them! You’re right, things like that aren’t our business and they are supposed to be left in God’s hands. Thanks!
So true! We were married almost 9 years before we had kids and you better believe we heard a ton of #2 from family, friends and strangers. I was even asked it at parent teacher conferences on year. We did end up struggling with infertility once we made the decision to start a family and comments like this felt intrusive and hurtful. So thanks for reminding people there’s more than meets the eye when dealing with adding kids to the family. People still joke with us that we’re in the honeymoon stage still after 11 years, but it’s definitely required effort on our part and attention to our spouse to make that happen. I hate when people cast their personal negativity on those around them.
I do think people often just don’t realized how hurtful their questions can be – and you’re right, it’s also just their personal difficulties with marriage that cause them to say negative things.
Thank you for this post!!! My daughter has been married 31/2 years and is having difficulty becoming with child. The questions she gets asked are beyond me. I also have a pet peeve with people asking girl’s when they are going to get married. Really people! Like a young lady knows when she’s getting married and isn’t even dating. Duh!!! I agree with Arlene, I think Social media has added to our culture’s insensitivity and loss of manners.
I think people just don’t realize how hurtful those questions are. So many of my friends and loved ones have struggled with infertility that I just couldn’t leave that one off the list.
This was a very brave post! Well stated! We ended up waiting just under 7 years before we welcomed our first daughter. The pressure and jokes were almost unbearable since this was already a difficult topic in our relationship. My maternal grandmother and grandfather suggested that we focus on a common project and have fun instead of spending so much time focusing on having a baby. The 2 years before my daughter was born, we traveled, began plans for a home renovation project and spent a lot of time experiencing Disney as adults – Food & Wine Festival, back-stage tours, etc. We had so much fun and grew so close as a couple, it was a wonderful experience in our marriage, but we never would have done it had my beloved grandparents not suggested it. Although, if you ask them, we only had the baby because my husband rubbed my grandfather’s bald head and I kissed it (Obviously not, but we let them have their fun). (:
Experiencing Disney as adults is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures! We love Disney! Paul and I have been married 5 years without kids and we love the “just us” time. I am glad you got to enjoy that, too!
I think Social media has added to our culture’s insensitivity and loss of manners. My sister struggled with infertility for years and I could not get over the people who said the very things you mentioned. I also think that we should try to be positive in all our remarks about marriage because a good one really is one of the best things on earth.
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You are right! I appreciate the sweet things you say about your hubby and marriage!