1. Be conscious of the price you’ll pay for a flawless wedding. If wedding is theater, a bride can lose sight of what is most significant– the marriage. Compromise with your husband when you have two different visions.
2. Getting caught up in a competition with your friends over ‘who has the best wedding’ is unhealthy. This rivalry can cause a bride to lose her way and put a wedge in her relationship with her future husband.
3. A future husband to be who takes orders from his mother or confides in her ahead of you can signal trouble ahead. It’s time he shifts his loyalty to you, his wife. If this isn’t happening, point it out to him and have a talk about it.
4. It will only hurt you if you are not friendly and welcoming toward your husband’s sister/s and mother. No matter what you think, be cordial, civil and respectful, for his sake and the sake of the marriage.
5. A few sessions with clergy or a social worker can be advantageous. Those couples who consult with clergy or a counselor about their relationship before their marriage are avoiding the issues later on, when the stakes are higher.
6. A bride and her husband to be, whether they go into counseling or not, should have a serious discussion about a shared vision of life. This includes children, finances, religion, values, goals, in-laws, friends, lifestyle.
7. Communication is key. Being honest and open with your husband paves the way to the success of the marriage.
8. Carving time out for the couple is a way to preserve the relationship. Make sure that in your busy schedules you have time alone together and to do a few fun outings – movies, dinner, a weekend away.
9. Your level of support and commitment matters. Be sure that your husband has your back and vice versa, come what may.
10. It takes energy to sustain the romance and sex and once married, the day to day grind can push them aside. Work hard to keep this going.
You can find more advice from bestselling author and gender/relationships expert Susan Shapiro Barash in her new book, THE NINE PHASES OF MARRIAGE: HOW TO MAKE IT, BREAK IT, KEEP IT, due out Sept. 18, 2012. Order here.