Marriage is followed by a physical honeymoon and then an emotional one. The honeymoon or “newlywed” phase consists of one to two years of puppy love where everything seems absolutely perfect. You both agree on matters and you never fight. However, this phase only lasts so long before cute habits become annoying and you begin fighting about the smallest things imaginable. Here are the 10 most common marriage difficulties during your first few years as husband and wife.
Money is the most common topic that married couples fight about. Becoming a legal family together means sharing bank accounts and managing your mutual finances to support your new life. Mortgages, rent, bills, and spending money must all be budgeted, and you won’t always see eye to eye on how to divvy it up.
Managing money becomes a stress. Who will pay for what? What is fair? Who makes more money? Perhaps, your partner is irresponsible with their spending and is plummeting your good credit score into debt. Money matters are definitely a concern for newly married couples.
2. Great sex-pectations unmet
Sex may have been wild while you were dating and newly married, but after three years it starts to sink in: You will never (ideally) be with another partner again. From this point forward, there is no more chase for sex. It will simply be a given. For some, this takes some of the fun out of the mating ritual.
On the other hand, it may be that you’re not getting enough sex. Back when you were dating you were ripping each other’s clothes off every chance you got, but now it seems you are engaging in passions less and less.
Keep the passions alive by striving to spice it up in the bedroom and by practicing intimacy in other ways such as kissing, holding hands, and cuddling. Some even find that taking sex off the table altogether alleviates the pressure to have it and builds more sexual tension.
3. Household bickering
Small arguments about household chores may now become part of your newlywed vocabulary. Disagreements about taking out the trash, putting compost together, laundry, and even changing the toilet paper roll will become small nags that roll off your tongue. Basically, everything you thought you were above when you first started dating.
4. Baby obsession
If you haven’t had this conversation before you got married, you can be sure it will come up now. Baby fever hits some women approaching their 30s with a fury. If one partner is not ready for children and the other one is, it can be an especially sore subject. Forgo this difficult disagreement by discussing exactly what your family-plan is before you exchange vows. This will clear up any confusion about where you see your lives going.
5. You don’t do the things you used to do
When you were just dating, you were each other’s entertainment. Now that you are married and spend every free moment together you may start to notice your partner doesn’t do the things they used to do. No surprise flowers, no impulsive sexual favors, no going out to dinner. This can be very irritating after a while and make you feel underappreciated.
The annoying in-laws are not always a marriage myth, unfortunately. One thing married couples fight about is the involvement of their in-laws in their marriage. In-laws may be critical of a new husband or wife, may push for grandchildren, and add unnecessary stress and division between the family and your marriage.
If your personalities clashed when you were dating, odds are that this will not change just because you are now married. It is important to try and show respect for your partner’s parents.
Avoid in-law irritation by discussing boundary lines with each of your parents before getting married.
7. You are bored
It could be that you thought you were ready for a stable lifestyle, but in reality, you are missing the single life. Not the dating aspect, but the aspect of adventure lurking around every corner. Combat the marriage blues by having nights out with friends and remaining loyal to both your marriage mate and your social life.
8. Cute traits become annoying traits
It’s only natural once you start spending all your time together to become frustrated with one another. Habits that you use to find endearing may now make you grit your teeth. This doesn’t mean you aren’t in love, it just means you’re out of the honeymoon phase. Learn to accept your mate as they are. Remember that you married them because you once loved their little foibles. Give it some time and you will naturally adjust to their personality quirks.
9. Change in appearance
One thing couples find issue with after the first few years of marriage is how their partner’s appearance may have changed. Since you are no longer playing the dating game, odds are you are not going out as much. Leading a less active lifestyle can result in a change in appearance, such as weight. Both partners may also be more comfortable, leading to less time dressing up and more time spent in pajamas. Combat this newlywed issue by scheduling date nights and adhering to them. On these nights you will dress up as you would if you were still dating and woo one another all over again.
10. Lack of identity
The longer you are together the less you may feel like yourself. Your identity has become forever linked with your marriage mate. For some, this may feel like a dream come true. For others, they feel like they have lost a sense of self. Perhaps you have even alienated your close friends and are starting to miss your single life. Combat this issue by having active social lives outside of one another. This will help you feel happy and fulfilled in all aspects of your personal relationships.
The first few years of marriage are a rollercoaster of getting used to one another and learning how to cohabitate. Remember the importance of keeping the fire alive in your relationship and practice patience and forgiveness. These traits will take you a long way down your road of matrimony.