Marriage can be one of the most rewarding, beautiful, and worthwhile journeys that a couple can embark on. Simultaneously,marriages can be challenging, confusing, and infuriating, as couples desperately try to navigate through roadblocks, construction, and gridlock traffic.
A couple navigating through 25 years of marriage earns silver, 50 years merits gold, and 75 years imparted with diamond. The first year of marriage is notorious for being one of the more challenging years, where couples can easily lose their way.
One would think that crossing the finish line of the first year would warrant something spectacular like medals, monuments, or shiny, precious stones. However, when a couple hits their one-year anniversary, they are bestowed with the traditional gift of paper.
Is the first year of marriage hardest?
You might wonder why is the first year of marriage the hardest?
Well, not sure about the whole year but the first few months of your married life will probably be the best days of your life.
The honeymoon will give you an opportunity to get to know each other better, and you will probably be delighted by the way your husband pampers you (Beware! It won’t last long in case you are really lucky).
Also, you will be surprised by the warm welcome and attention you will receive from all the family members in the beginning (Caution: don’t set your expectations seeing that).
There are ups and downs in a newlywed’s first year of marriage but do not let them make you feel down. Give yourself some time, and all things will fall into place.
Is it normal to fight in the first year of marriage?
So, what marriage is really like?
Marriage isn’t as easy as it seems at the onset of the wedding day. So, there are certain disagreements that are bound to occur once in a while during the first year of marriage. So, some fights during the first year of marriage are completely normal.
Here are some general issues couples fight about during the first year of marriage. Let’s find out:
The issue of when both the partners are individually ready to have a baby is common. It could be that one partner might want a baby earlier than the other.
The need for some alone time is common too. Partners might feel suffocated in each other’s company for longer periods of time and in the end, feel the lack of space.
There could be issues regarding sharing of responsibilities. One partner might feel they are contributing a lot more than the other.
Partners might expect certain changes in each other, which at times,might be uncalled for. This can ensue some disagreements and fights.
There could be disagreements about finances. Each person has their own money style and this can lead to quarrels.
Problems you may encounter in the first year of marriage
So, you just got married and now you are in a state of constant wonder because everything around seems new and different. You are clueless about how months and then a whole year will pass.
We will provide you with a glimpse of the little issues of a newlyweds’ first year of matrimony and will tell how your first year might go! Embrace the change. You are not single anymore!
Wearing makeup and smile to dinners
Yes! This is one thing you should get used to. Since you are newly married, you will be attending the popular wedding dinners, and for that, you will have to wear heavily embroidered dresses, makeup, and smile (even if you don’t feel like it).
So, ladies adorn yourselves; this won’t last forever!
Meeting those curious aunties and relatives
A newlyweds’ first year remains incomplete without meeting those curious aunties and relatives who want to know every single detail about married life.
Oh yes! and how can we forget how eagerly they await the “GOOD NEWS.” So, girls prepare yourselves for such encounters and don’t stress out.
Coming out of the fantasy world and facing the reality
This may sound very harsh but the first year of your marriage will probably shed all the myths related to matrimony being something really fascinating. You will be disappointed because what you had thought didn’t happen.
Of course, it is not a fairytale. I am really sorry if you thought it is! But don’t be scared you will have your little fairytale moments too.
Dealing with two pairs of parents
You will often think about the days when there were just your parents to deal with and trust me those were the best days! The other pair of parents might often give you some tough times. You will have to keep them happy and see that they don’t get offended or annoyed.
So, in your first year of marriage, you will probably be thinking about what would please them and what wouldn’t. Well, this is a real task. Good luck!
Understanding people and practices
Coming from a different place, a newlywed’s first year often goes into understanding people and their practices. Understanding in-laws and their preferences, making sense of what your husband likes or dislikes takes time and patience.
You will often find yourself wondering about whether you should go out at this time of the evening or not, you can invite friends over or not and many other such things you never even probably cared about. But this is life!
20 tips for newlyweds for surviving the first year of marriage
Nevertheless, I present you now with an EZ-pass, a roadmap, and ten shortcuts to help you to make it to your paper anniversary in one piece
Here are 20 pieces of advice for newlyweds or the first year of marriage advice that they must keep in mind to figure out how to get through the first year of marriage:
1. Maintain your identity
One’s identity is often challenged the moment that “I do” is declared.
“I” morphs into “us” and “me” is swapped for “we” and somebody else becomes intricately factored into our once simple equation. Couples need to balance individual time, together time, and socialization time, while cultivating their own hobbies, interests, passions, and goals.
It can be easy for spouses to neglect themselves for the sake of the marriage and thus, must take special care of their independence, confidence, andself-esteem. Identity is further challenged when we bid farewell to our birth names when our names are legally changed.
I remember sitting in the DMV office awaiting the arrival of my updated driver’s license. As I perused a magazine promising me the latest celebrity gossip, I vaguely heard a name being called, but it failed to register in my lackluster brain.
After two or three more tries, the DMV representative came out from behind the counter and handed me my new license, looking at me, clearly peeved for not being responsive to my own name.
But, it wasn’t my name. Or was it? I recall staring at the shiny new plastic, desperately trying to reconcile the unfamiliar name that sat adjacent to my face.
Who is this new person? Did I lose myself? How can I be found?
It was enough to send me into a mid-twenties identity crisis, precipitated by the sudden death of my childhood name. Word to the wise, make sure that you maintain your identity to preserve a strong sense of self.
2. Financial planning
Marriage signifies the union of finances, in the form of debt, income, and financial responsibilities.
Your partner’s stellar or ghastly credit has the power to impact your purchases, their debt becomes yours, and incomes are fused. Couples need to make financial decisions regarding money allocation, spending, joint versus individual bank accounts, and their financial futures at the onset of marriage.
3. Holidays and traditions
Spouses bring two sets of practices and rituals from their family of origins into marriage. It is necessary for couples to formulate new traditions together while incorporating any important customs from the past.
Holidays and birthdays should be discussed and planned beforehand so that they do not become a point of contention for the couple.
As newlyweds, I remember my husband and I smugly celebrating how holidays would never be an issue for us, as we are an interfaith couple. We cruised through Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, and Passover and then stopped short, as we were hit head on by the holy mother of all holidays – Mother’s Day.
As two insistent mothers demanded to know where and how Mother’s Day would be spent, my husband and I remorsefully acknowledged our naivety and cocky attitudes as we sought a relatively painless way to escape the two explosive landmines.
To maintain your sanity and goodwill towards each other and towards the extended families, make sure that you and your spouse plan and discuss all special occasions well in advance.
Extended families are a package deal when one marries the love of their life. In-Laws and family dynamics can sometimes present as major challenges to a budding, new marriage.
Couples need to set boundaries, assert themselves, and demand respect from all parties. Partners do not have to like, agree, or enjoy spending time with their in-laws, but it is critical that they respect them.
Effective and impactful communication is thekey to any healthy relationship. Partners need to be comfortable with expressing their feelings, concerns, and fears. A breakdown in communication will inevitably lead to emotional and physical drifting between the couple.
Spouses need to verbalize expectations, learn to compromise, and pay attention to each other. It is imperative for each partner to listen, be heard, and receive validation.
Couples would benefit from incorporating “electronic free” periods into each day so that connection and focus can be deepened.
Disagreements and arguing are intrinsic to any relationship and some degree ofconflict is healthy. However, it is imperative for couples to fight fairly and to show respect while working towards a resolution.
It is important for partners to avoid name-calling, blaming, or criticizing and should refrain from keeping score, lecturing, or shutting down.
Partners need to be mindful of their emotions, take a break when necessary, and think carefully before responding.
Partners must resolve conflicts in such a way that neither partner should ever feel degraded, humiliated, or overlooked during moments of conflict.
Spouses should always ensure that they are on the same page regarding their expectations.
Couples need to make certain that they are in agreement regarding important issues such as children, intimacy, sex, and career.
It is vital for a couple to practice gratitude while showing appreciation for their partner. Couples need to be attentive to the positive, rather than focusing solely on the negative.
“Thank you” should be incorporated into a couple’s daily vocabulary so that each partner feels appreciated, validated, and not taken advantage of.
It is important to be kind to each other, to overlook imperfections, and to allow your spouse to learn from their mistakes. My husband and I are always mindful to thank each other for the little things, such as doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or taking out the trash.
Is it necessary for us to express gratitude to each other every time?
Probably not, but I find that both my husband and I feel appreciated when we are recognized for doing the mundane tasks that often go unnoticed in other households.
Small acts of kindness seem to go a long way. Thus, I strongly recommend incorporating kindness and gratitude on an everyday basis in your marriage.
9. Daily roles and routines
Routines, roles, and habits are established early in a marriage and are often perpetuated well into the future. A couple would benefit from developing healthy patterns in the beginning by delineating household roles and responsibilities.
Partners need to decide who is vacuuming, cleaning the toilet, and emptying the dishwasher while understanding that the division of responsibilities will not always be equal.
It is important for couples to be aware of the balance or imbalance in their responsibilities, while always feeling supported, appreciated, and validated by their partner.
10. Resolve emotional baggage
It is inevitable that some degree of emotional baggage will be carried into every relationship. Some emotional baggage is heavier, more complex, and takes a substantial amount of time to be resolved.
Partners need to be willing to confront their issues, to reach out for help when needed, and to be open to supporting from their partners. The strongest unions are the ones where both partners are emotionally whole.
It is important to not take everything to heart. There could be certain things not working according to you or in your favor. So, let go of those things and avoid being hurt. Have control over your emotions. Eventually, things will fall into place.
12. Try spontaneous sex
Keep things on the edge. Sometimes, it’s okay to not decide on the time you want to have sex or a convenient place for it. Go wild and try spontaneous sex with your partner and build some exciting moments of love.
13. Save memories
Click as many pictures as possible because the time you got married and the brief time that followed will be remembered forever. So, save these pictures as in the future, you can relive these memories when you look back at them.
14. Constantly improve & evolve
Marriage is your place where you need to constantly mold yourself as and when the situation demands because now, you need to act as a team. So, you both must improve yourself as individuals, acquire new skills and evolve to support each other.
15. Be kind & understanding
Life after marriage means thinking about two people simultaneously.
The first year of marriage is the time when you have to be extra patient, kind, and understanding. So, be gentle with your partner and try to understand their perspective of things before jumping to conclusions.
For adjusting to marriage in a healthy way, you both must always have something to work on
It might sound odd but in marriage, setting goals is of utmost importance. Marriage goals give couples something to look forward to. It helps the couple understand each other better and work in synchrony for an improved quality of marital life.
In this video below, the couple talks about goals setting in marriage and how security, affection and communication can do wonders in building the bond:
17. Pay attention to little things
Pay attention to little details in the marriage from figuring out your spouse’s quirks to their favorite song. Also, little things matter like saying Sorry or I Love You. This will make your spouse feel invested and involved.
18. Try new things
It’s always exciting to add a little adventure to your love life. Try doing new things in marriage like exploring new places or trying new rides. Take time out to live these moments and build a foundation for a stronger and healthier marriage.
There are some issues that you both must do as a team as the contribution of both the partners is required. These issues could be about when to have a baby, moving to a new place, etc.
So, talk about these issues beforehand rather than waiting for them to crop up.
20. Learn coping up with homesickness
Considering it’s the first year of your marriage, you might miss your own space or your parents’ if you were living with them. But you need to adjust to the new environment. So, find a way to deal with those feelings by being in constant touch with your friends and family.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Defeatingdivorce.com is run by a real-life married couple who was able to repair their marriage after a bout of infidelity and as such, have now made it their personal mission to help other couples overcome obstacles and thrive in their relationships.