They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. You’ve just come down from the high of your wedding and honeymoon, and now you have to do real-life marriage stuff: finances, two careers, two families, maybe a kid on the way? That’s just the top of the list and doesn’t include the minute things that might drive you crazy about your partner.
We’re not here to scare you. If anything, we want you to surpass this stage in your marriage. Here are some tips that can help you survive those first twelve months together as a married couple.
1. Start nesting
A baby may not be part of your plan yet but you can begin nesting as early as now. You need a place where you can foster your love with your partner. As soon as you move into your new house together, start creating a cozy place that both of you can enjoy spending time in.
2. Define your roles
You’re a new family unit now which means you’ll have to define your roles in the home. Will both of you be working? How will the chores be divided? Which families will you be visiting during the holidays? These are some logistics you need to set during your first year of marriage.
3. Talk money
Money is one of the biggest things couples fight about. You can prevent big arguments from blowing up by talking about your finances ahead of time. Will you be having joint or separate accounts? Who pays for what? How much “fun” money should you both have? Discuss these things with your spouse to save yourself the heartache.
4. Continue your adventures
Marriage doesn’t have to be the end of all fun. You can still keep having adventures together. Go on road trips, try new activities every weekend, or book an all-inclusive honeymoon resort in Antigua. Your options for fun are unlimited. You just have to get creative.
5. Don’t take each other for granted
It’s easy to get comfortable with your partner once you’re married. You may forget to do the sweet little things for them or forget to care for your appearance. You might even get annoyed at them for the littlest things. You always want to be aware that they too have needs. This is a person you vowed to love and care for. Nurture those needs and it will help make your marriage stronger.
6. Know when to agree is disagree
It’s true when they say “It’s better to be happy than it is to be right”. Sometimes, you will lose at arguments, and it’s okay. Some things are not worth the pent up energy. If you insist on your point, even though it doesn’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things, you lose anyway because you’ll end up with a resentful spouse in the process.
7. Keep communicating
Speaking of resentment, you don’t want it to build up over time. If you have a gripe with your partner, talk it out with them and find a solution where both of you are satisfied. You should be able to articulate your feelings and listen attentively to theirs as well.
8. You’re not alone
Know that you’re not the only one struggling in your first year of marriage. A lot of people go through it too. Take it easy on yourselves and don’t try to make everything perfect. Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. You can take comfort in the fact that it won’t be like this forever. The start of your marriage may be bumpy but over time, both of you will settle down and get to the hang of things.
Which of these relationship tips did you find the most useful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.