The first year of marriage is said to be the most difficult, and with the many adjustments that take place when you begin living with someone, it’s not hard to see why. There are many obstacles you and your partner will face over the next 50+ years, but if you know what to expect and are flexible when the unexpected occurs, your love will make it for the long haul. Here are 7 challenges most couples face during the first year of marriage:
7 First Year Challenges Most Newlyweds Face
1) Domestic Lifestyle
When you think of marriage, you think of domesticity, right? So, unless you’ve lived together prior to tying the knot, learning to live with your partner can present a whole new set of challenges. Issues such as splitting dish duty, sorting and doing laundry, tidying up the house, cooking dinner and delegating “household chores,” can quickly become big issues if you let them. Enter your new living arrangement with an open mind and flexibility, and this ‘problem’ will quickly become a thing of the past.
2) Financial Struggles
This one can be a real doozy, not just for newlyweds, but for couples in general. Marriage requires you share your space, your time, and financial obligations. What does that mean? Well, remember those $500 shoes you treated yourself to yearly? You may find yourself having to check with your partner before just treating yourself to such a huge expense. It’s not just you anymore, so any big purchase (i.e. designer shoes, a car, gaming console, expensive parts for your car, etc.) should be something you first discuss with your partner. But don’t worry, most couples find a way to allot a certain amount of money each month to spend on whatever they’d like! Just talk to your partner and find out what arrangement works for both of you!
3) Keeping the Romance Alive
When you’re married and in love, it’s quite easy to become comfortable with your life, seeing your partner daily, and yourself. However, many newlyweds become too comfortable and stop giving one another the love and attention they gave prior to tying the knot. Make sure you continue to text each other ‘I love you’ throughout the day, flirt on a regular basis, and put the same effort into yourself and your partner that you did prior to getting married.
4) Lifestyle Changes
Prior to marriage, you and your partner had your own space. Now you’re married and that ‘space’ is something that is shared on a consistent basis. This can, and has, led to clashes between newlyweds, but, why wouldn’t it? I mean, adjusting to spending so much time with another can be tough. Don’t fall into the trap of spending every waking moment together (unless of course, that’s your thing!). Time apart is healthy and can benefit your relationship in a major way. If you like to spend evenings reading and your partner enjoys watching all the shows he recorded throughout the day, continue to do that! This time alone can help prevent you two from clashing and help you adjust to the lifestyle changes
5) The In-Laws
Aaah, the in-laws. There’s something about marriage that changes the dynamic between people and their in-laws. Maybe you’ve always had a great relationship with your partner’s parents that continues to be great post nuptials. Or, if you’re like a large percentage of the population, the in-laws are great in small doses, and *gasp* sometimes not at all. Whatever the case, don’t allow the in-laws to interfere in your relationship. If you have a problem that you two are struggling to get through, do NOT call your mom and dad. If you need financial help, refrain from going to the parents for help. Not only do these things invite unwelcomed opinions and interference down the road, but it sends the message that you’re not fully vested in your relationship, and is sort of disrespectful to your partner. You two are adults who’ve decided to commit to a life together, so keep the parents out of it and set clear boundaries.
Many arguments arise during the first year of marriage, and it’s likely due to all the unexpected changes. One important rule to remember in life, but particularly in marriage, is this: Choose your battles wisely. You have MANY years ahead of you. Don’t spend time arguing over small things that won’t matter one, five, or 10 years from now. You’ll fall into an unhealthy pattern of arguing and that is sure to lead to the demise of your marriage.
7) Independent Planning
While some people may find themselves becoming more and more interdependent, there are others who become increasingly independent. Maybe it’s the security of having a wedding ring, or maybe it’s that habits are hard to break. Whatever the reason, be sure to maintain a sense of anonymity without completely disregarding your partner and his (or her!) opinion. If you’re planning on going out with co-workers after work, make sure your partner didn’t have something planned. Just considering the other person can go a long way in your relationship.
Marriage can be the most rewarding decision you’ll ever make, and each anniversary you celebrate will signify a year of resilience and commitment to one another. Establish a strong foundation during the first year and you’re sure to create a loving home with a partner you can plan and spend your life with.