It’s said that the first year of marriage is the hardest one. The adjustments and changes that spouses encounter as newlyweds topple almost every other period in life — you and your spouse may feel stuck between the couple you used to be and the married couple you want to become. Marriage is a big risk; it can guarantee a lifetime of love, fulfillment, security and satisfaction, but it can also lead to quarrels, abuse, loneliness and divorce.
Here are the top eight challenges that spouses may need to overcome in their first year:
1) Domesticity Problems
The first thing that springs to mind is anything associated with domesticity. This means anything that can be lumped into what we like to call “household chores,” like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, tidying up or cooking dinner. For many recently married people, sharing a house with someone else is entirely new. Trying to divide the tasks in a fair and even way can put an enormous strain on a relationship.
2) Financial Issues
Financial issues always crop up in the first year of marriage. Being married means sharing everything, spending money together, saving money together and dividing the income fairly. For the first time ever, you can’t simply decide to save up for a holiday or a new car; nor can you impulsively buy that new pair of designer boots. Your partner’s financial sensibilities have to be taken into account.
3) Romance Challenge
When you’re married, it’s easy to stop being romantic. There’s an element of safety, and the “you’re not going anywhere” mentality comes with a dwindling of the things that can make a relationship worth it; texting and calling from work, going out for a nice meal, flirting and looking good for one another.
4) Personality Differences
Living together means spending a lot of time together, so it’s inevitable that certain lifestyle differences will become abundantly clear. You might enjoy eating out while your partner might like to stay in and cook. You might like reading, and your partner might prefer watching television. It’s important to negotiate, compromise and find a balance.
5) Lifestyle Changes
As a married couple, the first year will bring a whirlwind of lifestyle changes. In your dating period, it was probably very relaxed, casual and fun. In a marriage, these things are inevitably combined with some of the more boring stuff, like planning, working, stressing over money and sleeping early as opposed to going out and dancing. It’s important not to resent your partner for this.
6) Parental Influence
When you’re dating, it’s just the two of you. When you’re married, it’s the whole family or both families. You have in-laws to impress. You’ve taken their child away, so they’re bound to stick their noses into your affairs. Parental influence can be a real burden on your marriage before you get used to it.
7) Unexpected Fights
The first year of marriage is said to bring an influx of fighting. This is probably because you’re with each other all the time for the first time since your relationship began. Plus, the fights may have an intensity that they didn’t have before, and you might feel like you have fewer places to escape.
8) Independent Plans
It becomes easy to start acting independently of one another in the first year. Bound by the wedding ring, you might feel more inclined to make plans without consulting your partner. If you get into the habit of doing this early on, there’s a danger it might affect your entire marriage.
Marriage can be the most rewarding decision that you’ll make in your life. If you make it to your first anniversary, you’re halfway there. By establishing a strong base on which to build, the rest of your married life should be something you can anticipate, plan towards and look forward to.