I was in disbelief when people started mentioning that I had to get through the first year of marriage. I mean, wasn’t the first year supposed to be the best one? You’re supposed to be in happily ever-after land; moving out of a share-house, your parents’ bedroom or your tiny apartment into a real home and spending your time doing fun activities together. Not to mention, you’ll still be riding off the high from the exotic honeymoon. I remember my mother exclaiming if you can get past this first year of turmoil, you’ll be set for life followed by the most serious of looks. I mean, how different could it be from before? Oh how little did I know! Marriage, unlike a long-term relationship, is a far more deep and complex commitment that simply doesn’t compare. It may be scary or feel like a bit of roller coaster at times, but with a little patience, dedication and above all else – love, getting through those first year hurdles will set the scene for the rest of your marriage. Here are some tried and tested tips to ensure you survive your year one of marriage.
Make Your Relationship a Priority
Making the transition from me to we is something a lot of couples struggle with. A lot of people tend to continue living out the autonomous life they led before, whether it be putting family or work first, leaving the left over time for their spouses. Being a real unit means that you put spending time together at the top of your priority list.
Effective communication is a crucial characteristic to any relationships. Each party must remember that neither person is a mind-reader, nor will your communication styles be similar. While it can be challenging at times, being able to listen and voice your thoughts effectively without fear of being belittled is the key to a healthy relationship. If you feel that you are walking on eggshells, both of you should have an honest look at the way you communicate with each other.
Pick Your Battles
While communication on serious issues is important, not all battles are meant to be fought to the death. Make a decision with yourself on which issues need to be addressed and which ones can slide – not picking up socks in the bathroom isn’t the end of the world. The rule of thumb for battles: if you’re probably going to forget about it tomorrow, let it go; if not, let it go and carry on with your day.
Create a Ritual
While we all live busy lives, it’s important to do small things together to re-establish the connection. It could be watching something together before going to sleep no matter how late you stumble into bed, listening to music, grabbing a coffee every Saturday morning or heading out for a date-night. My favourite is to set aside ten minutes of the evening to discuss the best/worst part of the day and ways you can improve on how you handled certain aspects of week.
Keep the Romance Alive
When couples get married, the romance side of things tends to die down significantly. Intimacy is one of the contributing factors of a healthy relationship and you will need to work at keeping the boudoir activities exciting. Plan regular date nights, pick up something special from Naughty But Nice and find new ways to spice things up.
What did you struggle with in your first year of marriage? Let us know in the comments below!