Congratulations! You’ve officially tied the knot and you are now bound together by the ties of holy matrimony. Everything you’ve devoted your spare time to in the past year since the proposal has finally come together in the most magical and happiest day of your lives. As you move forward through the journey of life together, there are certain things you’ll realize are a little different in married life versus what it was like as a unmarried, yet committed, couple. Many couples experience similar issues that arise during the first year of marriage, and those who are able to work through it will ultimately be able to strengthen their relationships for the long term. Here are 7 common first year of marriage problems and suggestions on how to work things out.
1. Money and finances
Now that you are a married couple, you are likely going take on the mentality of “what’s mine is yours.” This can be a very stressful shift for some people, especially if one of you makes significantly more money than the other. Learning how to balance your spending habits and your financial situation is a tough hurdle that every newlywed couple will have to get over.
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If you find yourselves disagreeing or arguing about your finances, it’s absolutely crucial for you two to sit down and have an open discussion about your values and goals, both personally and as a married couple. What do you care most about for both short term and long term plans? Do you prefer to spend more on big vacations, shopping sprees, fitness or other recreational activities? Do you want to buy a house in the next five years? How much of your money will go into the joint bank account? These types of questions will help you determine what your individual ideas and goals are and help you set the groundwork for your spending habits. You are both responsible for establishing, setting and following through with your financial goals. By working together as a team, you’ll be able to adjust to your new financial situation in a way that works well for both of you.
A common stereotype of married life is having to deal with horrible in-laws. Ideally you will have already experienced what it’s like to interact with your in-laws in high-stress situations during the wedding planning process, but there’s always the possibility that your personalities will clash even when you’re married. When a problem involving your in-laws presents itself, communicate with your partner that you are feeling tension. Remember to be respectful – after all, these are your partner’s parents – but learn to set boundaries on how much input each set of in-laws should be allowed to have in your marital life. Have an open dialog with your parents and in-laws about what these boundaries are. With clear and open communication, you will be able to not only start your own family, but maintain your existing families as well.
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3. Time management and schedules
Now that you are a married couple, you may expect to spend more and more time together. This may cause your spouse to become too clingy and you to begin to resent one another. It’s important to maintain your existing friendships and lives outside of each other even after you’re married. Set realistic expectations that work for both of you; for example, instead of expecting to have dinner together every night, plan to have dinner a few nights a week so that neither of you feels restricted by expectations. Continue participating in your regular hobbies and activities – if one of you feels left out, invite each other to join or encourage him to take on a new hobby of his own. Balancing schedules to include time apart for both of you is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and happy marriage.
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4. Things become annoying
You’ve been married for a few months now, and you’ve suddenly realized that little things you used to find adorable and endearing are suddenly getting on your nerves and driving you crazy. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you suddenly are spending all of your time together, but remember that he’s still the same person he was before you got married. In order to move forward from this realization, you must accept your partner’s quirks because they are what makes him unique and ultimately define the person that you fell in love with. If you find yourself constantly annoyed by little things, set aside some time for you to spend by yourself or with friends so that you aren’t exposed to these things as frequently. As time goes on, you will readjust to his natural quirkiness and you will have found a good balance of time for you to spend by yourself and with your partner.
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Although many couples have already lived together for awhile before tying the knot, some couples are greeted with surprise when they move in together as a married duo. Expectations are important in any healthy relationship; if you don’t have similar expectations, then one of you will certainly be disappointed. One common problem married couples face is the division of labor in household chores. Remember that you are a team and you should both contribute to keep things fair. Play to each other’s strengths when divvying up the chores, but try to think of all the tasks as a group effort rather than an individual one. Your partner will appreciate your effort when you help out, and vice versa.
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6. Weight gain and personal hygiene
Something that tends to happen in the first year of marriage is you become very, very comfortable with one another. So much so that sometimes we let our personal hygiene and fitness go simply because we know that being married means that you no longer have to seek a new partner. This is not only detrimental to your relationship, but it is also bad for your health! It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the wedding, especially if you plan to have kids and start a family. Find simple exercise routines you both like, such as going for a walk after dinner or running in the mornings. Keep yourself clean and remember that just because you are married doesn’t mean that you have to stop trying.
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As you settle into married life, one common issue that arises is the lack of intimacy. Your priorities have changed now that you are husband and wife, and sex slowly falls farther and farther down the list. It’s tough to manage busy schedules as a married couple, especially when you also want to set some time aside for just yourself. If you find yourself falling into a rut after the wedding day, you need to actively make the time and effort to rekindle the spark that you once had. Schedule a date night when you both won’t be too tired and make sure the TV is off and phones are put away.
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The first year of marriage is often filled with different obstacles that you have to overcome together. As you get through each of these incidents, your relationship will strengthen and begin to set the foundation for your new family’s life together. When you reach your first wedding anniversary, you will feel accomplished having overcome all of these typical hurdles and stronger than ever. These 7 problems commonly arise during the first year of marriage, and it’s important to work as a team and communicate clearly with one another in order to reach a mutually beneficial solution.