Amazing, joyful, adjustments, difficulties, exhausting, work, exciting, stressful, peaceful and sexual are some of the words used to describe the first year of marriage amongst my friends and colleagues.
Most of the married couples would agree that the first year of marriage can transit from bliss and excitement to adjustment and transition. Newly combined families, first time married couples, previously married couples and family history can have a major impact on the first year of marriage. Each couple will have different experiences of their unique share of successes and obstacles.
Whether you dated for several years before a marriage or courted for a short time before tying the knot; these following tips will help you to adjust and enjoy a long-lasting successful first year of marriage.
Create your own tradition
There are common traditions that have been instilled in us from our families such as daily routines and holidays. You are bringing your traditions, rituals, habits, backgrounds, and beliefs into your new family while they have their own traditions and all. Most of the time, these traditions clash, which can lead to conflict in your new marriage. You may wanna start a new tradition in your new family. Instead to choose which side of your family holidays will you attend; you can host a holiday celebration with your new family, plan vacations, weekend-getaways or any other activity that will strengthen the bond with your new spouse. Remember your priorities have changed and now your spouse comes first and she/he is YOUR family.
Discuss dreams and goals
When you get married, dreaming and goal setting does not end. It is just the beginning as you have a life-long partner to share these dreams and goals. Make plans and strategies for the goals you want to achieve with one another and write them on sticky notes to hold each other accountable. When it comes to goals such as children and finances, it is important to be on the same page. Discuss dreams and goals early and often.
Create lists of all the good moments and successes
Oftentimes the obstacles, complexities, and hardships of life can overshadow the good moments and small successes we experience. You will have your share of adversity and hardships, so it is imperative that you celebrate successes, big and small, whenever the opportunity presents itself as a couple.
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Communication is one of the biggest gifts you can give to the person you love. To communicate as a couple; there are one listener and one sharer. More importantly, while you are listening, remember you are listening to understand your spouse as opposed to listening to respond. Having the uncomfortable, but necessary conversations will strengthen your bond. While communication is ongoing, it is imperative that we do not hold grudges, withdraw our love and affection or punish our partners with the silent treatment. Let things go and never go to bed upset with each other.
Create a technology-free evening
In 2017 email, social media and text messaging have become the go-to when communicating, even with loved ones. How many times have you seen a couple on date night with their heads buried in phones? Our lives are so full of distractions and oftentimes, technology can be the biggest distraction or barrier to communication. Try to commit an evening per week to no technology. Focus only on each other, date each other and keep that fire burning.
Set aside “Me time” or time with friends
You exchanged marital vows, you are “one” and…..maintaining your identity and individuality is essential to your marriage. Neglecting our individual self or losing our identity in marriage can result in feelings of regret, loss, sorrow, resentment, anger, and frustration. Scheduling time apart also allows us to be more appreciative of the relationship and makes the heart grow fonder.
There is no marriage without flaws even in the “blissful” first year. Remember, every day is different, every marriage is different. Just because your first year is not filled with vacations, roses and expensive gifts do not make it any less special. Expect challenges in the first year. Embrace these challenges and obstacles as opportunities to grow as a couple. The first year of marriage is laying the foundation for a strong, loving and lasting marriage. Remember that you are on the same team no matter what comes your way.