Because the conventional wisdom about the difficulties of the first year of marriage still holds true. The complexities of marriage have only increased with the advent of modern living. You've just just started to come down from the wedding, and now you're starting to worry about merging your money, juggling your two careers, and accommodating your spouse's and your families' mutual commitments. The stresses of being a young adult, such as mounting college debt, escalating living expenses, and a lack of adequate living quarters, are still present, but they now feel exponentially greater.
You and your spouse need to put your needs first. And what really is the issue? A public discussion of this subject would be frowned upon. You fear coming seen as unhappy, resentful, or even a horrible partner in today's "perfect" social media world. But if you're having trouble, don't feel bad about acknowledging it; it doesn't imply you made a mistake getting married. It can do you a lot of good to talk about it.
Here we'll take a look at some of the specific difficulties that couples may face in their first year of marriage, as well as some strategies for overcoming them.
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Table of Contents
FAQs About Weddings
Although the first couple of years of a marriage are said to be the most difficult, they are often remembered as the most joyous. They can be a tremendous time of intimacy and discovery. There is so much to learn about each other and so much to express to one another.
Studies suggest that 20 percent of marriages end within the first five years and that this number increased by 12 percent within 10 years. But between 10 years and 15 years, the rate only increases about 8 percent, implying that one of the safest stages of your marriage is between years 10 and 15.
Unhappy marriages are less common than unhappy spouses; three out of four unhappily married adults are married to someone who is happy with the marriage.
The first year of the relationship is the hardest stage, and even when you're living together, you still discover new things about each other every day. How to Survive: The key to getting past the discovery stage is also discovery. The discovery of your partner's imperfections and your imperfections as well.
Abuse. The most serious reason to consider divorce is any persistent pattern of spousal abuse. This certainly encompasses physical abuse, which can place one spouse's life in immediate danger.
Facing the Honeymoon Blues
Yes, it's normal to feel some post-wedding blues. The "post-honeymoon blues" is a perfectly typical phenomenon. Both of you have been preoccupied with time-consuming tasks related to the upcoming wedding. A feeling of loss is almost guaranteed once that burden has been lifted. It's very similar to the blues many folks get after the holidays. But we must not dismiss this low point.
It can help to get through the "newlywed blues" if you know what to expect. Next up is preparing your married home for the remainder of your lives together. A major goal for newlyweds should be nurturing their relationship. A couple also has to deal with other responsibilities.
Some of the most important issues to work out in the first year of marriage are: how to divide up and handle finances, who will do what chores, how to spend free time, when to have sex, how to interact with in-laws, how to handle differences in spirituality or religion, how to resolve conflicts, and what to expect from each other.
For fear of sparking an argument, many couples choose to avoid discussing potentially contentious subjects.
You’re No Longer Dating
You were "dating" when you first met your husband, which meant that you were actively courting each other and not just going on dates. Long-term relationships, especially marriage, tend to alter this dynamic. Are you ready for the answer? Never give up on love. Keep up with the newest oddities that they appreciate about you," in addition to continuing to do the things that made your individual fall for you in the first place. Try to spend time together often, maintain open lines of communication, and have fun remembering the origins of your relationship.
You Expect More From Each Other
You and your spouse may have different expectations of each other now that you're married. "Who is responsible for taking care of the housework? Who handles making payments on bills? Where, when, what, and why do things get done?" You may know the answers to some of these questions off the top of your head based on your personal preferences, background, and experiences, but your significant other might not. Have a conversation with your partner about your respective talents, shortcomings, and expectations.
Check out our post on What is a happy marriage like?
You Have Another Person to Care For
You probably loved your spouse before you were married, but it becomes more of a responsibility after the wedding. Though marriage is characterised as the merging of two people, it is necessary to take care of yourself as well since burnout can occur. Focus on the relationship, but don't neglect your own needs; if you stop doing the things that make you happy, like going to the gym and hanging out with friends, the relationship will suffer.
Your Expenses Become Joined
Even if you've been sharing rent or a mortgage, utilities, and groceries as a couple for some time, marriage brings it to a whole new level. You can decide to merge your finances and file your taxes as a married couple. Values around spending and saving typically don't match up, and whatever you haven't already discussed and sorted out is likely to become a significant issue in your first year of marriage (and beyond).
It’s Harder to Avoid Disagreements
While you may have been able to avoid discussing contentious issues on which you and your partner have differed up until this point, this becomes far more difficult when you get married.
Ignoring problems will only make them worse since resentment is bound to rise as you each become angrier over things left unsaid. The number one piece of advice to couples who seek her out for counselling is to practise having difficult conversations with their partners even when they strongly disagree on a given topic.
While some decisions can be settled through compromise, others, such as whether or not to start a family, require an "all or nothing" approach. You should have a method in place for talking about issues where you have divergent beliefs or opinions so that everyone feels heard and understood, even if they never come to an agreement.
You’re Merging Your Two Families
Your family was "your" family, and your spouse's family was "theirs" before the wedding. However, since your marriage, your two families have become one. Couples are essentially building their own new family unit, so they need to figure out how to incorporate elements of each other's families into their own. Couples learn to set limits with each other's families and how to divide their time with them throughout the first year of marriage.
Pregnancy and Children Change Things
Seventy per cent of couples who had a kid in the first year of their marriage reported a reduction in marital happiness and stability. This is normal because caring for children takes up so much time and effort that there is less left over for the other person in the relationship. Frequently lose sight of one other's needs because they focus so much on their children.
Most newlyweds are unprepared for the fact that becoming a parent also brings out other sides of themselves and that there often has to be a shift in responsibilities and norms within the family and at each stage of the child's life.
Things To Do In The First Year Of Marriage
The coming together of two people who are wonderful for each other is not a prerequisite for a happy marriage. It's when two flawed people accept and appreciate one another.
Some suggestions for the first 12 months:
- Budget and divide up the costs between you all. If you want to avoid running out of money before the end of the month, whether both of you are working or only one of you is, it's important to create a monthly spending plan. Be honest with your spouse about any monetary issues you're now facing, such as outstanding loans, large credit card obligations, insecure employment, or impending financial disaster.
- Pregnancy preparation: Parenthood is magical but comes with a lot of work and extra expenses. Before deciding to start a family, it's important to think about things like your professional goals, your partner's work goals, and the financial and emotional support you'll receive from your family. Make an appointment with the doctor and weigh the benefits and drawbacks before bringing a new life into your world.
- Communicate what you expect from your partner. Most troubled marriages can be traced back to one or both partners having unrealistic or ill-defined expectations of what the other should do. Conflicts can be avoided if you communicate your expectations and ensure you understand theirs.
- Realize the significance of seemingly insignificant actions: Happiness in a marriage can be increased by small gestures of affection, initiative, and cooperation on domestic tasks.
- Acknowledge authority and act responsibly. Be courteous to one another and your extended relatives. If you disagree with someone, do so respectfully and politely. Do what you say you're going to do.
- Relationships in marriage should not be used as a stage for superiority contests. You should both respect one another and not feel superior to your partner at any time. It's important to be flexible and open to your partner's ideas.
- Make an effort to become your spouse's pillar of support during this time of transition. Every married couple goes through innumerable changes in the first year of their union. Therefore, showing your spouse love, calmness, and patience is important. As a couple, you need to be each other's rock.
- Don't keep score; it's a poor idea to keep tabs on who owes whom battles or favours. It won't improve your connection at all and will probably hurt it in the long term.
- Grow the bond: Invest in one another and give close attention to the little things. Consol your partner when circumstances are rough and let them know you're there for them no matter what. Maintaining a close relationship with your spouse is essential.
- Communicate: Exchange some words; have a conversation; let your feelings out. Be forthright in your expression of opinion. The value of open lines of communication cannot be overstated. Communicating openly and honestly with one another is essential in every marriage.
- There are no constraints whatsoever. The best way to strengthen a marriage is to talk to one another.
- Leave some room for... While quality time spent together is essential, so is respecting your partner's need for solitude and independence.
- Your partner may desire solo time to think things over, unwind, or socialise with friends. Basically, give in to their demands.
If a pair vows to never give up on each other, they have already won half the battle. If the newlyweds are committed to each other for the rest of time, the adventure that began on their wedding day will last for all of eternity.
So, Is the First Year the Hardest?
A number of studies have been conducted on this topic, and while the specific results vary, the vast majority of evidence does not point to the first year of marriage is the most challenging.
A recent one indicated that conditions usually improved throughout the first year. It's true that there may be difficulties in settling into married life, but the thrill of a brand-new relationship will help ease the pain. So, certainly, there can be difficult times in the first year of marriage; in fact, every year of marriage will. However, it is usually not the hardest.
The survey found that the fifth year was the most challenging for couples. Now that the novelty has worn off and responsibilities at home and in the workplace have begun to weigh heavily, it's time to face the truth: marital life is hard.
Keep in mind that although many married couples find their fifth year to be the most trying, this is by no means universally true. There are some statistical standards at play here, but the fact that you don't fit into them doesn't make what you're experiencing any less valid.
The fifth year of a relationship may be the most trying for some pairs. It might also be the third year. It's also possible to go for a few consecutive years. Research like this can give you a sense of the general landscape of marriage, but it shouldn't be used as a guide for making specific decisions about your own union. There is nothing more to them than studying.
Besides this, what else does this research reveal? If you're in your fifth year and finding it particularly trying, here is some encouraging news: Marriages that can make it through the first seven years are considerably more likely to last and be successful. The couple learns how to prioritise their relationship and handle conflict better as a result of the trying times. Over the subsequent few decades, those resources will make an enormous impact.
In fact, a study found that partners who have been married for 40 years report greater satisfaction with their marriages than those who are just starting out. But what do these researches tell us? Let's go through a few points.
First, it's important to keep in mind that every marriage goes through hard patches. Yours. Others. It's extremely typical for couples to go through periods of time where they feel emotionally, relationally, and physically distant from one another in their marriage.
Though you shouldn't dismiss them out of hand, these issues shouldn't cause you undue concern either. Don't read trouble as an indication that your marriage is in trouble, but as a sign that something needs to be worked on. Strong couples struggle, too. The test of time is where the strongest marriages truly shine.
Second, it's important to keep in mind that sticking through the rough patches in a marriage isn't without its rewards. Concerns about money, parenting, and general boredom are all valid topics to discuss with a counsellor and reliable outsiders. Your marriage will benefit in the long run if you make a concerted effort to understand how to successfully manage these inevitable challenges.
This brings us to our third and last lesson. Seek out concrete assistance rather than just wish for it. If you're having relationship issues, even if you don't think you need help right now, you should look into local counsellors and schedule an appointment. Put yourself in a stronger financial position for the future by taking care of your finances immediately. You'll be better prepared for the future if you make an effort to systematically accumulate such assets.
But It Doesn't Have to Be a Disaster
The first year of your marriage doesn't have to be a rough one. You could be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed, but remember to put things in perspective. If you're feeling down or angry, try taking a deep breath.
Is your partner at fault for the argument you and they keep having? Is it that you're just frustrated and taking it out on your spouse, or is there something actually wrong with the marriage? The source of the issue is usually not where you initially suspect it to be.
Equally, don't feel like you can't talk about issues with your spouse just because you're married. Just because you're going to be together forever doesn't mean you have to put up with your partner's unpleasant habits, like leaving their toenails all over the place or them never asking how your day was.
Now, more than ever, it's crucial that you maintain an open line of communication. You should at least be able to vent to your buddies. This does not make you a horrible partner, and they will understand.
The strains of married life have grown more difficult to manage in the current era. For newlyweds, nothing is more important than putting in the effort to grow their love for one another. Money, household duties, and sexual relations are just a few of the first-year concerns you'll want to iron out. Understanding how to deal with contrasting spiritual or religious perspectives is also useful in settling disputes. Since you and your partner are now married, you could find that you have different expectations of one another.
Talk to one another about your skills, your weaknesses, and your hopes for the future. Avoiding disagreements on topics you and your partner previously disagreed with is more difficult. Since marriage can be stressful, taking care of both partners is important. Most young couples are unprepared for the ways in which they will change once they become parents. Marriage bliss need not be predicated on the union of two perfect complements to one another.
It's important for couples to figure out ways to blend their respective families. Set a price range and divide the bill evenly. Unrealistic or poorly defined expectations of what each partner should do are usually at the root of marital strife. Small displays of affection, taking the initiative, and working together on household responsibilities can make marriage more fulfilling. Have frank and open conversations with each other.
Allow your partner some space for personal time. A couple can make significant progress by promising to keep fighting for one another. According to the results of a recent survey, the fifth year of marriage is the most trying. A marriage's chances to survive and flourish increase dramatically if the couple can make it through the first seven years together. According to a recent study, relationship happiness is highest among couples who have been married for 40 years.
These challenging periods teach the pair to value their connection more and to resolve conflicts more maturely. Looking into local counsellors and setting up an appointment would be good if you're having relationship problems. Take care of your finances now to put yourself in a better position financially for the future. You shouldn't feel like you can't talk to your spouse about problems just because you're married.
- For the simple reason that it is still generally accepted that the first year of marriage is the most challenging.
- In this current era, marriage has become even more complicated.
- You've only just begun to recover from the wedding, and now you're stressed about combining your finances, coordinating your two careers, and making time for your spouse's and their family.
- Your needs, as a couple, should be first.
- But if you're struggling, realise that admitting it isn't a sign that your marriage was a mistake.
- Just talking about it can help a lot.
- Some degree of "blues" after a wedding is normal.
- The "honeymoon blues" are a completely normal reaction to a successful honeymoon.
- Knowing what to expect can help you get over the "newlywed blues."
- The next step is to make your house a home for the two of you.
- It's not just the two of you that have to worry about bills and chores; the couple has to.
- In the first year of marriage, it's important to figure out how to divide up and handle finances, who will do what chores, how to spend free time, when to have sex, how to interact with in-laws, how to handle differences in spirituality or religion, how to resolve conflicts, and what to expect from one another.
- Maintain hope for love always.
- In your relationship, you have higher standards for one another.
- Once you're married, you and your partner may have different expectations of one another.
- Talk to your partner about your skills, weaknesses, and hopes for the future.
- Another human being depends on you for care.
- You loved your partner before you got married, but now you have a greater obligation to do so.
- When two people come together in marriage, it's easy to forget about your own needs, which is why it's important to avoid burnout at all costs.
- Pay attention to your relationship, but don't let it prevent you from meeting your personal needs, such as working out and spending time with friends.
- You may choose to combine your funds and file joint tax returns once you're married.
- In most couples, there is a fundamental misalignment of values when it comes to spending and saving. If these issues haven't been talked and resolved before to marriage, they are very likely to surface during the first year (and beyond).
- Confrontations are more difficult to avoid.
- When you are married, it becomes much more difficult to avoid discussing the difficult topics on which you and your spouse may have disagreed in the past.
- Problems can't be solved by ignoring them, and ignoring them will only make both of you angrier.
- Counseling couples, she stresses the importance of practising having challenging talks with one another, especially when they strongly disagree on a certain topic.
- If you're debating whether or not to start a family, for example, you'll need to take a "all or nothing" stance rather than try to find a middle ground.
- Even if you never manage to come to an agreement, you should still have a system in place for discussing topics on which you and your group members hold radically different views.
- Before you got married, your family was your family and your spouse's family was their family.
- Your two families have combined into one, though, since your marriage.
- A couple's new family unit requires them to learn how to combine aspects of both of their previous families.
- During the first year of marriage, spouses learn to establish boundaries with one another and negotiate how much time each will spend with their own families.
- Seventy per cent of first-year married parents said their marriage suffered after having a child.
- It's natural for one partner to feel neglected because raising children requires so much energy and time.
- Regularly neglect each other's wants and needs in favour of those of their children.
- Most first-time parents are caught off guard by the fact that having children also brings out different sides of themselves and that there often needs to be a shift in responsibilities and conventions within the family and at each stage of the child's life.
- Marriage bliss need not be predicated on the union of two perfect complements to one another.
- What it means when two flawed people embrace and enjoy one another.
- Set a price range and divide the bill evenly.
- Whether you are both working or only one of you is, a monthly spending plan is essential if you want to prevent running out of money before the end of the month.
- Tell your partner the truth about your current financial situation, including any debts you owe, big credit card balances, job insecurity, or looming financial calamity.
- Consider your career aspirations, your partner's career aspirations, and the financial and emotional support you'll receive from family members before making the decision to start a family.
- Say out loud what it is that you anticipate from your relationship.
- Unrealistic or poorly defined expectations of what each partner should do are usually at the root of marital strife.
- Comply with rules and be an upstanding citizen.
- Treat each other and your extended family with respect.
- Follow through on your commitments.
- Marriage should not be used as a platform for ego battles.
- You shouldn't ever look down on your partner or act superior to them.
- Be adaptable and receptive to your partner's suggestions.
- Try to become your partner's rock of stability while you navigate this change.
- Therefore, it is essential to demonstrate affection, serenity, and tolerance towards your partner.
- You need to be each other's solid ground as a relationship.
- That won't help your relationship at all and could even damage it over time.
- Communicate with one another; share your thoughts and feelings.
- Don't sugarcoat your opinions.
- There is no way to stress the importance of having a clear channel of communication.
- Every couple needs to work on maintaining honest and open lines of communication.
- Communication between partners is essential for a healthy marriage.
- Although it's important to spend time with your partner, it's also important to respect their need for alone time.
- In other words, cave in to their demands.
- By promising to keep fighting for one other, a couple can make significant progress.
- While some studies have found that the first year of marriage is the most difficult, the vast bulk of data suggests that this is not the case.
- While it's true that there might be growing pains while starting a new marriage, the excitement of a fresh romance can help lessen the pain.
- Indeed, the first year of marriage can be challenging; indeed, every year of marriage will.
- But it's usually not the most challenging.
- According to the results, the fifth year of a marriage is the most trying.
- The honeymoon period is over, and the weight of domestic and professional obligations has finally begun to settle in.
- It's important to remember that while many married couples do find the fifth year to be the most challenging, this is by no means the case for everyone.
- Some couples find the fifth year of their partnership the most challenging.
- Perhaps this is the third year as well.
- It is also conceivable to do so for several years in a row.
- Data like this can help paint a picture of the big picture when it comes to marriage, but it shouldn't be used to make decisions about your own partnership.
- Here's some good news if you're in your fifth year and it's been a rough one thus far: The chances of a marriage surviving and flourishing increase dramatically if the couple can make it through the first seven years together.
- These challenging periods teach the pair to value their connection more and to resolve conflicts more maturely.
- According to research, couples who have been married for 40 years report higher levels of happiness than newlyweds.
- For starters, remember that even the healthiest marriages have their bad times.
- There will inevitably be times in every marriage when the partners feel emotionally, relationally, and physically detached from one another.
- If you're having problems, see it as a hint that something needs to be worked on rather than as an indicator that your marriage is in peril.
- Even healthy couples have their share of problems.
- Relationships that stand the test of time are the ones that succeed.
- Second, there are benefits to staying together during the tough times in a marriage.
- Making an honest effort to learn the skills you'll need to navigate these difficulties will improve your marriage in the long run.
- Don't merely hope for help; actively seek it out.
- Even if you don't think you need help right now, it's a good idea to look into local counsellors if you're having relationship problems.
- Take care of your finances now to put yourself in a better position financially for the future.
- You and your spouse can have a wonderful first year of marriage.
- You have every right to feel helpless, but try to keep things in perspective.
- Try taking a few deep breaths if you're feeling gloomy or furious.
- It's not always obvious at first glance where the problem lies.
- Similarly, just because you're a married couple doesn't mean you can't discuss sensitive topics together.
- It is more important than ever that you keep the lines of communication open.
- At the very least, you should be able to rant to your pals.
- They will understand, and this in no way reflects poorly on you as a spouse.