It’s been said that the first year of marriage is the hardest. In fact, a 2012 study found that “people married for less than a year have lower levels of wellbeing than people in any other year of marriage.” Yikes! Figuring out how to navigate the murky waters and pitfalls of that first year is one thing, however, moving on from those difficult 12 months is another. Knowing how to bounce back from it is more than half the battle (and it might even help save your marriage). Below are our tips on how to move on from a hard first year of marriage.
Make an effort to clear up misunderstandings or conflict right away
No doubt, you’ve had your fair of share of banter, bickering, and arguments during that first year. That’s OK; you were just ironing out the kinks! When it comes to conflict, the quicker you voice what’s bothering you, the better. Conflicts, when they’re done effectively, are a great way to learn how to communicate with each other in a way that feels good to both of you. They also help you learn more about your partner, so you’re able to understand him or her better when it comes to conflict and resolution. Learning how to quickly resolve your arguments peacefully so you both feel seen and heard will help smooth out the rest of your life together.
Learn how to compromise on the house rules
Marriage means coming together in a number of ways, including learning how to live together as partners in daily life. This means that financial issues, like whether or not you get joint accounts, or learning who’s the biggest spender and saver, start to rear their heads. Living together as newlyweds also means you’ll have to start divvying up the boring chores and tasks, like deciding who does the dishes or who buys the groceries. When these things aren’t communicated or compromised on, conflict is bound to follow (which is probably what happened during your first year together). Coming up with a joint task list that details who does what and when, as well as drawing up a budget that works for both of you, will help you out in the years to come.
Keep the romance alive
The stress of your first year being married most likely snuffed out the romance and spark that brought you two together. While the everyday hustle and bustle of life, not to mention the difficulty that comes with being married for the first time, might’ve kept you from going out on date nights, now you know better. Remembering why you fell in love with your partner and feeling desired by one another is essential for a strong marriage. Scheduling regular date nights and making time for sex and intimacy will help you bounce back from any dry spell.
Remember why you got married in the first place
Chances are you got married so you and your spouse could feel like a team and do life together. Even though it’s easy to get annoyed by how your spouse forgets to do the dishes or how they overspend on their comic book collection, it’s essential to remember the ‘why’ behind your marriage. You can do this by appreciating your spouse and remembering to compliment them regularly. Give your husband or wife the benefit of the doubt, and make time for each other. By continuing to value your connection and making the effort to maintain it, you’ll definitely move on from any glitch in your first year.
Your first year of marriage might not have been the easiest ride, but now that you know better, you can do better. By learning how to mitigate conflicts, compromising on household tasks, keeping the romance alive, and remembering why you got married in the first place, you’ll be better equipped to live a long and happy life together.