That first year of marriage can be a difficult one if you aren’t prepared. There may be adjustments you will need to make and many things you will learn about your spouse. Wedded bliss may be your goal and what you imagined when you first got engaged, but be prepared for some rocky times. This doesn’t have to mean your marriage is in danger, but just be aware that it may not always be easy. Here are some tips to help you through that first year as husband and wife.
Communicate with Each Other
When it comes to the important issues like finances, career choices, and children, it’s going to be important to communicate clearly. You’ve probably heard the saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we will listen more. While it sounds silly, it is a good reminder to listen more. And make sure to listen and not just get ready to give your response.
Don’t Go To Bed Angry
Settle disputes before you fall asleep. Issues will just fester if you don’t settle them. Learn to compromise and also to put issues aside for the night unless they are urgent matters that require you to talk it out late into the evening.
Accept that There Will Be Conflicts
Two different people will have two different opinions. The earlier you recognize and realize that you are going to have disagreements, the sooner you will realize it’s not the end of the world when you do. Learn how to disagree lovingly and respectfully.
Learn How to Fight Fairly
Name calling should be off the table. There is nothing to gain from blowing off a little steam by calling someone a bad name. So make it a rule never to call each other hurtful names. The old saying of “sticks and stone can break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” isn’t true. Names do hurt, and once you say them, you can’t take them back. Just don’t do it.
Be Slow To Anger
Do whatever it takes not to react immediately if you feel angry. If that means counting to ten in your head, then do it. If that means you need a time out, then take it. Respect that your spouse may also need a time out. Let him go away for an hour or so to cool off but make sure you set a time when you will revisit the topic that made you or him angry.
We all need forgiveness. The bridge you burn may be the one you need to cross someday. Accept that no one is perfect. When you mess up, ask for forgiveness. If your husband asks for forgiveness, accept his apology and move on. It also isn’t a good idea to repeatedly bring up his mistake. Forgiven should mean forgiven. Period. Don’t keep score.
Spend Quality Time Together
For any relationship to grow, two people need to invest time together. This doesn’t always have to mean spending money and going on expensive dates. It could mean a late night of walking, holding hands, and talking. How about a picnic at the park or beach? If you share a hobby, then make sure to do it together and often.
That first year can be a tough one. It may even be the biggest challenge you’d faced in your life so far. But working towards a common goal of having a healthy and loving marriage is going to pay off in the long run. Don’t give up. Don’t let the word “divorce” come out of your mouth. Let this be a year of learning together.
The first year of marriage is a huge transitional year in your life. You are going from living a life just for yourself to learning to live a life together. Let go of the bad times and cherish all the great times. Celebrate that first anniversary and look back and laugh together. Know you’ve made it, and the best is yet to come.
For tips for dealing with confrontation in marriage, check out our article here.