What to Expect Your First Year of Marriage
BY: KETSIA GUSTAVE
Getting married is a huge milestone in a person’s life. For some of us, it is the milestone we’ve looked forward to the most. The anticipation of starting a new life with your partner, planning the wedding and the festivities that come before it, and the honeymoon, all take you on an emotional high. You’re marrying the love of your life!
But the thing is, most people underestimate the work that will go into the marriage afterward. They start to bicker back and forth about stuff like laundry, money, and in-laws. Pretty soon they start to wonder, “What the heck did I get myself into?”
I don’t want you to be one of those people.
So I’m going to tell you some of the major things to expect as you start your lives as newlyweds, and what you can do to strengthen your bond during this time.
You will have disagreements-about everything. This is especially true if you and your partner have never lived together before. Who will do the dishes every night? Will you have joint or separate accounts? Where will you spend the holidays? Every little aspect of your lives will have to be examined as you figure out your roles and responsibilities as husband and wife. The way you communicate during your disagreements will set the pattern for your marriage, so make sure you listen to one another’s needs with an open heart and a flexible attitude. Pick your battles wisely.
Money may become a major issue. Like I mentioned before, there will be a lot of decisions to make regarding your money. Your personality differences will reveal themselves in the way you think about and spend money. Be prepared to have lots of conversations about budgeting, your debts, and future plans. Since you now share money, every decision you make will affect your spouse, and maybe even have an effect on your future. My husband and I have weekly budget meetings to talk about our financial decisions that past week and look at areas where we need to improve. This is a great way to stay on the same page and keep each other accountable for the money you share and your financial future.
You will have to set boundaries with family and friends. Sometimes you’ll find yourself choosing between your spouse and your family and friends. They may ask you for favors that will take energy away from your relationship, or put you at a disadvantage financially (i.e. borrowing money or asking to co-sign a loan). Your marriage should now be at the top of your priority list. So consult with your spouse and don’t make any decisions that will jeopardize your relationship and future plans.
Marriage is wonderful, but don’t count on the emotional high of the honeymoon phase to keep your relationship strong. Be intentional about putting your marriage first and putting in the work it takes to make it thrive. Remember, the patterns you set now will determine the health of your marriage later.
Ketsia Gustave (also known by pen name Kay G), is a blogger in South Florida. Her blog, Evolving Wife, helps wives balance marriage and motherhood without losing themselves. You can reach her at email@example.com.