The first year of marriage often brings mixed feelings. One day, it is all bliss; you and your heartthrob are cuddly and doting on yourselves. And the next day, you seem not to understand your partner. Well, that can happen.
And sometimes, the on and off can occur even until the second year of marriage. When such situations arise, know that it is normal. You are only going through a transitional phase. After all, you and your spouse are just getting acquainted with the couple's life.
Nevertheless, you should know that the way you build your marriage in the early years will ultimately decide its foundation for the later years. In summary, the first year of your marriage matters, and you should plan how to handle it.
Fortunately, this article can help. In particular, we have compiled the priorities worth getting right in the early years of marriage. But before we discuss the said priorities, let’s explain why the first year of your marriage is crucial!
Why Is The First Year of Marriage Important?
Ideally, couples go through a series of changes over the years of being married. However, most of it happens in the first year of marriage. It is a period of adjustment that takes its toll on the longevity of a marriage. How so?
You and your spouse have different ideas about marriage. And as much as you two might have dated and courted, there is still nothing compared to being married and spending your life with another person. Once the realization sets in, you will naturally tend to influence each other’s behaviors.
Now, the overlapping influences are what causes strife in marriage. When one partner has grandiose expectations that the other can’t match, there will be emotional strains. Unfortunately, that would lead to a decline in responsiveness.
The worse part: if one of the couples repeatedly displays the red flags of the other unapologetically, there would be a decline in love. And once that sets in, the marriage will collapse in time.
Besides the "newness to marriage" that happens in the first year, pressure can affect partners. And in cases where the individuals are not ready for marriage to start, such pressure could crumble their chances of survival.
Lastly, another way the first year of marriage affects the whole union is the willingness couples show in the face of hardships and strains. If you won't fight to make your love work at its earliest stage, you would not likely do so in 3 or 5 years.
Suggested reading: What Can You Do When Your Partner Isn't Ready For Marriage But You Are?
In summary, the first year of marriage is crucial because it sets the precedence of what is to come. Most importantly, it is a test that confirms if partners are indeed ready for lifelong companionship.
Nonetheless, don't fret if you're facing some challenges in the first year of your marriage or suspect it might happen. You only have to set some priorities right with your partner.
What Priorities Should You Set In The First Year Of Your Marriage?
Keep The Intimacy Alive
The first priority you should set with your partner is intimacy; it is the only thing that could get you both out of the struggles to come. If you and your partner are not intimate enough, you'd both lose communication that is crucial in all relationships.
And mind you, intimacy isn’t just about sex. You and your spouse should talk, go out on dates, travel, and do chores together. The last part is particularly critical – the stress of doing house chores alone can crumble a marriage.
Pro tip: even if your spouse can’t handle certain chores, they can at least be present and do little things. For example, your partner could slice the cheese on the cheeseboard, and you prepare the pesto & goat's cheese risotto.
Discuss How To Handle Money
Money matters are undoubtedly one of the issues that occur in the first year of marriage. So, it is best that you develop a plan to contain it with your spouse. And fortunately, we have written a more robust guide on that:
Money And Marriage: How Can You Ensure That One Doesn’t Affect The Other?
Set How To Handle In-laws
After you and your spouse sort out your differences, learn to manage external influences (especially the in-laws). You both should have ground rules that apply to both of your parents.
If you can set the listed priorities right, you can rest assured that your first year of marriage can spur your love life to a bright future. And while you are at it, take time to enjoy a few trips with your partner. And, of course, go with your custom luggage tags and passport holders.