After spending a year or two (maybe more) planning your wedding, the big day finally arrives, and you become more than just a partner – you become a spouse. Getting married is a great and wonderful thing, but it takes a lot of work to keep a marriage together, especially during the first year. To make sure that your marriage gets off on the right foot, keep reading to learn about six simple tips for surviving the first year of marriage.
1. Create a Home Together
Even if you’ve been living together prior to getting married, it is important to create a home for yourselves during the first year of marriage. If you keep your living arrangements the same, you may end up feeling more like roommates than like a married couple. So, head to the home improvement store to stock up on paint to give your home a makeover and take the time to pick out home décor items together. Make it fun!
2. Cut Yourselves Some Slack
Marriage is hard, and it takes a lot of time and effort to really make it work. During your first year, you are going to make some mistakes as you learn how to live as a married couple – you’ll also find that you learn more about your spouse and about yourself. When problems arise, talk about them with your spouse and work through the difficulties – don’t let things fall to the wayside or they may sew the seeds of resentment and that is a surefire way to kill a marriage.
3. Make Time for Romance
Life is busy, there is no escaping it, but if your marriage is going to survive the first year and beyond you need to make time for each other. When you are spending quality time with your spouse, be fully engaged – turn off the TV and put your phone away. Maybe the two of you will set aside one night a week for date night, or maybe you choose to eat dinner together every night and talk about your days. Whatever makes you feel close to your partner, make it a priority!
4. Practice Gratitude
You chose to marry your partner because you love and respect them, so make an effort to make those things known each and every day! There is nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam with your friends when the going gets rough, but don’t forget to be thankful for the things (and the partner) you have. Thank your spouse for the person they are and for what they bring to the marriage. When you do, you’ll find yourself appreciating them that much more.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Many newlyweds get caught up in the excitement of being a married couple, but it is important to maintain some degree of independence. While you and your spouse are in a partnership, you both need to remain strong in who you are as individuals for it to work. Don’t give up your hobbies and make sure you spend some time apart each week to fulfill your individual needs.
6. Learn How to Compromise
As much as you love each other, you and your partner won’t always see things eye-to-eye. When conflicts arise, take the time to talk through them rather than assuming you know what your partner is going to say. Sometimes you’ll get your way and other times your partner will, but it is the ability to compromise that will keep your marriage alive.
In addition to following these six tips, learning how to communicate with your spouse is also essential for a healthy marriage, and not just for the first year. You should recognize your spouse as more than just a lover, but also as a partner in life – someone to lean on who will also lean on you. The more open and honest you are with each other, the stronger your partnership will be and the stronger your marriage will be as well.
~ VS Glen, Community Support