So surreal to think I’ve been married for 3 great years now! I’ve learnt a myriad of lessons and I’m still in the learning process however this post became pertinent because of my darling newly wed folks having their First year experience and those who often slide into my DM asking questions and expressing concerns. Enjoy this!
I’m a little overwhelmed. I never knew it would be this stressful. I can’t keep up with all of these and so much more…These are the messages I often get from newly weds especially the ladies.
The first year of marriage is that time when you and your partner get to see the “real face” of each other, from household chores to managing day to day issues to handling in-laws and all it could really get tough trying to make adjustments and find a balance.The truth of the matter is, almost everyone who has a successful marriage now has experienced the emergency mode of the first year, that time when you are clueless as to how to handle situations you had no idea would come up this soon in your marriage.
Contrary to the love wantitin imagination most people have when getting married, the first year exposes a lot about your relationship and it sure is the best time to set the tone for how you want things to run in your home.Now here are a few points I think would help, not that I am a professional of any kind.
Truth is no one is a marriage expert, but I think these things helped me through my first year and even right now in my third year now I’m still applying all of these to ensure things are still in place.
Give yourself time to adjust:
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by trying to make it all perfect in a month. Both you and your spouse are coming from different homes and you have to learn what works for each person then strike a balance as to how you want things to be done in your home. Don’t rush the process, don’t force it either. Some men have no idea that they have responsibilities towards keeping the home looking good as well, don’t rush him. Give it time.
Role Definition and Communication:
One of the problems in most new marriage is that oftentimes one person feels that they are taking up too many responsibilities and the other person is slacking. Ladies want their men to be as involved in the home as possible especially when both parties have to work and have other demands outside the home. A family friend called me the other day and lamented as to how she had the most stressful day ever and had to go to the market and thereafter came home to start cooking for a husband who had been chilling at home all day. Her problem was not the cooking but having to go to the market when he would have easily bought all the ingredients in his spare time and just waited for her to cook if he couldn’t do it.
I laughed so hard as she bitterly expressed her pain and I also shared a similar experience of mine with her, men don’t joke with food I told her gleefully. Then they should learn to cook it too, she replied.
It’s important to define roles and agree on what each party should be responsible for in the home, also when any one can’t perform their given roles for any reason they should always ensure to communicate it beforehand to avoid arguments. Ask for help when you need it, communicate your needs effectively, remember you are a team. Think as WE not as I.
When it comes to money, I feel if both parties are employed everyone should have a responsibility towards something. Buying groceries, paying bills and all other financial responsibilities should be done together. So that too much doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders.
Another common comment I get from newlyweds is, when it is not food. Well, in my opinion the first year of marriage is that time to enjoy lots and lots of sex. As soon as you start making babies, lovemaking would not or cannot be as spontaneous as it used to be. You become careful not to be too loud or wake the kids, you are more conscious of other people in your home i.e mother in law or family visitor. However, there should be a balance and with time each of you will get to understand the flow and when it’s best to get down to the business. *winks*
Try to get along with your In-laws, whether or not you like them:
Remember you and your spouse have an extended family, ensure to get along with the parents and siblings for the sake of your marriage.
Don’t expect perfection:
Living together exposes some things about your partner that you might never have imagined, communicate how you feel about anything that could pose a threat to your happiness.
Resolve issues daily:
Don’t bottle up issues, try and talk about them on a daily basis and resolve it. Don’t let any form of resentment and anger build up within you.
Focus on the needs of your partner:
Some people want to be charity organizations, forgetting that they have a new home to build. Consult your partner at all times and let all decisions be made unanimously especially financial decisions. Also focus on their emotional and spiritual needs
Spend Time Together:
Pray together, Sing together, gist. Share in each other’s joy, Go on dates, hangout and do all the fun stuff you did before marriage, don’t let marriage take out all the fun in your relationship. Anything as little as movie night, special treats, massage nights to create that spark and something to look forward to. Don’t take the sweet little things for granted.
All in all the first year of marriage is a transition period, if handled well it would help set the tone of the years ahead. All the best!