Tips For Newlyweds To Survive That First Crazy Year Of Marriage
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2,100,000 couples said "I Do" in 2014. If you were recently married or are in the process of planning your wedding, chances are you aren't thinking about the hardships that lie ahead during that first tumultuous year as man and wife. After the honeymoon period ends, there is a serious time of adjustment when you begin to settle into married life. Don't let the struggles of that first year of marriage put an end to your relationship, and instead, here are a few tips to help you survive:
Have A Talk About Money Right Away
While you were dating, chances are you were less worried about who paid for dinners, vacations, and all the other expenses that come with being a couple. However, now that you're married and it's "our money" rather than "my money," it's time to have a serious discussion about finances.
Begin by determining if you would rather keep your money in separate bank accounts, or if it would be prudent to have a joint account. If you would like to keep some financial independence, consider creating a joint bank account that is only used to pay the bills, such as rent, car payments, and utilities. You can also start a joint savings account that can be used to save money for a dream vacation or home improvements.
When it comes to your separate account, make sure to remain completely upfront and honest about the amount of money that you have. Try to keep the balance low and use the money for your individual monthly expenses. For example, you could keep a separate bank account to pay for your student loans, gas for your vehicle, or your monthly hair appointment.
Spend Time Together and Apart
When it comes to married life, there is such a thing as spending too much time together. You may enjoy several similar interests and simply enjoy one another's company, but that doesn't mean you need to spend every waking moment together. Instead, understand that it is okay to spend time apart enjoying your friends, family, and activities that you participated in before you were married.
Create a schedule that allows you to make time for one another and yourself. For example, plan on a date night every week. Take turns picking the restaurant or activity you'll both enjoy. Also, give each other permission to enjoy activities apart. Schedule a few hours each week to indulge in a hobby or visit with your friends, on your own. This will allow you to have full and active lives both separately and together.
Know the Signs It's Time to Seek Counseling
Finally, if your marriage is rocky and wedded bliss isn't what you expected, it's important to know the signs it's time to seek the help of a professional. Here are a few examples of situations that require the assistance of an objective third party:
- You're not talking, or when you do speak, it's always negative and you see your partner as the enemy
- A lack of intimacy and trouble in the bedroom
- Emotional, physical, or financial infidelity
- You have the same arguments and cannot come to a resolution
- You are living completely separate lives and are already contemplating divorce
These are only a few of the many reasons why you should seek counseling. Even if you have a happy marriage, counseling can help you gain the tools necessary to continue to love and respect one another.
That first year of marriage can be exciting, exhausting, and frustrating. If you begin to doubt your marriage or simply want to learn how to strengthen your relationship, don't hesitate to contact a marriage counselor at a center like Associates For Counseling & Psychotherapy for assistance.