The hardships of marriage have been frequent subjects to jest for centuries. So much so that Oscar Wilde, in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, has a character say, “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.” While it is true that people of both genders tend to get married thinking that settling down is where they don’t have to work on the relationship anymore, this is far from the truth. It takes a great deal of hard work, every single day, to make a marriage work. Mae West once quipped, “Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.”
However, it doesn’t have to be that bad either. Watching out for the common pitfalls and working on them together as a couple can lead to decades of loving wedlock. Here are seven challenges that newlyweds may face in their first year of being a married couple.
Finances are a different ball game after marriage. Ideally, you’re sharing each other’s finances. This means that both of you have to agree on where to spend money. Though you might have different priorities; it’s important to reach a consensus. You will no longer be able to spend money on frivolities and might even have to give up on your binge shopping habits. This is the time in your marriage where you’re laying a foundation for the future, which might include kids or buying a new house.
A study shows that 35% of couples believe money is the leading cause of stress in their relationship (1). Another research suggests that one in five divorces occurs due to money troubles (2). So watch out for any friction before it occurs and work together on a budget.
2. The In-Laws
Some couples find themselves on thin ice when it comes to their partner’s parents. It can be a touchy subject, but one that you can work on. Ideally, you ought to get on their good books before the marriage itself. Working on your relationship with them can be healthy for your marriage too. Mother-in-laws from hell aren’t as common as pop culture makes them out to be, so don’t be afraid to reach out to her every now and then.
3. Time Management
Being married doesn’t necessarily mean being with each other all the time. Maintaining relationships outside the marriage is essential, as your world just cannot revolve around your spouse.
4. New Annoyances
As time goes by, you may start to get annoyed by things that you once thought were adorable. It’s essential to communicate these with your spouse in a way that is respectful, in order to reach a common ground. The last thing you want is for everything to add up, until one day they do something that translates to the straw that broke the camel’s back.
When it comes to housework, everything should be divided equally. Come on, you have to be fair, lest you want to breed contempt. Prepare a schedule of chores, and assign tasks according to your choices and follow the same. This will enable you to keep your house and your relationship, both, in good shape.
6. Letting Yourself Go
It is understandable to let yourself off the hook after you get married. After all, you are no longer trying to court your partner. While understandable, it is in no way, excusable. Making an effort to look good boosts not only your self-esteem but also shows your partner that you’re making an effort for them. Hygiene, fitness, and diet are the pillars of one’s well-being.
7. Lack of Intimacy
People’s perception of marriage is- all responsibility, no romance. No longer do you pick up your phone to read a flirtatious text message, there aren’t flowers waiting for you on the bed, and you aren’t about to have a candlelight dinner tonight. But why does it have to be this way? You should actively plan time for romance. Make sure you have a regular date night. Passion needs to be alive if your marriage is going to last.
There is no dearth of things that can go wrong in a marriage, but no way you can’t make them right. It isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, and problems won’t just fix themselves. It takes hard work to make a marriage successful, and if you clear the first few years, your marriage is likely to last till the both of you grow old.