Surviving year one

When the flowers are gone and the honeymoon ends, the real work begins. A few simple tips can help your first year of marriage be one of the best, and a solid foundation for the years to come. A foundation of hard work, understanding, and love.

Surviving year one

When the flowers are gone and the honeymoon ends, the real work begins. A few simple tips can help your first year of marriage be one of the best, and a solid foundation for the years to come. A foundation of hard work, understanding, and love.
  • Soon after being married, my husband and I started being asked questions like “Is being married as hard as you thought it would be?” and “Were there a lot of things that surprised you after getting married?” These questions all had so many answers, both yes and no often being a valid response to the same inquiry.

  • Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. And that first year is so instrumental in setting the tone for the years ahead. Couples and situations will be different in every marriage, but here are 4 guidelines to survive that first year and make it the building block for those to come:

    1. Communication comes first

    2. Be patient and humble

    3. Establish a flexible routine

    4. Don’t have any expectations

  • Communication comes first

  • Every couple and every person will have their own personality and way to communicate. The most important thing to communicate to your spouse, especially while establishing your marriage relationship, is how much you love them. Make sure they know how much you care and express it in a way that they will appreciate it. If words of affection touch your spouse’s heart, make sure those words are said and shared often. If physical touch is what lets them know you care, a spontaneous kiss or longer-than-normal hug can rekindle those just-married butterflies. And don’t be afraid to remind your spouse how you like to be loved, should they forget. The communication of love and affection should be a source of comfort and confidence in every new marriage.

  • While the communication of love is the greatest of all, it is also important to communicate what things might be bothering you or what changes you would like to see in your relationship. Carefully choose which battles you want to risk fighting, which brings us to our next item:

  • Be patient and humble

  • Being nitpicky and pointing out every weakness and bothersome action will surely make for a frustrating first year. It will take some time to become adjusted to marriage, and it is important to be patient during that period. Be patient in your partner’s weaknesses and learn to love them for their imperfections. Let the little problems go and focus on the things that make your marriage so great. Humility will make letting those little things go much easier. Understand that there are two of you, and you both have things to work on.

  • Establish a flexible routine

  • Having a routine will help the adjustment of marriage come a little easier. Are you going to work out together before work in the morning? Are you going to cook together after the day’s activities? Is Friday date night? This will help establish good habits and an understanding of how schedules will typically work. Try to stick to your routine, but don’t be afraid to occasionally go off the schedule. Maybe one night you want to stay in bed and cuddle a little longer or have a reason to go out and celebrate – take these opportunities! They will help keep things fresh. But be careful – stray too much and your schedule will no longer be a habit.

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  • Don’t have any expectations

  • Hollywood and modern media have brought about some unrealistic and skewed views of love and marriage. Expecting to have a fairy tale story just like the movies is just not smart. You may expect your wife to do all of the cooking and cleaning or for your husband to be the perfect gentleman and bring home flowers on a regular basis. Having expectations will potentially set you up for some great disappointment.

  • Enjoy the experience and the journey of discovering what marriage really is all about and don’t let what someone else’s spouse or a fictional story ruin the incredible experience that is your marriage. Appreciate the little things they do and when things aren’t going quite right, remind yourself of the things that make your spouse the one for you.

  • When it all comes down to it, enjoy each other's company and focus on the positive parts of your marriage. Write down the things you love about your spouse and the great things they do for you. It makes for a great thing to come back to when things turn a little rocky. Learn to love each others’ little quirks and make sure you know how to share your love and show your appreciation. Marriage is something you have to work for, but will be the most enjoyable, rewarding project of your life.

Lindsay graduated in Business Management and loves marketing communications. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Paul. You can contact her at [email protected] or visit her blog at


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