Newlywed Know-How: First-Year Challenges Can Strengthen Your Marriage

The first year of marriage can be one of the toughest, thanks to the constant adjustments and give and take. When the novelty of marriage wears off, here’s how to turn the challenges into a stronger relationship.

The First Fight

Your first epic fight could be about anything, but it’ll probably be about money. This time will test your resolve and commitment to the relationship. When you’re dating, you don’t really have much of a right to tell your significant other what to do with his money.

But, post-marriage, his financial problems become yours. So, it’s best to nip them in the bud.

At the same time, you have to keep in the back of your mind that you are not adversaries. You’re partners. Always remember that. When all else fails, your husband is the person you have to rely on.

Try to sort out the issue as civilly as possible.

Your First Christmas Together

There’s something special about Christmas – the gifts, the family, the food. But, who’s family do you visit this year? Uh oh. Didn’t think about that, did you? One way a lot of married couples manage it is by alternating seasons.

One year, you go to his family’s, the next year, you go to yours. This works particularly well if families live on opposite sides of the country.

Another option is to plan to spend Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other, then switch the next year. It’s about as close as you can get to spending the holidays with both families without creating chaos by attempting a double Christmas event (visiting both families on Christmas).

To get through the holidays, consider getting each other wedding Christmas ornaments. You’ll look back on this first one as something special.

Friends Post-Wedding

The first time you’re out with single friends post-marriage can be a little awkward. You’re married – they’re single. Do you do single things or married couple things? You will find out who your true friends are. Some people will feel jealous or bitter than “you have your life together” while they feel they don’t.

Your true friends will stick by you.

Your First Major Purchase Together

The first major purchase you’ll probably make together will be either a vehicle or a house. Yes, it’s stressful. You can make it easier by upping your communication game. Talk about money, what you can afford, what you can’t. What you want from the purchase. What you don’t. Be relentless about it. Communication now saves you a fight later.

When Someone Asks You The Baby Question

It’s going to happen. Someone (usually a mom) will ask you “the question.” What do you say? Well, this one is actually simple. Be honest and unforgiving about it. Do you want to have kids right now or not? Don’t worry about the social pressure to come up with the right answer. Just tell them the truth. That always works, even if it feels a little awkward during the moment.

The First Flirt Post-Marriage

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that other girls won’t unintentionally (or intentionally) flirt with your hubby. Take it all in stride. Most women get jealous. But why? Think about it this way: can you blame other girls for thinking he’s attractive?

He’s obviously got it going on. That’s why you married him.

Unless she gives him her number, and he accepts it, there’s nothing to worry about.

Pamela S. Fletcher is a personal coach. She enjoys writing about what works for her to post on the web. Her articles can be found mostly on lifestyle and business websites.