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They don't say the first year of marriage is the hardest for no reason. It is really a transition period where you both get used to one another, and getting used to life with that one person for life.
And, unlike married couples who've been with one another long enough to know one another's habits and quirks, or unless you've been living with one another for years before marriage, there will be things you have to get used to.
1. Define your roles and setting new traditions
Once you've made your union legal in the eyes of the law, things somehow feel... more serious. You're officially a family unit now. And while you don't necessarily have to do things one way, there's this implicit understanding that you may do so.
From coming up with roles and responsibilities (such as splitting the household chores, who's going to buy groceries and so on), to deciding whose families to visit during the holidays, it's something to think about once you've gotten married, or even engaged.
2. Don't sweat the small things
I once had a friend tell me about the little things her new husband does, that she gets irritated with. Things like squeezing the toothpaste tube halfway instead of starting at the bottom, leaving the toilet seat up...
You won't be thinking about these when you're dating, as you're probably not living together, and won't see each other's habits on a daily basis. But once you have, you either talk to your husband about it, or live with it. There are other battles to fight.
3. Talk finances
Money is one of the most common fights couples in their first year of marriage have, and understandably so. Now that you both are responsible for one another, spending money frivolously, is no longer an option. See here for our tips and solutions on how to get around it.
When you marry your spouse, you marry the entire family too. If you enjoy a good relationship with your in-laws, lucky you. For the not-so-fortunate, see here, here and here on ways to handle the situation.
5. Never take each other for granted
Once you've gotten married and think that you're bonded together for life, it's easy to take certain things for granted. Some of the things you can do to try and prevent this is to be aware of your partner's physical and emotional needs, manage your expectations, and always communicate to prevent any misunderstandings. See the three things to not take for granted after marriage.
6. Learn how to back down, or agree to disagree
Winning arguments isn't everything. When you both disagree about a certain thing, unless it's a big decision that will affect your lives, learn to give in at times, or agree to disagree. See three ways to resolve disagreements in a marriage.
7. Don't keep score
Whether you've won or lost an argument, don't keep score, and whatever you do, do not bring it up in a future argument, unless absolutely necessary. See how silence can help your relationship at times.
8. Set ground rules
Think things like making divorce a non-option, or ways to get through tough situations together. See how this simple gift imparted valuable marriage lessons to this couple.