Once your dream wedding has come to an end, reality sets in as you start your life together as husband and wife. While many believe they need to spend that first year of marriage in a state of newlywed bliss, those first 365 days can actually be quite an adjustment period. From finances to family issues, there is a lot to take on when you join your lives together, so it’s not a big deal to feel a little overwhelmed and less than lovey dovey as you navigate those first months of marriage. Here are eight big mistakes that many couples make during that first year, and expert advice on how to handle it.
1. Not Talking About Money
Although considered taboo by some, it’s important to know what debt your partner has, what assets they have and how they manage their money, says Benjamin Valencia II, partner and certified family law specialist, Meyer, Olson, Lowy and Meyers. Your financial lives are now intertwined so it's better to be honest and deal with any money problems now that wait until those issues get out of control.
2 Believing Everything Should be Perfect
People think you should be romantically in love and on cloud nine, but marriage doesn't necessarily work like that anymore, says Dr Nikki Goldstein, sexologist and relationship expert. "People are staying together for some time before they get married and co habitant before they say 'I do'. When a newly married couple put a lot of pressure on themselves to be in the honeymoon phase when they first get married, it might leave them with disappointments or feeling like things are not working the way they should. It's this expectation of the way things should be that can really impact a couple."
3. Putting Too Much Emphasis on the Wedding
Even after the honeymoon is over, there are still wedding-related things to be done, such as writing the thank you notes and putting together the album. But make sure your relationship is still taking center stage, says Dr. Goldstein. "There has been so much excitement, so much focus on them as a couple and then what next? Often after the wedding is over, that lack of excitement can leave a couple feeling deflated and negatively impact the relationship. It's important to have a fantastic wedding, but also understand that it's not all about the wedding but the marriage too, and the marriage continues further than just that one occasion."
4. Not Going to Bed Angry
That old adage that you should never go to bed angry--ignore it, says Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a licensed clinical professional counselor and cofounder of The Marriage Restoration Project. "Staying up extra hours to resolve conflict when you are both exhausted often leads to further escalation. Sometimes all you need is a good night’s sleep. Once you wake up refreshed in the morning, you’ll often have a clearer perspective on the topic of contention and be able to deal with it in a more reasonable way."
5. Spending Too Much Time Apart
While it's true that you want to have your own friends and interests, you still need to make time for one another, says Rabbi Slatkin. "Don’t think that working long hours or throwing yourself into extracurricular activities and rarely seeing your spouse will endear you to him/her more. In fact, it often leads couples to live separate lives where they learn to coexist as roommates. While you don’t need to be attached at the hip, and quantity should not be a substitute for quality, regular meaningful connection is crucial to nurturing your marriage."
6. Thinking the Other Person Will Change
For the most part, people do not change and most quirks or issues only become more pronounced with age. "You need to accept someone for who they are today and if they change great but don’t condition your happiness on your spouse changing over time," says Valencia.
7. Going to Bed at Different Times
When you and your partner were living separately, of course, you went to bed at different times. However, as a married couple, you should get in the habit of going to bed together. Then you’ll wake up together and begin the day as a team, says Amanda Raimondi, a relationship expert for Grapevine.
8. Forgetting About The Other's Family
Don't forget that your spouse has a family, too, so you'll both have to compromise on where to spend holidays and how often you visit each other's loved ones.
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