(Closed) What makes the first year of marriage hard?

posted 11 years ago in Married Life
Post # 47
1009 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think this year (so far) has been hard for us, but it hasn’t been stress free either.  We’ve been married 5 months now, and the stress we’ve had has been from:

– Combining finances – hard to do when you’re in your 30s and have never had to consider/consult someone else when making financial decisions.  It took us some time to prioritize our financial goals and set a dollar amounts to each goal.  And it takes disipline to put our long term goals ahead of our short term goals.

– Holidays – we’re still figuring this one out.  And his parents are divorced, so that complicates things even more.  We’re taking it holiday by holiday, but I’m ready to figure out lasting traditions, so we don’t have to “discuss” each holiday.

– Details of living together – He moved in 8 months before we got married, but he felt like it was still my house on some level.  He wasn’t being proactive about taking care of things around the house, and its taken him a while to realize its his house too, and taking care of “house things” are his responsibility too. 

I think the first year can be hard because there are so many changes to navigate through together.  And its the added pressure of knowing you have to figure out a solution that will not only work in the short term, but in the long term as well. 

Post # 48
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have to edit my previous post.  I found everything in our marriage to be good so far and we’ve been married for over half a year.

I have found that the relationships around us (particularly with my friends) have changed since we’ve been married.  I’ve had friends comment about my not having time for them while we were house hunting, people calling me a “docile unambitious housewife” behind my back.  so the losing of long term friendships has been hard and it definitely dampens your newlywed happiness. 

Post # 49
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Ms. Purple: WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would kick someone’s butt if they told me that. That’s crazy. Sorry you have to go through that.

Post # 50
27 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

To answer your question,

I think what can make the first year of marriage difficult is if you and your hubby are faced with a big or difficult decision, or a personal/family event. I guess it can be hard to resovle conflict or be suppostive to your SO in the way that they need to be consoled.

With that being said, I have been married for 2 months and am totally in that ‘nesting’ phase (I baked cookies for xmas for the first time ever, like to make nice dinners more often, host more for get-togethers at home, etc) and I love it!! and we can’t place out finger on it but something has changed, and its for the better. We even argue more constructively. Its crazy and weird, but in a good way!  

Post # 51
3968 posts
Honey bee

I didn’t comment on this post when I first read it a couple months ago.  I was in the camp of “first year is great!” – that was with about 6 weeks of marriage experience 😉

I’ll tell you what has been challenging for us so far (in my whole 13 week experience to date!) 🙂

1.  The holidays – Christmas specifically.  Thanksgiving was a breeze because I included DH into our regular family traditions.  He was fine with not seeing his family and we discussed having both sides over for Christmas.  Seemed like a fair compromise to me.  LONG STORY short – it caused HUGE issues for my side of the family and they basically boycotted our invitation to come to our house for christmas – saying it wasn’t ‘tradition’.  Of course, none of this was mentioned when the invite presented itself shortly after Thanksgiving – but in the days prior to Christmas.  It made for very tense moments and not a very ‘Christmas-like’ atmosphere.  DH and I were fine through it for the most part and he appreciated the way I was supporting him through it – but it really got ugly for me (insert lots of tears).

2.  Family injury – my mom became disabled which meant she now needs someone to take care of her (basic things like grocery shopping, food prep, etc.).  That all equates to me taking time that I normally would spend on DH and our home into things for her and coming home pretty tired/spent.  It’s a temporary thing (probably 12-16 weeks), but it’s taking it’s toll on me more than DH.  He’s been very understanding about the whole thing, but I can see how if I can’t muster the energy to spend investing in him/us, it could go downhill fast.

3.  Personal sickness – about 6 weeks into the marriage, I got sick for 3 weeks.  I basically had zero energy and couldn’t do anything.  I turned into the excited wife into the lump of a wife, and DH didn’t really equate me not feeling so well (not really showing signs of sickness other than exhaustion) to why I was different.

The only other thing that I could see being a challenge is figuring out what ‘our’ things to do as a couple are.  I’m not sure why this seems so challenging.  We had a day off together and couldn’t figure out what to do.  I think we were both so concerned with making sure the other was happy, that it left us unable to make any decision.  We ended up just vegging out and had a great day… but in later talking about it, I’m realizing when it’s just me to figure out, I know what “I” need… but we haven’t really figured out the balance of what ‘we’ need as a married couple (we’ve been together for over 5 years… so it’s not a newness relationship kind of thing).

As far as figuring house/finances, fortunately, that’s been really easy… well, except for me always having to work on keeping the house picked up (mostly my shoes and clothes) (he’s the one that likes order more than me).  For those in the same boat – it DOES get easier!!!

Post # 51
1 posts

I’ve been married for 10 months now, and this first year has definitely been tough. We knew eachother quite well when we married, had been dating for 4 years and lived together for 2.5 of those years. It’s just different when your lives become combined. This year we moved and bought a house, and that definitely added to the stress. Our main fights/ stresses have been:

– Combining of finances: When is it okay to spend money? At what $ amount do we need to let eachother know we’re making purchases? His idea of what is worthwhile for me to spend money on and vice versa.

– Order of priorities: What is important to us? I am a bit older than him, so for me our house and saving for a kid are really important. To him, travel and friends are still big priorities, which definitely causes issues.

– Communicating in general: With eachother, and those who are important to us. Nurturing relationships with his friends and he with my friends becomes more important, since we’re both sticking around in eachothers lives.

Post # 52
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

View original reply
1littlep:  nothing was difficult about our first year. We already lived together before marriage so there was no adjustment there. It was just our normal relationship carrying on (together 6.5yrs before marriage, lived together for 3.5yrs)…I think our first year was actually better than any of our years so far because we both liked the feeling of being married and more “solid” because we felt more connected. I also still love saying/writing my name with my new last name and love when he says “my wife…”. I’d say we’re even more in love now 🙂

ETA – we aren’t combining finances either so that’s not changing for us either. Easy peasy!

Post # 53
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
chocolatemalt :  I’m glad you commented I will be married a yr in October and just like you we had been living together for years and dated on and off since we were 14 (we are now 33) but this year has been by far the hardest year of our relationship. yet everyone expects us to say it’s been great or it’s un normal  to have a ruff year.  I am trying to make our marriage a for ever thing and I think that might be the hard part seeing us having such a difficult year and wondering how forever is possible?  sorry I don’t have advice just wanted to comment it’s not only hard for those just moving in with each other or haven’t dated for years.to those who’s 1st year has been blessed I’m very happy for you all. 

Post # 54
8 posts

I have been married for 31 years and the first year was not hard at all.  We did not live together prior, but I had been living on my own for 10 years.

I was in my early thrities when I got married, had 3 kids, and the only times marriage got rough were all directly due to interence by in-laws.  

But throughout it all, I never considered divorce an option.  I jokingly tell people who ask, what’s the secret to a happy marriage, ‘Don’t Leave.  Simple as that.”  But there’s truth to it.

I remember my husband and I went through a particularly dark period that lasted a couple of years.  I had 3 kids ages 5, 4, and 2, and didn’t work for two years because juggling childcare just wasn’t working.  My in-laws continually told my husband I should be taking in other kids to earn money, or find some other way of earning, and kept making comments as if I were taking advantage of him.  I think he fell for it at times, and it caused a tremendous amount of friction.

But at the end, we came out of it, and I knew we were in it for the long haul.  I think when you go through a dark period and come out as best friends again, you just know it’ll all be OK.

Post # 55
851 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
1littlep :  my Mum was diagnosed with cancer & had a huge operation, I had 2 miscarriages and my Grandma died, all within 6 months of getting married, but despite that we managed ok! I think had that stuff not happened then it would’ve just been a year like any other as our relationship didn’t change just because we were married.

Post # 56
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016 - Simsbury 1820 House

We will be at a year in September and it really wasn’t too difficult. We already lived together for a year though before the wedding so that helped a lot. Balancing families and your traditions as a couple can be hard around the holidays. Trying to make everyone happy while also working to establish your family and how you want holidays and such to be. Also family might start treating you differently. I know my Father-In-Law opened up a lot more on our wedding day and after to me and really accepted me into the family.

Post # 57
284 posts
Helper bee

Could we revive this thread and talk about this? 

I’ve been married for about 1.5 years and my toughest experiences in the first year:

1. Combining finances – how much to spend, what to spend on. Generally I had to hold back my criticisms of his spending on his sport hobbies while he had to withhold any criticisms  on my spending on cosmetics

2. House chores – I am an organizer while he’s a procrastinater and relatively messy. He cannot see mess while I get irritated by messy environment. I like to do the chores FIRST on the weekend no matter what and then play while he likes to do them whenever he feels like.

3. Various events – DH job security (was on temp contract role but now he isn’t); family illness

4. Different energy levels – DH more energetic and likes exercising and being outdoors while I like to basically stay horizontal all day long on weekends

5. Food – while we have the same ethnicity, culturally we are from different countries. I like spicy flavory food while he likes bland and physically cannot take spicy food. So cooking has been a big challenge. 

We didn’t live together before marriage and neither of us actually lived away from family before this so it was a huge adjustment for both of us. The surprise that shocked me was that he’s actually very impatient and he does get angry. While it’s natural and not a big deal but before marriage, he never argued with me and he never showed that side to me. Well we only dated about 1.5 years before marriage. 


Post # 58
1168 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

We were together for 8 years and living together for 1 1/2 years before getting married.  No real adjustment for us.

Post # 59
1969 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

So glad I came across this because I have wondered why people say this. We’re only 3 months in and nothing has changed for the worst. We feel even better now that our relationship is permanent. We love that any decisions made now are concrete and we don’t have to worry about “breaking up” because it isn’t the same anymore. Also, we combined our finances and were able to save money by doing so like on our car insurance and renter’s insurance. We lived together for over a year prior to marriage and were together for 3. We don’t argue a lot so that helps and even our first year of living together wasnt  a huge adjustment.  We clicked well and the chores are equal never an argument but I’m also the controlling neat freak and he’s really laid back and it doesn’t bother him.  He just accomodates the way I like things. I will say the most tension we had was the actual process of moving which was only 2 days I wanted everything done right away and I knew it was unreasonable so it caused arguments. Otherwise everything so far has only gotten better for us. We have also been able to save more money which seemed foreign to us before while we were playing catch up on bills.

Post # 60
825 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I didn’t think anything about the first year of marriage was hard. Happy together, no wedding planning, can focus on our life together and just living. All great stuff.

I can imagine it would be really different for couples who had never lived together or who were expecting a baby right away.

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