The Real Housewives Guide to Surviving the First Year of Marriage
Your first year of marriage may be the most difficult because you are building a foundation that should stand the test of time. Here are some tips to help you through those first 12 months—whether you are single, courting or preparing to walk down the aisle. Define your roles. In the courting phase of a relationship, discuss what you expect from one another. You may prefer the traditional roles where the wife handles the home and the husband goes to work, or you might opt for a very modern marriage where chores, bills, cooking and cleaning are split between the two of you. Whichever roles you prefer should be established at the very beginning of the relationship or, at the latest straight, immediately after you say your vows. This makes expectations clear and helps avoid unnecessary arguments.
You will lose friends. Yes, you will definitely lose some of your girlfriends when you get married. This is not always a bad thing because some friends are only there for a season. When the season ends, so will that friendship, no matter how hard you try to hold onto it. The most important thing is to be open to meeting new friends and cherishing the ones who last through every season of your life. Develop genuine relationships with other successful married couples, and always make time to encourage and pray for your single girlfriends who are still waiting.
A family that prays together stays together. Always make time to pray each day together and invite God to be the foundation of your marriage and family. This could be before you both go to work or before you go to bed. When you honor God in your marriage, He will not only cover and protect your marriage, but He will also sustain the family through tough seasons.
Make a commitment not to criticize each other in public. Even when our partners are wrong, we should not reprimand or talk down to our spouses in public. This can leave the spouse feeling embarrassed and disrespected. The repetition of this in a relationship can be the start of mental abuse, which is no foundation for a healthy marriage.
Manage your finances together. Many marriages cannot survive financial storms because of lack of trust with regard to the finances. If you cannot trust your spouse with your bank account, then you really need to think whether or not that person is right for you. There should be complete trust in this area on both parties.
In your first year of marriage, it is recommended that you don’t have any family members living with you with the exception of children). You will have arguments in the first year, and you will indeed kiss and make up after those disagreements. When there is a third party involved, something minor can grow into a major argument. You both need time to grow and learn from each other without any negative or biased influence from anyone else. Marriage can sometimes feel like a new pair of shoes: It is very uncomfortable at the beginning, but as you stay and keep walking in it, it will surely become the perfect fit.
Remember to be you. The first year can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling like there is no vision or direction. Keep your dreams alive, even if you have to put them on hold from time to time. When you are walking in your complete destiny, you will be at your very best for you, your spouse and God.