Today marks one year that Cristian and I have been married. I’ve been excited to write this one because everything people tell you about the first year of marriage is not accurate. If you’re married and have anything to add to this, I would love to hear it!
It’s not a honeymoon
You will argue. And it’s expected. You’re merging two lives into one. We are still our own people but we’re also sharing a life together. Even though we lived together before marriage we still had to work out how we shared finances and how we ran the household.
Listen more than you speak
One of the most common reasons relationships break down is a lack of communication skills. Not feeling heard is something I get a lot of from clients.
If your husband/wife is frustrated about something, tune in. He/she may be complaining about doing the dishes for the third night in a row but what they may be feeling is unappreciated. In that case, verbal acknowledgement of all the hard work they’ve done may be better than taking over dishwashing duty. (This will depend on your partner’s love language). Sometimes what people are saying aren’t necessarily what they’re feeling.
Drop the ego
Do you want a good marriage or do you want to be right? Sometimes the fight isn’t worthwhile and this is something both Cristian and I have learned. In this one year, we’ve nailed knowing which arguments are NOT worth pursuing. They get dropped and then we move on. We’ve gotten really good at this because we’ve learned to drop our egos. So when he says ‘you never take out the garbage’ I just apologise and promise to help. Sure I may have taken the garbage out several times but in his mind he’s thinking that he’s always the one doing it, which is true.
One of the reasons arguments escalate is because someone doesn’t want to admit they’re wrong.
You’re not perfect. Neither of you are. You’ll always take turns being wrong. The faster you can accept this, the sooner you’ll dodge those unnecessary arguments. Just say sorry.
It may need fixing but it’s not broken
I recently learned that half of America is single. I think online dating apps have made us really fickle. If something isn’t working out we move on to someone new. A marriage is a roller coaster filled with surprising turns and dips. It’s something you work on, something you fight for even when you don’t feel like it, even when it’s too hard.
Don’t let others cloud your judgement. People only see about 30% of your relationship. They don’t know the ins and outs and they’re not relationship experts. What they say about your relationship is merely an opinion. I had a friend come stay with us for a weekend. After day 1 she decided she’d give me unsolicited advice about my relationship. Just so happens, that weekend Cristian was going through some rough stuff and didn’t show the best version of himself. You know your relationship best. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.
It’s ok to ask for your help
I mostly help single women in their relationships. As a married woman I don’t always have the answers. I don’t know my own blindspots. And so I go to mentors, read books, take programmes from other coaches I trust. It’s ok to ask for help.