You walked down the aisle and with tears of happiness said your vows “For better or for worse; for richer or for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; till death do us part.”  The two of you rush to the wedding getaway car and head off to the honeymoon.  Once you’re back from an amazing time, the two of you start settling into what you think is real marriage.  You float around in bliss thinking that this feeling will last forever.

Then something happens…he invites the guys over for poker night while you planned a romantic evening at home…she decides to spend $100 on shoes without considering bills and rent for the month.

It happened… you both wake up one day and realize that marriage, after all, is not always blissful.  You suddenly see faults and defects that you never imagined would exist.  Reality starts to set in.

While many claim that their first year together was the best time of their lives, statistics shows that it can be the most challenging time for the relationship.  Sometimes the adjustment is overwhelming the first year, which can lead to separation if the couple doesn’t seek help.  Marriage reality and the “idea” of what marriage is are two different things.  Real marriage means accepting each other’s faults and working through it.  The “idea” is a belief that marriage should not take work, or that marriage should be even better than dating.   It is, therefore, recommended that you use the “First Year Survival Kit” below as a guide in making sure that both you and your partner cherish each other until the great beyond takes its reign.

1. Go Out on Dates

Sharing the same bed every night and eating breakfast at the same time everyday can start the cycle of a rut. It gives a false sense of togetherness, which results in becoming complacent.  Your first year together is a getting-to-know-you stage as a married couple.  Replacing the facebook status of “Dating” with “Married” does not mean you cannot date each other.   Remember to make time away from your busy lives and exclusively spend it with each other.  Go out of town during the weekend.  Make an overnight reservation at your favorite hotel and order breakfast in bed.  Go to the park and have a picnic.  Whatever you decide to do, focus on each other and nourish your marriage like you used to when you were first dating.

2. Discuss Your Finances

No two people are alike when it comes to financial decisions and management.  From different backgrounds, your priorities and ways in spending money may not be the same.  It is important to sit down together and devise a plan or budget on how to manage your finances.  Be open to each other’s needs and different styles.  Do not agree on something unless you both truly feel the same way.

3. Take the Bad with the Good

He leaves his dirty socks lying around.   She pretends the sink doesn’t exist when it’s her turn to do the dishes.  There are the things you may discover AFTER you say, “I do”.  When his defects overwhelm you and make you wonder “Is this the same person I married?” remember the answer is always “YES” and love is bigger than household chores and personal flaws.  You are just seeing each other in an entirely different element.  You now have the total package- snores and all.

4. Affirm your Love

You decided to tie the knot because you have found your love, your partner, your soul mate.  Do not forget that. Affirm your love. Verbalize your affection.  Tell each other how attractive you feel to the other.  Hold hands while walking.  Nothing in this world can be more comforting than knowing that you love and are loved in return.

Want more tips for managing everything in your first year?  Enter your name + email below for a free audio lesson that’ll teach you how to calm your nerves and express yourself in a positive way.

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