Ask a majority of married couples what their most tough time together was and the answer is usually the first year of marriage. “If you can survive giving up your space this year, you can survive anything,” says a married friend.
Adjustments, compromises, dealing, settling- even the words we use to describe our advent into marriage are cold and unfeeling. They indicate a loss of passion, of self and interest. We turn the usually exhilarating process of getting to know someone into a stressful year of “whats ifs” and “if onlys”. I know so many couples who will speak vehemently of how much they had to give up in their first year of married life but never quite so vocally of what they acquired.
However, it seems that, along with being the most difficult year of togetherness, in the hindsight that comes with experience, this year is also supposed to be amongst the best years ever. A year when the responsibility to outward elements is almost nil, when the honeymoon-ness is still in the air and when the magic of learning (or relearning) each other is at an all time high.
So much expectation is riding on the first year, as it struggles to fulfill all demands of being magical, wonderful, tough, difficult and most importantly memorable. As we cross the halfway mark of our first year together, six months of absolutely married life, I have three well-learned lessons under my belt already, lessons it would do me good to remember for the years ahead.
1. Be careful in what you say, in love or in anger. You cannot take words back. Once they have been said, they hang around, in the air, in his head, somewhere waiting for a vulnerable moment to rear their ugly heads.
2. Let go. Leave fights, arguments, differences and annoyances behind at the end of the day. They don’t deserve to be baggage for the next day. Don’t go to sleep facing the other way and start afresh tomorrow, with a forced smile if you have to.
3. It’s the two of you against anything in the world. Always always remember that. If you have him and he has you, you will be fine. Simple.
Onto the one year mark…