First Year of Marriage – Why Is It Tough & Tips to Survive

First Year of Marriage – Why Is It Tough & Tips to Survive

The first year of marriage is often likened to the inaugural flight of a newly-built airplane. The plane might have been designed meticulously, with all the nuts and bolts fastened carefully, yet its first flight will always come with a mix of excitement and uncertainty. Similarly, no matter how long you’ve known your partner or how deeply you’ve fallen in love, the initial 365 days of married life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, adjustments, and growth.

From adjusting to each other’s habits to handling the pressure from family and society, the first year poses challenges that many couples don’t anticipate. And while the majority of couples experience this unique blend of joys and challenges, it’s essential to approach it with understanding and wisdom. This article aims to shed light on why the first year of matrimony can be tough and offers tangible tips to help you navigate these uncharted waters.

Why Is the First Year of Marriage Tough?

The journey into marital bliss is painted with hues of love, dreams, and promises. Yet, amidst the warm glows, there are shadows that are often less talked about. The saying goes that “the first year of marriage is the hardest,” and there’s substantial truth behind this. This period is not just an extension of courtship but a steep learning curve where two lives are adjusting, evolving, and trying to coexist in a newly defined space. Let’s delve into the factors that contribute to these challenges and why the first year often becomes a litmus test for many couples.

1. Discovering True Colors: Before marriage, interactions are often limited to dates, short stays, or trips. Once married, you see your partner in every situation, mood, and time of day. This constant exposure can lead to discovering habits, moods, and reactions that might have been previously unknown or overlooked.

2. Blending Backgrounds: Every individual carries the essence of their upbringing, family traditions, and cultural backgrounds. The first year is primarily about understanding, respecting, and sometimes negotiating these differences to find a middle ground.

3. Financial Finesse: Money is a frequent cause of contention for many couples. From differing spending habits to decisions about savings, investments, or managing debts, the first year often brings these financial matters to the forefront.

4. Emotional and Physical Intimacy: The dynamics of intimacy change after marriage. Balancing work, household chores, and personal time can sometimes strain emotional connections. Moreover, understanding and aligning with each other’s physical needs and boundaries play a crucial role.

5. Setting Boundaries: With extended families or friends, the first year is about setting precedents. From deciding where to spend holidays to managing visits, it’s a dance of diplomacy and love.

6. Role Expectations: Society, unfortunately, has predefined roles for husbands and wives. Breaking these stereotypes or sometimes falling prey to them, both can add friction in the initial year.

Problems You Might Face In The First Year Of Marriage

The mosaic of married life is intricate and beautiful, but it is not without its cracks. Especially during the initial phase, these small fissures can sometimes feel pronounced. The 1st year of marriage problems can be varied and, at times, unexpected. They stem from adjustments, past baggage, external influences, and the sheer fact that two distinct personalities are coming together to share a life. While every marriage is unique and might not encounter all of these issues, being aware of potential pitfalls can arm you with understanding and solutions. Here’s a look at nine challenges that often crop up during the first year:

1. Communication Breakdown

The foundation of any relationship, efficient communication is not innate; it’s learned. Misunderstandings or not expressing feelings effectively can create friction.

2. Balancing Personal and Shared Space

While it’s crucial to spend quality time together, understanding the importance of personal space and individuality is equally essential. Striking this balance can be a delicate act.

3. Different Financial Philosophies

Money matters can lead to significant discord. Differing opinions on spending, saving, or investing can test the waters, especially if not discussed beforehand.

4. Interference from Extended Family

Well-meaning relatives might sometimes overstep boundaries, offering unsolicited advice or having strong opinions on personal decisions.

5. Unresolved Past Baggage

Everyone enters marriage with a history. Past relationships, childhood traumas, or personal insecurities can surface and affect the dynamics of the new relationship.

6. Chores and Household Responsibilities 

Who does what around the house? The division of household chores can become a contention point, especially if expectations aren’t set early on.

7. Navigating Social Lives

Juggling time between mutual friends, individual friends, and family requires diplomacy and understanding, especially if one partner feels left out or overwhelmed.

8. Cultural or Religious Differences

For intercultural or interfaith marriages, differences in traditions, values, or beliefs can pose challenges that require respect and compromise.

9. Mismatched Future Goals

Be it views on when to have children, where to live, or career trajectories, differing long-term objectives can lead to tension if not discussed and aligned.

Few Things You Can Do to Improve Your Married Life

Marriage Counseling

The wedding bells may have stopped chiming, but the melody of marital life is just beginning. The first year sets the tone, and the rhythm of this song is something couples craft together. There’s a myriad of things to do first year of marriage, not merely as tasks but as investments in a long, harmonious future together. While love is the bedrock, actions and gestures carve out the relationship’s nuances. Let’s dive into ten actionable things that can infuse vibrancy and depth into your marital journey.

1. Prioritize Date Nights

In the rush of daily life, keep the romance alive. Regular date nights, irrespective of how simple or elaborate, create cherished moments and foster intimacy.

2. Financial Planning Sessions

Sit together and chart out a financial roadmap. Discuss goals, savings, investments, and even splurges. Being on the same page monetarily avoids many potential disagreements.

3. Attend a Marriage Workshop or Counseling

These sessions provide tools and techniques to strengthen your bond. It’s about proactive care rather than reactive solutions.

4. Travel Together

Discovering new places is also about discovering each other. Be it a weekend getaway or an exotic vacation, travel broadens perspectives and builds shared memories.

5. Establish Rituals

Create small rituals, be it a morning coffee together or a nightly gratitude practice. These rituals anchor your relationship amidst the chaos of life.

6. Learn Something New Together

Enroll in a class, be it dancing, pottery, or a new language. Shared learning experiences not only broaden horizons but also create playful, bonding moments.

7. Set Personal and Couple Goals

While it’s vital to have shared objectives, individual goals matter too. Discuss, support, and celebrate each other’s aspirations.

8. Openly Discuss Intimacy

Physical and emotional intimacy is pivotal. Speak openly about desires, boundaries, and needs to ensure both partners feel cherished and understood.

9. Allocate “Me” Time

While togetherness is beautiful, individuality should be preserved. Ensure both partners have time for personal hobbies or relaxation.

10. Express Appreciation Daily

Never underestimate the power of a “thank you” or a genuine compliment. Recognize and appreciate the small and big things your partner does.

What Should Be The Priority In the First Year Of Marriage?

The early phase of marital union often teeters between dreamy romance and hard-hitting realities. As the euphoria of the wedding fades, couples are left to craft their shared life, stitch by stitch. Surviving the first year of marriage is often misinterpreted as merely “getting by.” However, it’s more about laying a strong foundation for the many years to come. In this transformative year, certain priorities can make the journey smoother and enriching. Let’s delve into these pivotal focal points that can steer this first-year voyage in a positive direction.

1. Building Trust

More than love, trust is the cornerstone of any lasting relationship. Ensure transparency, honesty, and reliability in every interaction, reinforcing mutual trust.

2. Effective Communication

It’s not about talking more but talking right. Prioritize open dialogues, active listening, and the art of understanding non-verbal cues.

3. Understanding Financial Dynamics

Money matters, when left undiscussed, can become ticking time bombs. Discuss financial goals, habits, and responsibilities to align monetary dynamics.

4. Setting Boundaries

Be it with family, friends, or work, setting clear boundaries ensures that your marriage doesn’t strain under external pressures.

5. Fostering Emotional Intimacy

Spend quality time together. Prioritize activities that allow emotional bonding, from deep conversations to simple cuddling sessions.

6. Respecting Individual Growth

As much as you are a couple, you are also individuals. Respect and support each other’s personal growth, be it in career, hobbies, or personal aspirations.

7. Navigating Household Dynamics

Who does what at home can often lead to trivial spats. Establishing an equitable division of chores fosters harmony and reduces friction.

8. Planning The Future

Discuss shared dreams and goals, be it buying a home, planning for children, or travel aspirations. This aligns the journey ahead.

9. Seeking External Support

If you hit roadblocks, seeking counseling or joining marriage workshops isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a proactive step in strengthening your bond.

What to Avoid Doing in the First Year of Marriage?

The first year of wedded bliss is an intricate dance of joy, adaptation, and lessons. As much as it’s about what to do, it’s equally about what not to do. This foundational year shapes the trajectory of the union, and while the journey is full of teachable moments, some pitfalls are best avoided. With numerous tips for first year of marriage available, understanding the potential missteps holds equal weight. Here are eight cardinal things to steer clear of during these initial 365 days of togetherness:

  • Avoiding Difficult Conversations: It might seem easier to dodge uncomfortable topics, but burying them can lead to future resentments. Open dialogue, no matter how challenging, paves the way for understanding.
  • Comparing with Other Couples: Every marriage is unique. Drawing parallels with another couple’s journey can lead to unrealistic expectations or unnecessary insecurities.
  • Neglecting Self-Care: While you’re building a life together, don’t forget about self-care. It’s essential to nourish your individual well-being to contribute positively to the partnership.
  • Oversharing with Friends and Family: As tempting as it might be, avoid discussing every marital hiccup with friends or family. Sometimes, it’s crucial to keep the sanctity of the relationship intact.
  • Making Unilateral Decisions: From finances to future plans, always include your partner in significant decisions. A partnership thrives on mutual respect and shared choices.
  • Ignoring Physical Intimacy: While intimacy naturally ebbs and flows, neglecting this aspect can create a distance. Ensure you both feel connected, both emotionally and physically.
  • Holding onto Past Mistakes: Nobody’s perfect. While addressing grievances is essential, holding onto past mistakes and bringing them up repeatedly is detrimental.
  • Avoiding External Help: If you sense consistent issues, don’t shy away from seeking counseling or workshops. There’s no shame in reaching out for guidance.

Resources that Can Help You with 1st Year of Marriage Problems

Embarking on the matrimonial journey is akin to setting sail on uncharted waters. Every couple, irrespective of how much they know and love each other, might hit rough patches or experience uncertainties. While personal resolve and mutual understanding are paramount, there are myriad resources out there designed to help couples navigate these early challenges. From tangible tools to interactive platforms, these resources aim to offer clarity, solutions, and guidance. Let’s explore four invaluable aids that can make a difference during these nascent stages of marital life.

1. Marriage Counseling and Therapy

Marriage therapists are trained professionals who can help address and resolve conflicts, fostering a healthier relationship. Whether you’re facing significant challenges or just need guidance on minor issues, therapy can offer a safe space to discuss and find solutions.

2. Books and Guides on Marriage

Literature can be a rich source of insights. From timeless classics to contemporary advice, many books delve deep into marital dynamics, offering perspectives, anecdotes, and actionable advice. Authors like John Gottman and Esther Perel offer valuable wisdom on building and maintaining a strong marital bond.

3. Workshops and Retreats

These interactive sessions, often led by relationship experts, are designed to strengthen marital ties. They offer a blend of activities, discussions, and exercises that focus on improving communication, trust, and intimacy among couples.

4. Online Forums and Communities

Sometimes, knowing you’re not alone in your challenges can be comforting. Online communities and forums offer a platform where couples can share experiences, seek advice, or just find solace in shared stories. However, always approach advice from such platforms with caution and discernment, considering what’s best for your unique relationship.


1. What To Expect In 1st Year Of Marriage?

The first year is a blend of romance, adjustments, discoveries, and challenges. While there are moments of sheer bliss and deep bonding, there are also times of disagreements and misunderstandings. Expect a mix of joyous occasions, like first anniversaries and festivals, and learning experiences, like handling finances and family dynamics together. Every day is an opportunity to know your partner better and to build a strong foundation for the future.

2. What You Learn During the First Year Of Marriage?

The first year is a steep learning curve. Couples often learn the importance of communication, compromise, and setting boundaries. They understand each other’s love languages, values, and quirks. It’s a period of discovering personal boundaries, understanding shared responsibilities, and realizing the importance of trust and transparency in a relationship.

3. What Can Be the Realistic Goals For Year 1 of Marriage?

Realistic goals can include establishing clear communication patterns, setting financial boundaries and plans, integrating into each other’s families, and understanding shared household responsibilities. It’s also about finding a balance between personal time and couple time, setting future aspirations (like buying a house or planning for children), and fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation.

4. How Many First-Year Marriages End In Divorce?

While the exact number can vary based on region, culture, and changing societal norms, historically, a smaller percentage of marriages end in divorce during the first year compared to subsequent years. However, it’s essential to note that each marriage is unique. Challenges faced during the first year don’t necessarily indicate the longevity of the relationship, as many couples overcome early hurdles and go on to have strong, lasting marriages.

The first year of marriage is a beautiful tapestry of emotions, challenges, joys, and growth. It’s a year where two lives truly begin to weave together, finding a rhythm amidst the ebbs and flows of newfound togetherness. While often dubbed as the “honeymoon phase,” it’s also a period of profound adjustment, understanding, and discovery. It’s when the dreamy glimmers of the wedding day meet the reality of daily life.

But why is this understanding important? Recognizing the sanctity of this year allows couples to approach it with the patience, grace, and resilience it deserves. As you stand at the threshold of this journey, remember that challenges are but stepping stones, shaping a bond that’s destined to grow deeper and stronger with time.

By staying informed, seeking guidance when needed, and most importantly, holding onto the love and commitment that brought you together, you lay the foundation for not just surviving, but truly thriving in this beautiful union. Here’s to the many memories, lessons, and love-filled moments that the first year of marriage brings and the countless more that await in the years to come.

Also Read:

Marriage Changes You As a Person
Loveless Marriage Reasons and Ways to Deal With It

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Rama is a proud Delhiite with three years of content writing experience in her pocket. She is a commerce graduate with an advanced degree in the German language, but writing feels like home to her. When she is not writing,, you can probably find her researching on environment sustainability, devouring a novel, or exploring hidden nooks for delicious food around the city.