Many people have probably heard the claim that the first year of marriage is the hardest. I’ve heard this claim verified by veteran married couples. My husband, Carson, and I are coming up on one year of marriage this May.
A friend who is getting married this summer asked me today how I thought our first year had been. Were the claims true?
On the one hand, I really couldn’t even say, until I look back over the course of years and compare this first year to the others. However, I really feel like it has been a great year. We’ve had some fights and learned a lot about each other, but nothing really came as an all out surprise. We hadn’t hidden things from each other.
One thing I have realized that marriage magnifies some aspects of someone’s personality by virtue of how much time you spend with each other.
We survived Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University.” We learned that Carson is more likely to put the present at the expense of the future, and I am just opposite–I will sacrifice the comfort of the present for the future. This particular difference has spawned many discussions and we really do balance each other out in that area. We found that Carson needs to spend time alone to recharge, something that I can’t really relate to. We found that we could run our food budget on $130 a month if I don’t buy too many popsicles!
I have two reasons I believe the first year of marriage is so hard for many couples. First, the man or the woman has unrealistic expectations (a kind of fairytale complex). Second, either the man or the woman puts their best foot forward before marriage and then the other person gets a shock after the wedding.
We’ve had our share of arguments, conflicts, and discussions, but I think what made it a great year is not the lack thereof. For us, communication through those disagreements has been so important. I think we’re both really straightforward and that has helped us not keep secrets from each other or feel secretly bitter. I’m not holding a grudge against Carson from 4 fights ago.
My husband made the point that there are people better than us whose marriages are terrible. So I’m not pointing to what good people we are, but rather to the openness and communication that has been key to resolving our conflicts. That also means just being willing to tell the truth about what we are upset about.
May 16th will mark out first anniversary and we will be at Disneyland! Anyway, just a few reflections from a newlywed.