7 Things To Know for the First Year of Marriage

First Year of Marriage

Photo: Getty Images

For newlyweds, marriage is filled with so many hopes and expectations. With that in mind, we asked recent brides who've been married five or fewer years for their advice on that first critical year.

"Spend the 'honeymoon year' both together and apart. It's good to take a day or a weekend now and then to reconnect with close friends, spend a little time alone, and let your partner miss you (and vice versa)." — Erica Nonni, Nonni Marketing

"Marriage is a lot like a new job. Treat it like work and work hard. Be patient and learn as you grow. Just the way these efforts pay off well in a job, they pay off extremely well in a marriage." — Surabhi Surendra, Blogger at Womanatics

"The transition from 'I' to 'we' can be a difficult one. Even as you're dating, you still mostly operate independently, but after you get married and settle into your new life together, the meaning of partnership becomes infinitely more important. Now your finances are tied, family vacations are done as a duo, and your last name becomes one. All of this equals a shift in identity. The more newlyweds can maintain open communication and compromise, they create healthy communication patterns and trust for each other that strengthen the bond." — Kristen Rocco, Founder of Love Notery

See More: 7 Sneaky Ways to Get Him to Open Up

"Just because you're married now, it doesn't mean that you're now a knower of all things that make him laugh, sad, angry, irritated, etc. Treat each other like you're still dating. Learn from each other, learn about each other, engage with each other, and know that it's okay not to know (or love) everything about each other. Also, revel in it and don't think about the future. As blissful and exciting as the first year of marriage is, a lot of times it comes with pressure to have a plan for the rest of your lives. Just enjoy being together and pat yourselves on the back for having thrown a kick-ass wedding." — Kerry Cheney

"Be transparent about financial issues. While I'm certainly in love with my husband for writing me love letters every day, my decision to get married to him was sealed by our financial openness to each other." — Cris Ruffolo, Blogger at Reading Ruffolos

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. I strongly believe that happiness must start within. Mutual respect for one another, the ability to agree to disagree and be totally thoughtful and giving are also important. Communication as well, especially about what makes us feel good in the bedroom. Lastly, but by no means least: laugh!" — Teresa J. Himes, Himes Health and Wellness Center

"Communicate expectations about everything. Get into the trenches and talk about the details. (Often those are the ones that surprise you the most and make the biggest difference.) Did your dad take out the trash growing up? You may not even realize little things that you subconsciously expect your spouse to do. Suddenly the trashcan is overflowing and you're annoyed left wondering why it's not dumped yet. Hmm...maybe his mom did it. You may not realize you have a picture of what marriage will be like whether you lived together before or not. Take 10-20 minutes and think about what you've cooked up in your head about marriage all those years, and write down how you think it will unfold. Have your significant other do the same. See how different or similar they are and talk through the differences." — Jenna Sullivan

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