They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. After all, the merging of two lives and big lifestyle decisions can cause a few minor crashes. But luckily, clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D. is here to help.
Your plan for a smooth transition to happy matrimony: Adopt the mutual decision mentality early on and follow Harley's suggestions below for common problems as they arise. Here, five common first-year hiccups and how to resolve them.
When to have kids
This can be a big source of contention for newlyweds. "Wait until both spouses are enthusiastic about having and raising children," Harley says. Give one another time to prepare themselves.
Splitting time and the holidays with in-laws
"All decisions regarding when to visit in-laws should be made jointly with enthusiastic agreement," Harley says. You're starting your own family with new traditions and you don't want to develop ones that make one of you miserable. "Brainstorm until you find a way to enjoy the holidays in a way that benefits both spouses," he says.
Sit down and build a budget that makes both of you happy. "Include in a family budget discretionary spending that gives each spouse the right to buy what he or she wish without advance agreement," Harley says.
Discuss what you have going on that week and lay out time to be together, Harley says. Different ides of having fun need to be managed early on too. Harley recommends deciding together which (if any) of each other's interests you'd like to share and leaving the others to personal time. For example, your hubby likes to watch football, but you'd rather be hiking on Sundays... and that's okay.
"Decide how and how often to make love, particularly after life becomes more complicated," Harley says.