The first year of marriage is a wonderful time — as newlyweds, you're learning the ins and outs of your marriage and what works and what doesn't. But sometimes you need an outsider to put things into perspective. Lucky for you, we're sharing advice that will make your transition from 'me' to 'we' infinitely easier — here, six brides share what they wish they'd known about the first year of marriage.
It's not always as romantic as you imagined.
"Prior to getting married, I envisioned my husband and I taking time each evening to sit on yoga mats with a talking stick in our candlelit living room, taking turns sharing about our day, creating a plan for our future and checking on our progress. Ha! He just wanted to 'be normal' and watch TV in the evenings. I had to manage my expectations. Occasionally, we'll talk the way I always dreamed (on our yoga mats with a talking stick) but usually, he watches TV while I do bedtime with our toddler! Then, I'm often ready for bed myself. Married/family life is wonderful, but not quite as romantic as I somehow imagined it would be!" —Maggie
Choose your fights wisely.
I've been married five years and five months. Here's what I've learned: Choose your fights wisely. It is far better to have peace in your home than to be right. I learned that there is so much power and strength in silence. Sometimes we believe that the louder we get the more our point can be shown but your inability to control your emotions is a sign of weakness." —Elle
Take it day by day.
"The first year is tough on because your expectations get raised. If you remember that the man you married is the same amazing person you were engaged to just a few months ago, it'll go a lot easier. It's also helpful not to think about marriage so much as the rest of your life, but take it day by day." —Liz
The first year of marriage is fraught with misconceptions.
"My husband and I had been married about six months when he came to me saying 'I have something I need to tell you.' Scared, I held my breath. Then he blurted out, 'I am addicted to — pound cake.' Of all the addictions I feared sex, which we had plenty of, alcohol, crack. This was a first. Seems his mother had been touted 'Queen of Baked Goods.' Now as his wife, the torch was passed on to me. The first year of marriage is fraught with lots of misconceptions, tensions and expectations. March 2016 we were married 43 years." —Carol
Accept your partner's flaws and eccentricities.
"I've have been married since June of 1982. We both work and we share many interests. I think that we got to know one another much better during our first year of marriage, even though we had spent much time together since meeting in December, 1979. I expected my husband to change a lot and to become more perfect after we said I do. He has not changed very much, and he is far from perfect. I have learned to accept his flaws and eccentricities. For example, he gets very nervous and grouchy before we take a trip together and sometimes during trips. I expected this to stop because he loved me and because he likes traveling. Nope, hasn't changed!" —Janet
Say I love you — often.
"Say 'I love you' once a day. Actually, say it more than once a day! You can never express your devotion to your spouse enough." *—Cindy *
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.