Now that you’re married you’re probably thinking it will be harmony and happiness all the time, but the reality is there is a lot of adjusting that goes on during your first year as a married couple that might stir things up more than you expected. Even if you were living with your spouse before the wedding, you now have newly defined roles of husband and wife and you or your partner, or both of you, might have new expectations as you move forward.
As you get used to your new life together, here are the three areas where this most often comes up.
Your Sexual Connection
As far as your newly married sexual intimacy goes, you may think that now that you have officially committed your lives to each other you can have sex all the time and might always expect your partner to be receptive to your overtures. In reality — while you can make love whenever you want since you are together so much now — it's important to appreciate that if your partner is tired, doesn’t feel well, or just isn’t in the mood that's okay. This is just one instance in the journey of the rest of your lives.
How to manage it: Rather than thinking something is wrong, instead view it as an opportunity to learn each other’s moods and energy levels. This will help you build a rhythm together for your sex life.
Even if you were living together before, it's likely that the way you handled errands and getting things done around the house was on a more informal level. You might even have just continued to do what you did when you were single, though you did it side by side. Now that you are married, however, you might both come to expect more from each other.
How to manage it: It's important to take stock of what chores need to get done and consider which of you will be handling each specific task — laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, unloading the dishwasher, paying bills — so that it’s clearly spelled out and neither of you will end up feeling frustrated, resentful or annoyed. Think about the responsibilities you will each take on and sit down to talk it through so it is well balanced between the two of you.
Your Social Life
Just because you are a committed couple now doesn’t mean your connections to other people should fall by the wayside, or that you are going to spend all your time together as a couple when you are seeing your respective friends.
How to manage it: It's important to continue to consider your friends as well as your new spouse’s friends, and make room for each of you to have individual time with them, as well as shared time. Additionally, if you don’t particularly like one of your spouse’s friends, it's okay to limit the time you spend with them. Avoid saying negative or critical things about them, and instead encourage your spouse to have alone time with them. That way, no one will feel excluded or conversely feel forced into doing something he or she doesn’t want to do.
Dr. Jane Greer is a New York-based relationship expert, radio host, and the author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook and follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.