The forever fight over the blanket whenever you two want to sleep. The bad habits you both have to tolerate with each other. First year of marriage doesn’t go smoothly as your imagination may play in your head, it can start bumpy and will require quite an amount of patience. This post may be a bit oriented to the Muslim community but hopefully somethings would be relatable for newly weds.
I got married on 19th of December 2014 to relative of mine, he is older than me by eight years which made me think much about it. I had my doubts and fears that maybe we aren’t compatible and I should call the whole thing off but part of me wanted to go through this. Most of my fears were residing around our age, and the most recurring question “What if he couldn’t understand me because I’m younger than him ?”
Growing up in a Muslim community, you were probably brought up with the idea that we shouldn’t talk to the opposite sex for some reason and how wrong it was. Of course I don’t agree on that idea because when you do get married it’s like throwing you into water when you don’t know how to swim. All the sudden you would be living with a total stranger and you don’t know how to interact with this person, you don’t know his/her personality or likes and dislikes. While you repeatedly may hear the older family members saying “Love comes after marriage” and I agree with that part but not fully, the way I see it during the engagement it’s all hearts and flowers kind of love but understanding the true love is when you spend more time with this person, seeing the worst part of this person and still be there for them. That’s why I always encourage ladies who are about to get married to keep the engagement period longer so she can get to know this person more and know for sure that she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
First year of marriage is when you really get to know the person you agreed to spend your whole life with. This person would get to see your bare face without makeup, she’ll get to see your true manners at home, he’ll get to see your insecurities and imperfections. Of course the first year is also when disagreements and conflict of opinions starts to show, and arguments would occur from time to time but that’s completely normal because each person has his/her own opinion and you should respect that. Instead of hitting walls of disagreements with no result, always try to find a middle ground between you two.
Let me share few things I learned during my first year of marriage:
- There’s no winner in an argument. Arguments happen when opinions conflict with each other, and by this stage neither would be right or wrong because it’s only opinions each person wants to voice out.
- Experience what your partner enjoys. Whether it’s a restaurant, music or even a tv show, try to experience it with your partner because you’ll show them you care about their likes and dislikes and who knows you might like it.
- Honesty is the key to a healthy relationship. You might’ve read this everywhere on tumblr or twitter but I can assure you, it’s vital aspect in every relationship. Never hide something because you feel it’s going to hurt them.
- Try to include their opinion in a decision. When you’re about to make a decision, make sure you ask for their opinion to make them feel included.
- Don’t force them to change just because you don’t like something about them. Change happens from within a person not forced, if you don’t like a certain habit about them you can talk it out instead of forcing them to change for you.
- Love doesn’t always mean hugs and kisses. Love takes many forms not through showing affection only, can be simple words showing care or even an advise. Later on, saying I love you would be the same as looking in the person’s eyes and just understand it without saying it.
- Don’t expect them to be your everything. What I mean by that is your partner shouldn’t be your finance adviser, your therapist, your burden bin to be exact. If you complain too much, they’ll get bored and annoyed by you.
- Don’t let his/her personality over-shadows yours. Living with a person for awhile may grow some habits in you as your partner but don’t reach a point where your personality is shaping to be like that person, your personality is who you are and in my opinion couples should build each other to the best not wipe the whole character and rewrite it.
- Gifts are nice from time to time. Who wouldn’t like a simple gift ? Giving each other gifts makes you both appreciative of each other, and when you get them something they like would mean you actually care and listen to this person.
- Have a ‘me time’. It’s okay to have a separate time away from each other, it helps a lot in fact.
- Go on dates every week. Make a day solely for your partner and spend it together as a date or even just walking around the neighborhood.
I’m sure there’re plenty of other points I should mention but these are my major lessons I learned during my first year of marriage. How did you survive your first year of marriage ?