Many observers say that the first year of marriage introduces several large challenges for newlyweds. It is not uncommon to hear people describe it as the most difficult time in a marriage, and many couples do divorce in a short time.
A closer look reveals why this remains true for modern couples, and what steps could alleviate disagreements.
The complications of modern life
A recent issue of Brides points to the new terrain a couple must navigate in the early months of marriage. This remains true even for couples who lived together before marriage. After the highs of the wedding ceremony and celebrations, the married couple must juggle a new relationship landscape:
- The combination of two financial philosophies
- The handling of two sets of inlaws
- The reality of a long-term commitment
In addition to these traditional challenges, married couples today face additional pressures. The ubiquity of social media can inject anxiety, jealousy and stress into the marriage contract. Also, couples more often now belong in dual-career marriages that bring unique problems. The issue of student debt further complicates the starting out period for many couples.
The possible solutions to a difficult first year
While some marriages will not make it past a year, couples can engage in practices that strengthen a relationship. Keeping a reasonable sense of perspective often helps. Individuals should realize that one argument (or even a couple) does not mean the end of the marriage.
Mariage experts also point to the importance of beneficial communication patterns. This can help address problems before they get out of hand and can lead to better understanding between spouses. Solid communication early in the marriage can build a strong foundation for later years.