The first year of marriage is supposed to be the honeymoon period. But for some couples it comes as quite a shock that there are fights! Don’t worry, we know you are going to have these first year fights and we have the solutions to get past them!
1. You used to be so romantic.
Yes, the first year is officially still your honeymoon period but real life will intrude. Somedays you’ll be tired after a long day work and want to just come home and zone out. Or you’re feeling neglected by his obsession with late-night football games.
Solution: Move past the idea of romance sold by love songs and rom-coms. Instead, appreciate the real gestures of romance - when your husband orders your favourite pizza and doesn’t mind that you need to zone out on the couch for a little while. Romance is in the little things, and not just in flowers, chocolates and grand gestures. Appreciating and wanting each other’s company and time is better than an Instagram-worthy picture of it.
2. Why are we always going shopping?
This is bound to happen when most of your weekends are spent at the mall. And trust us, it’s not just you. We know plenty of men who can’t get enough of the newest shoes or think they don’t have enough shirts.
Solution: The argument could arise from two things - when one of the partners is not a fan of shopping or is aghast that the other one spends so much money on stuff. For the first, you guys could take turns every other weekend picking your choice of activity. If it’s shopping, then it’s shopping - no complaints. Otherwise, the person who wants to shop goes with friends who will appreciate this activity!
If it’s about money - then this is a conversation that you both need to have. Think about your future investment plans, the kind of savings you have, your long-term financial goals (buying a house, Europe holiday, further education), and your household and leisure activity budget. Once it’s all squared away and you know you are not in credit card debt, there should be no guilt in shopping!
Of course, both of you want to see your parents and siblings as much as possible. And if one set lives closer, they are bound to see more of you.
Solution: While it’s almost impossible to portion your time between both the families exactly equal, you could begin by making birthdays, anniversaries and other important occasions sacrosanct. If you feel one side of the family gets the most of your time, plan family holidays with the other one!
4. I get bored at your parents’ house.
You may be used to loud, big family dinners with children running around while his idea of a family visit might be a long chat over tea. All family dynamics are different and you could be having trouble adjusting to this.
Solution: You honestly just have to let time work it’s magic. As you get to know the families better and deepen your relationship with them, visiting the other person’s house will stop being a chore and will become something to look forward to.
5. You’re working all the time.
If you’re in a stage in your career where long hours are essential to your career growth, you definitely have an uphill battle with your spouse.
Solution: Your career is as important as your personal life and if you feel that you can’t take away the focus from it, there are bound to be arguments. First, discuss your career goals and the timelines in which you plan to achieve them with your partner. Also, realise that it gets awfully lonely in a marriage when one partner is always working. You have to schedule in family time and some down time from the job - days when your partner has your undivided attention. And only vacations don’t count - it’s also about sharing daily rituals and moments. So, make the time.
6. Staying in vs going out
When one partner is a gregarious person who loves hanging out with their humongous social circle all the time and the other prefers a movie marathon at home, things can escalate quickly. It’s a classic introvert vs extrovert issue.
Solution: If a social engagement is important, give advance notice to the introverted partner so that they are mentally prepared for it. Also, ease them into your social circle so the shy one has a chance to develop personal equations with people in your circle and doesn’t feel awkward hanging out with them. For the gregarious one, maybe you schedule lunches and drinks with your friends and spend the evenings with the “I prefer home” partner? Great way to catch up with family and friends!
Ah, the moment any fight hits the stratosphere! This is actually about your argument resolution styles. One partner might feel the need to resolve issues immediately while the other needs time to process the conflict.
Solution: You both have to agree that a conversation is the best way to resolve any problem. So the silent one has to learn to speak up (even if it’s later), and the other partner needs to realise that it needn’t happen immediately as long as you two do end up talking to each other.
8. Who does what chores
This really is the big one. And if both partners are working, things can really get out of hand.
Solution: You both have to leave behind traditional gender roles - these are no longer viable. Establish a set of house rules about cleanliness - no piles of dirty clothes on the floor! - and how much help you need with housework. As long as both of you are committed to a fair division of labour, you will figure out a system which works for you. It’s more about being aware of the problem and working towards resolving it rather than allowing yourself to fall back into traditional habits.