Congratulations on your marriage! So you’re no longer single. It is possible that you may be feeling a whole range of emotions – from excitement to nervousness about this new journey. Perhaps some of you are married for several months and don’t have kids as yet. Whatever your situation, you may have realized by now that your life has probably changed after your wedding day – for the better or worse. Or maybe you haven’t experienced any change as yet.
The transition from singlehood to a ‘new couple’
The period between your wedding day and your first child is perhaps one of the most important stages of your life. This period sets the stage for the future of your marriage, children and even retired life!
The first year of marriage can be especially tough. It is normal for every couple, irrespective of how made for each other they may feel, to have struggles or issues. These struggles, if worked out, often contribute positively to the relationship, building deeper intimacy and companionship for later life.
The most important tasks that you and your spouse need to accomplish in this stage for a stable future are:
- Establishing a home, not merely building a house
- Building intimacy and a deep friendship
- Managing conflict and learning to fight fair
- Deciding on single or dual careers
- Negotiating relationships with each other’s families and friends
- Agreeing on independent interests
- Agreeing on becoming parents
None on us grew up with a manual or text book for accomplishing the above tasks and making a marriage work. Neither were we taught in school about how to lead the ‘happily ever after’ dream which we were exposed to. Therefore it is natural to have struggles when two different people suddenly live and adjust to each other. The below are common issues every couple may face during the transition from singlehood to a well adjusted couple.
Questions/Struggles that you may experience in the first few years of marriage
- How do we build a deeper bond?
- I’m struggling to adjust to this new system!
- We want more intimacy – emotionally and sexually
- We fight for small and big things
- We don’t seem to talk as much as we did before marriage!
- My dreams of an ideal marriage seem shattered
- He/She is being bossy
- I’m always told what to do because of my gender
- How much should our extended family influence us?
- We’re nervous about having children – not sure if we’d be good parents!
- How do I cope with his/her habits that are so different from mine?
- My in-laws interfere too much!
- How to make decisions together?
- Who does what at home and outside?
- I’m too stressed at work, and he/she doesn’t seem to understand
- I want more sex
- Is it ok to want my space sometimes?
- What about my career?
- He/she has not yet forgotten their ex
- We have different beliefs and worldviews!
- When do we have children?
- He/She is too attached with their parents!
Someone has quoted that a, ‘Marriage may be made in heaven, but the maintenance must be done on earth’. Every marriage needs maintenance, more so in the first few years.
If you’re interested in improving your marriage or simply want to learn how to cope with the needs and demands of this important new stage in your life, you can consider talking it over with a trained couples counsellor, who will journey with you in helping you reach your goals for your marriage.
New Directions provides individual counselling services where you can come by yourself and discuss your marriage with a trained professional. We also provide couples counselling services where you can come together as a couple and discuss your marriage with the trained professional.