Life After "I Do"

| Family

Fact: Marriage is AWESOME.

There is honestly nothing better than knowing you have a forever partner-in-crime; a best friend whom you’re also effortlessly attracted to and who might conveniently double as your Baby Daddy (or Future Baby Daddy). A pretty efficient combo, huh?

Someone who will pick up and explore a new city with you on a whim; who will sit with you patiently while you have an ugly cry when you think you’ve royally screwed up at work; who will have your back in any situation, no matter how ridiculous you’re being (and you know you can be preeeeetty ridic sometimes, ladies).

 

 

Another fact: Marriage is HARD.

There is honestly nothing harder than merging two distinct, fully formed adult lives into one. Are you seriously expected to watch Game Of Thrones EVERY Sunday night, incorporate his lumpy brown sofa into your pristine cream-palette living room AND fill your designated White Wine Shelf in the fridge with cans (and cans, and cans…) of Bud Light? (Yes, the answer is a resounding YES, according to my dear husband).

The age-old covenant of marriage declares that “two shall become one,” and many couples find this to be a daunting feat, particularly during that fragile first year (and sadly, statistics show more people divorce in the first year of marriage than any other). But take heart, young lovers with stars in your eyes! Despite the trials and tribulations that come with being newlyweds, there are literally countless incredible, precious, special moments that accompany this new and exciting territory you’re embarking on together.

Whether you’re recently engaged or already knee-deep in the throes of wedded woes (or bliss!), we’ve asked REAL men and women in REAL marriages for their best advice and compiled a list of tips for surviving the infamous first year of marriage. From funny and light-hearted to painstakingly real and raw, we’re sure you’ll find some encouragement in these little gems (and hopefully get a laugh or two out of it).

 

“For us to remain happily married, we will NEVER be able to share a closet. I have given up on him treating his closet as anything other than a war zone.” – Katherine D.

“The importance of treat hiding. I have hidden food I didn't want to share. Girl Scout cookies. A bottle of wine, once. Brownies. And I’m not ashamed.” – Katey P.

“The hardest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of communication (and how incredibly difficult it is to train men on that!)” – Ashley Y.

“Never, ever, ever lie. Ever.” – Barton S.

“I learned that frankly, boys are totally disgusting. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom situation. As a result, my sweet husband will indefinitely be the resident toilet cleaner in our house.” – Ashley R.

“No matter how hard the work day or how much stress you’re under, always greet each other with a smile in the evening.” – Anne R.

“Holidays. Figure out your holiday schedule and let the whole family know (on both sides). Some spouses and/or in-laws aren't used to sharing holidays and the result is not pretty.” – Max B.

“If you want something on your Honey Do list done by a certain date, you better hand that list over to your hubby MONTHS in advance, and then remind him about it weekly (maybe even daily).” – Falon T.

“Who knew men use so much toilet paper?! Our bathroom roll is constantly running on E.” – Anna S.

“Never underestimate the power of ‘thank you.’ Thanking your spouse for little things goes a LONG way.” – Cody W.

“I learned that I like the dishes to be rinsed off every night and put in the dishwasher before they turn crusty. I also learned that my husband does not share that same philosophy as me… which led to many nights of me scrubbing the dishes while crying.” – Leah D.

“Saying the two simple words ‘I'm sorry’ can be the hardest phrase in the world to utter sometimes, but it is the most necessary to move forward in the marriage.” – Elizabeth T.

“You learn to do things not necessarily because you WANT to, but because you love that person and you want to help makes their life easier. And the beauty of it is that they start to do the same for you, too.” – Angie R.

“Get on the same wavelength re: kids. The day after our wedding, my new husband told me he was ready to start a family. Just like that. I had been a ‘Mrs.’ for less then 24 hours and he's already talking kids! Well, five months later... PREGGO.” – Allison L.

“Save cross words for the privacy of your home… no one likes a public knock-down drag-out. It’s uncomfortable for all parties involved.” – Mike T.

“Don’t commit him to plans without asking him first… I learned that the hard way (more than a few times… whoopsies).” – Jessica L.

“Doing a simple chore around the house (without her asking me to) or leaving her an unexpected note on the bathroom mirror really goes a long way and makes my wife so happy.” – Chuck D.

“I’m gonna be honest: sometimes, compromise sucks.” – Amy S.

“Be quick to apologize and NEVER include the word ‘but’ in your apology…trust me, it does NOT go over well.” – Andy E.

“ALWAYS give each other the benefit of the doubt. Assume every action was completed with the best intentions, because after all, why would someone who loves you want to purposely hurt you?” – Michelle Q.

“In our first year, we had an unplanned pregnancy, a big job change and an unexpected move. So basically, I learned that you can’t plan ANYTHING and to just roll with the punches.” – Lauren Y.

“Never, ever stop going on dates. Opportunities to spend quality time together away from the distractions of your everyday life should be pursued relentlessly.” – Aimee S.

Did we miss any little gems of advice? Let us hear from you! What is YOUR trick to adjusting during that first year?

 

Hayley Simmons |

Hayley Simmons is a twenty-something writer, wife and new mama to her baby girl, Scout. A native Texan turned Nashvillian, she spends her time experimenting with healthy recipes -- then forcing her husband to eat them, finding new ways to not hate the gym and shopping for (an absurd amount of) baby clothes.