While often the first year of marriage is amazing and blissful, completely drama free, full of love and adoration, googly eyes and constant PDA, there is in fact another side to that first year of marriage. And we’re ready to expose the flip side of the newlywed bliss story.
I’ll always remember the night my husband and I got home after our blissful wedding day.
As my sweet, adoring husband scooped me up and romantically carried me across the threshold of our new married apartment, we immediately got a reality check on just how different we really were.
Gifts or goodnight?
And it all began with our individual ideas on what was about to happen on our first night as a newly married couple.
Mine, of course, was that we should immediately open all those AMAZING gifts piled before us in the living room, and his was… well, I guess what every guy’s idea would be to do on his wedding night.
So we did what any newly married couple would do…
We opened presents first.
And so began our first year of marriage, where we quickly realized living together for better or for worse… forever and ever… was going to be quite an adjustment.
There were ideas on how often trash should be taken out. (daily vs. bi-monthly)
Ideas on how often we should be “romantic.” (daily vs. bi-monthly)
Ideas on how many times an alarm clock should be allowed to snooze. (once vs. A MILLION, although he eventually he took his alarm clock and his pillow and continued to “snooze” on the kitchen floor.)
There were even differing ideas on whether clothes should go inside the hamper or directly beside it on the floor… (article to come when we finally figure that one out!)
And as we struggled along, continually trying to find ways to combine a life with two completely different personalities, I wondered, “Is newlywed bliss even real?!?”
The reality of newlywed bliss
That’s not to say I didn’t love and adore my husband. I did. In fact, I still do. Even more actually, which proves we made it past that first year! But I did begin to think that maybe we were the only ones out there struggling. I mean, why was every other newly married couple doing “it” every night and fighting only about who loved whom more? What was so wrong with us? And was our marriage doomed because of the way it was beginning?
Yes, these are the thoughts of a young, naive, dramatic, middle child bride.
But as I began to open up with other married couples about my issues, I began to hear that we weren’t in fact odd ducks. It was by finally confessing my struggles and being open and honest with other brides, that I began to hear many of the same complaints, issues and concerns.
It was comforting and reassuring that we weren’t alone. We weren’t weird. And our marriage wasn’t necessarily doomed.
It took a lot of patience.
A lot of talking and communicating.
A lot of reading and studying and a whole lot of praying.
A lot of meeting with and listening to more seasoned married couples in order to hear their wisdom and advice…
And perhaps there was even a counseling session or two (or three, who remembers these things?).
But let me just tell you, the work we did that year was so worth it. It made us realize that we could get through the worst and still be in love. It helped us to know that what we shared, what we committed to, was absolutely worth fighting for.
It built a trust and a bond and a friendship that has now stood the test of almost 10 years of marriage.
So is newlywed bliss real?
For some yes, but for others, it may come with a lot of work. But as each of the following brides will tell you, it’s well worth it.
Real brides speak
“I definitely had a rough first year! I had a lot of healing, learning and cleaning up of my heart to do. And I had to learn to communicate and not fear conflict. Best advice? Talk to your spouse, pray, be humble, cry, take time for yourself, talk more, pray more and be open to the change God has for you.” -Laura C.
“You know the old saying ‘If you can make it through the first year of living together without killing each other, all will get better.’ And it did and it has. It’s a real adjustment learning to live with each other during that first year, but if it’s the right person, and you put in the work to learn what areas require compromise, it gets so much easier. It’s then that the real ‘honeymoon’ can begin.” -Tori R.
As in anything you ever go through, always remember, you are never alone.
And you WILL survive. (There’s even a song out there about that if I recall.)