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The first year of marrige ...

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supergirl10

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I always hear a lot of people say that the first year of marrige is the hardest. I always just assumed that this applied to couples that hadn''t been together for the longest time or hadn''t lived together beforehand.

But for those of you that had live with your SO''s or dated for 3 to 4 years beforehand did you still find that it was a major ajustment? I guess i was just curious???

TIA supergirl
 

Sabine

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Well, I haven''t been married a year yet (July), but except for the other big life changes we are about to go through (I''m pregnant, dh is about to start his residency and his Navy obligation, so we are also moving), our daily lives have not really changed much at all. We lived together for 3 years before getting married and had been together 5.
 

NewEnglandLady

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I admit that despite dating for nearly 8 years (and living together most of that), I ran into a few issues in the first year of marriage. I struggled to define my own independence within a marriage, had a hard time accepting a new name, etc. The first few months after the wedding were fantastic--I was definitely in the honeymoon stage, then I kind of hit a wall for the next six months. In the end I just let it go: I love being my husband's wife and have an amazing teammate by my side.

For me, personally, living together was different from being married. I was still a woman taking care of myself, putting myself first, paying for my half of everything, I just happened to be shacking up with my boyfriend. We didn't even open up a joint account until about two years before we were engaged. Because we had lived together for so long, the transition to marriage was probably more turbulant than it would have been had we only lived together a year or so and went into it treating it exactly like a marriage.

Each person has a different experience. I know I was not expecting for the first year to be any different from the previous eight, but it really was.
 

mayachel

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Good question. We are not married yet, but my best friend is (and was living with dh for a few years prior) I asked her this and her answer was that while she wasn''t exactly "let down" once the wedding was over, she was aware that it had been a great connector for her and dh. It was the giant joint project that was always there as fall back conversation and as a way to feel like they were moving in the same direction. Once it was over, she felt the loss of having something they shared to work on, and this influenced their first year.
 

DMBFiredancer

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Great question....I''ve lived with my SO for the last 5 years, so I dont expect anything other than my name to change. We are going to keep things the way they are with finaces - separate accounts, splitting expenses, etc.
I wonder if I should be prepared for anything to change, though?
 

Haven

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I hear this a lot, too, but so far it hasn''t been true for us.

We dated for four years before we married, and we didn''t move in together until one month before the wedding. We''ve been married since July 4th, so it''s only been eight months, but they''ve been WONDERFUL and not difficult at all. I love living with my DH, and being married to him. I think this sentiment that "the first year is the hardest" is one of those platitudes that people repeat to others but don''t really believe in or think about.
 

neatfreak

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Is the first year hard? Yes. Do I think it will be the hardest? Not by a long shot.

We also lived together before we were married, so nothing changed there.
 

CNOS128

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Perhaps it also depends on where you are in life when you get married. My parents (and, I suspect, many of our parents) were married at a young age, and a time when their lives were in transition. They were finishing professional school, they had to move across the country, and their families didn''t get along. While they''ve never told me the first year was the hardest for them (hey, after 40 years of marriage, who can remember back that far?), it wouldn''t surprise me if it were.

I expect my first year to be hardest as well. We do live together, so there will be at least one fewer uncertainty -- but I''m going to be finishing school, there''s no guarantee that I''ll have a job, and we may move across the country as well (weird how that happens). These are events that are "hard" (or known psychological stressors, at any rate) for individuals, having nothing to do with marriage -- and I anticipate they will be stressors as a couple as well. But thankfully we''ll be there to support each other!
 

tlh

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Supergirl, I don''t know WHO that applies to. Seriously... I''d agree with you... people that didn''t know the other very well.. or maybe didn''t share a living space and bills. (And I mean more than the two places, where you only really "live" at one.)
My Dh and I lived together for 3 years (with roomies for 2) before we got married. It was almost like having children the first two years! HA!
We''ve been married now for 7 months. Nothing is different, really. The only slight change was that we became more aware of each other''s spending... more involved. Any purchases over $50-100 we talked about with the other first. We both make our own money... but this was just a point of consideration for the other... as our goals to pay off all debt, and buy a house, and have a baby- are very important to us.

Nothing feels different - other than my last name.
 

sonnyjane

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I''ve only been married three months, but I''ll fill you in on how I feel so far...

We lived together for a full year before getting married, so the typical roommate-head-butting issues had already been worked out. What I do find challenging now that we are married is dealing with the ''role'' of being wife. I am extremely independent, and so it is really difficult for me to fill that "cooking and cleaning for you" role. Conversely, my husband doesn''t EXPECT me to cook or clean for him, so I usually don''t, but now that I''m unemployed (just moved to California...yikes), I feel like if I''m home all day I SHOULD be doing those things for him, but I''m also pretty lazy and am enjoying my down time! I also think it''s more frustrating when he does things like not take out the trash, or leaves dirty dishes on the table overnight, etc. Before when we were dating, it was annoying, but now that I''m "stuck with him for life", the magnitude of it gets to me at times.

That all being said, we are still an awesome couple and have yet to have a single "fight" in our three years together. I think the only part that''s hard about being married for me is dealing with the whole "what is a marriage SUPPOSED to be like?" issue. But other than that, so far being married has been quite nice :)
 

brooklyngirl

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Well, I''ll chime in, take my experience with a grain of salt, as I''ve only been married for 2 months.

DH and I have been together 5 years, cohabiting for 3 of them. So far, marriage is no different. The first few days after the wedding I felt "closer" to DH in some way, but I think that was romance left over from the wedding


The only real difference I see is in myself, and how I relate to others (namely my in laws). Before marriage I was very shy around them, and always made sure that whatever I thought, I couldn''t say anything that would offend them. Now, I feel like I can say what is on my mind (respectfully, of course). My MIL showed a different (bad) side of herself during the wedding, so that may have colored my view of things.

sonnyjane - You and I are circumstance twins LOL! DH and I moved to CA about 6 months ago (from NYC) and I am recently unemployed. I never liked the idea of having to cook and clean for hubby, but now that I''m home, I do all of the housework. It''s getting quite boring... time to look for employment, I suppose
 

Lynny0780

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i dont think anything will be different for me. to me its like we are already married, we already have a house that we got together, same bank accounts and have been living together for 2 1/2 years. So im pretty sure its not much different than that
 

musey

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Date: 3/9/2009 6:51:08 AM
Author:supergirl10
I always hear a lot of people say that the first year of marrige is the hardest. I always just assumed that this applied to couples that hadn''t been together for the longest time or hadn''t lived together beforehand.

But for those of you that had live with your SO''s or dated for 3 to 4 years beforehand did you still find that it was a major ajustment? I guess i was just curious???
Nope, not at all. Though we''re only 5 months in so I suppose I should check back after another 7
(and again after the next year, I suppose?). On our wedding day we''d been together 4 years, 8 months and living together for 2 years, 5 months.

I would imagine it does depend a lot on your relationship''s history. Our first year living together was not difficult at all, so our first year of marriage (had we not lived together first) may well have been easy peasy the way that that was.

The only thing that''s really changed since we got married is that we completely combined our finances. I was a little scared over it, but it has (thus far) caused zero contention.


I heard the "first year of marriage is the hardest" thing a lot when I was younger, but I think that the more realistic thing to say would be the year after the first child''s birth is the hardest (I hear that a lot too). I''m sure there are lots of "hardest" years depending on the couple and their situation.
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 3/9/2009 9:59:26 AM
Author: neatfreak
Is the first year hard? Yes. Do I think it will be the hardest? Not by a long shot.

We also lived together before we were married, so nothing changed there.
Ditto. Well, this is what I think it will be like, since we aren''t married yet.
 

Rhea

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Date: 3/9/2009 8:13:28 AM
Author: NewEnglandLady

I struggled to define my own independence within a marriage, had a hard time accepting a new name, etc. The first few months after the wedding were fantastic--I was definitely in the honeymoon stage, then I kind of hit a wall for the next six months.
We didn''t live together before marriage, we''d never even lived in the same time zone, but I agree with the above. It was hard to define my own independence without our marriage.
 

Elmorton

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I''m not really in the target group for this question - DH and I lived at least an hour apart the entire time we were dating and most of when we were engaged, and then we moved in together a month before our wedding. The total time we were together before our wedding was three years (in my book, that''s a relatively short time). But, I think my answer sortof fits with your question.

The marriage itself has been incredibly easy. But it''s all the outside stuff - moving 3 times and buying a house, trying to get ahead in our careers (and dodge layoffs, etc) that has been hard. The first six months of our marriage was extremely difficult for me because it was the first time I wasn''t a student anymore, and I''d never lived more than 40 minutes away from my parents (or moved anywhere where I literally didn''t know a soul other than my husband) - that stuff was very emotionally difficult for me as an individual, and did put pressure on my marriage, but these transitions weren''t really a result of my marriage (I would have faced the same things if DH and I were committed but not living together or cohabitating).

So I think that the ease of marriage depends probably a lot less about how long you''ve known the person, how long you''ve lived together, etc but rather what other transitions/crossroads/changes you''re also going through. For some, living together/knowing each other for less time may BE one of those transitions to get through, but for others, that might not really be a factor at all - DH and I had little problems with the moving in thing/getting to know each other because the LDR part of our relationship meant we were used to sharing small spaces on weekends and days off, and our relationship was built on communicating really well. There were days in the first weeks that I missed my old apartment, but I was happier with the new situation.

I think a couple who had been together for 10 years and living together for 5 could just as easily find themselves in a hailstorm of life changes during the first year of marriage as could a couple who has been together for a shorter period of time - sometimes we have little control over these things.
 

Gypsy

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40,198
I heard that the first year of living together can be rough. It really wasn't for us. As for the first year of marriage. That's been good so far as well. But then... there were 9 years separating the two for us. I think it's pretty relationship specific. We've faced some hard times, and I know we'll face more. But I don't think it's going to be year specific, as in... year 5 is gonna be bad. Relationships have ups and downs.
 

AmberGretchen

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Actually, for us, the first year of marriage was the best and the easiest. We had been together for 3.5 years when we got married, and had lived together for 2 years, and being married was just...wonderful.
 

katamari

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I think it depends on your expectations. If you expect it to be different, then it will be. And, you will likely attribute all difficulties to being newlyweds (I am using the hypothetical "you" here, btw). But, if you don''t expect marriage to be any different, than it won''t be.

I agree with others who say that the big difference comes with the other major life decisions people tend to incorporate right after marriage--like moving, TTC, living together (if they haven''t already) etc.--and not the marriage itself.
 

mrscushion

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Date: 3/9/2009 8:13:28 AM
Author: NewEnglandLady
I admit that despite dating for nearly 8 years (and living together most of that), I ran into a few issues in the first year of marriage. I struggled to define my own independence within a marriage, had a hard time accepting a new name, etc. The first few months after the wedding were fantastic--I was definitely in the honeymoon stage, then I kind of hit a wall for the next six months. In the end I just let it go: I love being my husband''s wife and have an amazing teammate by my side.
For me, personally, living together was different from being married. I was still a woman taking care of myself, putting myself first, paying for my half of everything, I just happened to be shacking up with my boyfriend. We didn''t even open up a joint account until about two years before we were engaged. Because we had lived together for so long, the transition to marriage was probably more turbulant than it would have been had we only lived together a year or so and went into it treating it exactly like a marriage.
Each person has a different experience. I know I was not expecting for the first year to be any different from the previous eight, but it really was.
That''s interesting for me to hear, NEL. We also have been dating for nearly 8 years and living together for most of that time (which included some of college). So far, I''ve always thought that nothing is going to change after we are married -- but your post gives me pause. I wonder whether we *will* have issues with our new roles, joint finances, etc. Anyways -- thx for sharing your experience.
 

supergirl10

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Jun 21, 2008
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I just wanted to thank you all for your thoughful answers!

I guess to address my own question, I am not especially concerned about the first year of marrige. You are all right though, it is quite common to hear people say this. One poster said that they thought that it might have applied more to our parents generations than ours and I have to agree I did suspect that this would be were some of theses comments came from.

For me personally since I am still young it does worry me a little bit but currently we have lived together for 2.5 years and dated for nearly 5. We have completly combined finances and I feel like I have ironed out the issues of independence as in a way I have grown up with him. I was 20.5 years old when we moved in together and still had quite a bit of maturing to do lol, now that these issues have been dealt with over that year or so period I kind of wondered whether that was a similar thing to what our parents generation had been talking about.
 

Samantha Red

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Hi I think it depends on what life throws at you too. I have been living with my bloke for about seven years now and we are getting married in three weeks. All things being equal I wouldn''t expect a lot to change other than a feeling of more security and a warm glow. Having said that it appears that his job and our income may be at threat and that is a very large dark cloud to be hanging over us and will definitely present a challenge in our first year.
 

anchor31

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DH and I were together for 5 years before we married and lived together as rommates for a year before the marriage (7 months ago). Quite a few things changed in our living arrangements when we got married, but it''s been going really well. I''m still struggling a bit with some of the shared financial stuff, but otherwise, no issues whatsoever. That''s not to say that everything is perfect: I recently graduated college but can''t find a job in my field so I''m working two jobs, and DH just got laid off on Monday. It''s hard, but we''re grateful we have each other in these tough times, so it''s a good sign. Bottom line, I don''t expect this year to be the hardest at all!
 

Hudson_Hawk

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How DO you get over the shared financial thing? This is the one thing that makes me nervous/scared about being married. I''m having trouble with the whole "sharing" finances-good and bad-thing....
 

elrohwen

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Date: 3/11/2009 8:44:43 AM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
How DO you get over the shared financial thing? This is the one thing that makes me nervous/scared about being married. I''m having trouble with the whole ''sharing'' finances-good and bad-thing....
H_H, I totally agree; I''m kind of nervous about it. We''ve combined finances for rent, groceries, etc, but still have our personal accounts that the other one doesn''t look at. I guess I''m just worried that I''ll want to spend $100 at Banana Repubic and I''ll have to ask his permission. Or that I''ll come home and he''ll know exactly how much I spent and be upset that I''m spending on "frivolous" things. I can afford it and I spend it now, he just doesn''t know
FI swears it won''t be a problem, so we''ll see. I think I''ll hold onto my own account for a little while in case we decide that it''s easier to just let each of us have some of our own money, no questions asked.

For those of you who are married - did you find this to be a problem? Some of you have already mentioned it, so I assume it''s an issue for a lot of couples.
 

vespergirl

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Yes, it was the hardest. We had been together for several years, and lived together for a year before we got married, but we had a lot going on. We bought a house and had a baby during the first year, and I left my job to care for him, plus my husband was working full-time and getting his MBA (so he was out of town almost every weekend at school and sometimes gone for 2 weeks at a time on business trips while I was home alone with a newborn).

After the baby turned a year old and DH finished school, things were much easier for a while, but my husband''s company rewarded his new degree with a big raise, promotion, and transfer to a job site 50 miles from where we live. So now his commute is much longer, and maybe 2 or 3 days a week he doesn''t see our son at all (leaves before he wakes up, comes back after he''s asleep) but I knew that would be life married to an executive.

There are a lot of adjustments during the first year, but I think that they can definitely be worked through, and working through any issues makes your marriage stronger.
 

Patchee

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Thankfully in our 5 years together - getting married in 4 months - we live together for most of our 5 years so I think the "name change" is the only thing that will change with us.

We have seaparate finances that we plan to keep that way
We do not want kids so that will not be a marriage altering situation either

We both take part in all the household duties so there is no feeling wifey or husbandy!
The house is completely paid off too :)

I feel blessed!
 

Italiahaircolor

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I think it totally depends on what your relationship is like right now. If you''re living independantly or together. If you''ve already merged finances, mortages, or other important things. How you currently handle you bills situation. Employment in general, are you both working, looking for work, is someone going to start staying at home. Those things all shape your marriage within the first year.

I married my husband after 1.5 years of dating. We lived together for about a year before we married, so when we finally did walk down the aisle, it was more for the sake of formality at that point. We''d already totally submerged ourselves into our "new" life...we shared a joint bank account and savings account, the mortgage "stuff" was underway and so on. We both had steady and signifigant income, neither of us were seeking employment or worried about how we''d make the mortage that month. We weren''t undergoing any huge life changes such as moving, or pregnancy. So for us, no, the first year wasn''t difficult or hard because we prepared ourselves ahead of time to come together and be one.

We were also extremely careful to really think about life changes before we jumped in. We put off our home remodel until the second year of our marriage simply because we didn''t want to overwhelm ourselves. We were very thoughtful when it came to coddling our new life...we understood stress happens, but we didn''t seek stress, or welcome it in without really thinking it over first.

And, most importantly, we still keep our "courting" alive. I still focused on making him the meals he loved, doing his laundry before it piled up, and caring for our home in general. He still brought me flowers from the farmers market, took me to special places he knew I''d love, and surprised me with impulsive trips.

Marriage is going to be a transition, and it''s going to be hard...there are going to be moments when its like "ahhh, why did I want this?!" but those moments pass and you''re a stronger couple for having survived them. It''s okay to retreat to your bedroom, close the door and have a bubble bath if you need a break...but he''s your partner, and thats very incredible...and, totally 100% worth it!
 

AdiS

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We dated for 3 years before we married, almost 2 of which we lived together. I can honestly say the wedding didn''t change a thing between us, except that amazing feeling that we truly belong to each other in every possible way now. We have our little fights, of course, just like we did before we got married.
 

Tuckins1

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No, it was just fine. We were close friends for about 7 years before we dated, and then we lived together for 2 years before we were married. It was exactly the same as before we were married- No big changes or adjustments. We are just as happy as the first day we got together!
 
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