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First Year of Marriage: Is It Cozy or Complicated?

The beginning of the sacred union of marriage is marked with many bittersweet moments for the newlywed bridal couple. The new husband and wife cascade through the usual outward rituals. There is the nikah ceremony, the post nikah banquets, the greetings, dua’s and endless hugs from close kin.

The incessant showering of gifts; childlike enthusiasm, and euphoria at finding a life partner, are tinged with the nervousness and hidden fears. These are naturally associated with this milestone transition of stepping into an as-yet unknown realm of life.

It is the most natural thing for an adult man and woman to live together as husband and wife. The first few weeks, months and years of this cohabitation are a crucial time of adjustment.
The new spouse is hitherto still a stranger whom the other partner is just starting to get to know.

If the spouses do not tread with care, compassion, patience and discretion, their natural disagreements in the initial years of marriage can blow out of proportion into big problems that are very difficult to solve.

It is important for newlyweds to remember a few important tips and advice when embarking on this new life stage:

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1- Getting to Know the New Family

A husband or wife will have to live with, make small talk with, and answer questions from many people. Both close ones as well as mere acquaintances will query them. It is more often than not the extended families and circle of friends and acquaintances on both sides that come together to “jump start” the marital union, not to mention, celebrate it to the hilt over a period of a week or so of banquets and social get-togethers.

Hence, in the first few days, a marriage involves a great deal of interaction. Meeting new people, remembering names and new faces, receiving handshakes and hugs, and exchanging excited greetings with absolute strangers. It can be overwhelming. This can add to the pressure of the new marriage. There is also moving into a new home (especially for a bride). Of course there is having and getting used to conjugal relations. And then dressing up every day in order to perfectly look and act out the part of bride or groom!

In order to not let the constant barrage of well-wishing but sometimes pushy near and dear ones from causing problems between a new husband and wife, both of them should remember that with the passage of time, at the most a few weeks, this overenthusiastic deluge of meetings with relatives and friends will melt away, giving them more privacy. They will eventually get time to relax, go out, sleep in, and breathe freely in their private space.

2- Controlling the Tongue

The less new spouses say to each other in front of family in the beginning of the marriage, the better. This is because they are almost always under close observation by those around them. Saying something at the wrong time, or even in the wrong tone, can lead to misunderstandings and ill-perceptions. Don’t give leeway to the envious troublemakers of extended family to give their criticism and tongue-wagging.

It is advisable for a bride or a groom to not express their opinions about everything too often, too loudly, or too voraciously, especially in large social gatherings. This is because, unfortunately, the first impression is usually the last. People tend enjoy memories, recalling and gossiping about any unpleasant situations or scandals that took place during a wedding.

Even when talking to each other in privacy, it is important to weigh what you say before you say it. The first few months are a time of sensitive, nervous and raw emotions and feelings. Treading with care ensures prevention of unwanted problems.

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