First Year of Marriage: Is It Cozy or Complicated?

3- Not Sweating the Small Stuff

Sometimes, trivial matters can be blown out of proportion. A spouse should not jump to self-made conclusions and overreact to them, especially in the beginning of a marriage. For example, a wife might fall sick right after her wedding and consequently, fall behind in doing household chores due to her lack of domestic experience.

At such a point, when she needs her husband to be supportive and caring, if he instead thinks, “If I let this go by being lenient, she might make it a habit,” and starts to force her to do all the chores, even when she is sick, because of his innate insecurity that if he does the chores himself it will encourage her to be slothful, this will cause a lot of damage to their relationship.Wife will see him as harsh, oppressive and insensitive.

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Similarly, if a wife gets resentful of her husband spending more time with his relatives and at work than with her in the first few weeks after marriage, she should try and quell her insecurities that might be making her think that if she doesn’t protest, he will take her silence as approval and continue to ignore her for the rest of their marriage.
Ignoring and overlooking small blows to their personal ego in the first few months go a long way in conveying to one’s spouse the loud-and-clear message that, “I will stand by you through thick and thin”. And this is one the most comforting messages that they can give to each other when their marriage is new.

4- Patience during First Pregnancy

The most important tip for a new husband and wife that can help them pass through their first pregnancy and childbirth, is to practice immense patience, compassion and empathy with each other. The arrival of a child means a whole new world of emotions, feelings, and life experiences.

It adds value to the family unit and affects all the existing relationships. It is a fact that the arrival of the first baby, which, in many cases, is a much-awaited blessing from Allah, causes the well-adjusted, comfortable husband-wife relationship to go through its first major transition.

Most couples await and desire the birth of their first child within the first 2-3 years of marriage. The first-time experience of pregnancy and childbirth can really task their patience and mutual understanding as a couple.

Changes to Expect:

For the husband, his wife now starts to move from the realm of romantic partner, best friend and conjugal partner, to that of soon-to-be mother of his child. Her body starts going through changes that might cause her to gain weight and experience unpredictable mood swings. This can put a strain on their hitherto smoothly functioning relationship.

A progressing pregnancy also implies less physical intimacy than before, especially during the nausea-and-vomiting infested first trimester, the lower-abdomen-tasking last month before delivery, and then the almost 2-month long post-birth recovery period.

In many cases of severe pregnancy sickness requiring round-the-clock care or even hospitalization, it is not uncommon for the first-time pregnant wife to spend a few days, weeks or even months back at her parents’ home. This can leave her husband feeling lonely, miserable and resentful.

The most important tip for a new husband and wife that can help them pass through their first pregnancy and childbirth as a loving, supportive and emotionally close couple, is to practice immense patience, compassion and empathy with each other.

I would go so far as to say that the husband has a greater role to play in this situation. That of modeling immense patience, sacrifice and forbearance since he is not the one experiencing the physical “jihad” (struggle) of bringing a new life into this world.

Consequently, he should overlook every unjust demand, inappropriate behavior or outright atrocity of his pregnant wife. Just smile and offer supportive, loving words.

5- Time Heals Every Wound

It is in these initial years that Allah makes a newly married couple endure problems that eventually become stepping-stones towards higher levels of strength and mutual closeness. Allah sends their way trials that are perceived as obstacles in achieving what they desire. There are plentiful apparent ‘blockades’ that hamper the smooth sailing of their marital ‘boat’.

In reality, these challenges are sent their way for a very good reason – to make the husband and wife come closer together. The more problems they overcome, the more a husband and wife become stronger as a team.

First published: May 2014

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