Your first time getting married is a critical moment in your life for many reasons. It is your introduction to a new, exciting chapter in your life story, and so you’ll need all the help that you can get on the days leading up to your wedding day.
This is because once you make that giant leap to married life, you and your partner will be responsible for everything that follows next.
This is why you must only enter into marriage if you have proven to yourself that you can go the distance with your potential life partner.
Married life will not always be smooth sailing for many couples, and you can expect your boat to be rocked by the many rough tides and waves that come with it.
Most people get to say, it’s my first time getting married during their lifetime, even though they don’t always get it right the first time.
It is okay to worry about your introduction to married life, but it is much better to accept that you’re not perfect and will not always get it right immediately.
Many people think they have their potential married life all figured out, only to take the plunge and discover how difficult it is to stay head above water.
If you’re set to make this bold step toward your future, you must be ready to face every single day and the events they bring head-on.
While you can never have enough preparation for your first marriage as there’s no one tested and trusted rulebook to go by, there is immense value in doing your homework diligently and extensively.
This article draws from the experience of some of the most experienced marriage counselors and successfully married people to paint a vivid picture of what married life looks like.
The goal is to prepare the minds of those set to join the married club so they can thrive and make the right decisions as they progress in their marriages.
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It’s my first time getting married – What to expect
The realities of married life hit you hard and fast in a way that can be overwhelming or fulfilling. If you get in unprepared, you’ll have a real struggle on your hands.
Marriage comes with peculiar challenges, and every little detail is highly important when your marriage is concerned.
Here are what to expect when it’s your first time getting married.
1. You start adjusting to married life
Once you join the married club, your life journey takes on a new trajectory, and you’ll need to adjust to some new surroundings and realities to make the ride easy for you and your spouse.
You will no longer be able to do the things you once did and start doing things that are new to you.
You adjust to new routines that place your partner in the picture, take on new responsibilities and make decisions with an eye for the future.
Mutual discussions and consensus replace unilateral decisions, and planning becomes even more critical.
If you used to live on the fast lane before, you’ll need to slow things down a notch because every rash, poorly thought-out decision will double down on your finances and your future.
2. You’ll learn new things everyday
If you think you knew your partner before tying the knot with them, get ready to learn something new about them every other day.
You’ll discover new depths of their emotions and learn new approaches to issues they never previously explored.
Similarly, marriage teaches us new life skills and presents us with issues we have never encountered.
Marriage teaches compromise in the face of disagreement and patience in the place of outbursts. You always need to figure it out when you enter into marriage.
To thrive amidst these unfolding developments, you must be patient, amenable, and willing to adjust. This is the only way you can enjoy your marital lifestyle.
3. You’ll have internal conflict to resolve
You must have heard the cliche “Marriage is not a bed of roses.” Well, this phrase will hit home once you settle into family life, and you’ll soon find out all about its real meaning.
Conflicts are inevitable in marriage, and it is your approach to resolving these conflicts and disagreements that will make the difference in your marriage.
You and your partner will most likely have disagreements over issues that range from the critical to the very mundane.
You’ll not always have the same idea and plan on how to spend money or stock up on supplies, and your goals may clash occasionally.
Your jobs may clash with your family life, and you may also have issues with how you both lived your life before marriage and what needs to be retained or discarded.
The key is to understand each other’s perspective and reach an amicable resolution.
You’ll occasionally need to make a few concessions for the other party, but you’ll find that the tradeoff was worth the payoff in the long run.
4. You become a part of your partner’s family
When you get married, you automatically become a member of your spouse’s family, and this might mean a lot of things to different people.
You get to feature in your partner’s family’s plans for the future as your path will frequently find a way to meet with theirs.
This means you’ll need to understand their family values, traditions, and beliefs and may need to embrace them at some point.
If these new developments present a massive challenge for you, probably because of your upbringing, you’ll need to find the best way around it.
You don’t have to always be around for your mother-in-law’s favorite Thanksgiving dinner or attend their yearly reunion dinner if you don’t feel like it, but you should try to make a concerted effort to fit in your spouse’s family picture.
5. You think more about the future
The future of your marriage and family is an enduring subject that’ll remain on the front burner for as long as you are married.
Your decisions and actions will have a bearing on your future, so you must approach and execute them with this in mind.
You start planning for your kids even before they arrive, and when they finally arrive, you continue planning with them in mind.
If you need to make sacrifices for your family’s future well-being, you go all in without giving it a second thought.
The prospects of a secure future drive the daily exertions of most married people.
Not only does it provide you with security, it gives you purpose, a sense of duty, and a fulfilment that is tangible and valuable.
What is the first thing you should do when you get married?
Many people agree that the first few days, months and years after tying the knot are usually the most important and most challenging for any married couple.
After you pay off your vendors and write all the thank-you cards you can afford, you’ll need to get down to business immediately.
To make your marriage work from the get-go, you’ll need to take a few necessary actions from the onset.
When people ask, What is the first thing you should do when you get married? The answers are not far from some of the points listed below.
1. Do all the necessary paperwork
After getting married, you’ll need to handle some official documentation that reflects your new status.
Your surname, address, marital status, and other details affecting your healthcare and insurance records may need to be changed.
You can also consider changing your will(if you have one) to bestow power of attorney to your spouse.
Other documents that should reflect your name change may include your driver’s license, social security number, and bank account details.
It is essential to reflect your name change in these documents as they prove your marital status for official purposes and any future referencing.
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2. Go for your honeymoon
While some people might think that the place of a honeymoon has since lost its value in today’s fast-paced society, it still remains a time-honored means to transition seamlessly into married life.
A honeymoon serves as a crucial stop-gap, a launchpad, and a milestone in the life of your relationship.
It is an excellent way to reward yourself for the journey thus far and to prepare for what lies ahead.
A honeymoon also helps to provide a nice backdrop for you and your partner to plan for your married life.
Your honeymoon does not have to be expensive. If you can afford a short trip to a nice, serene place, you should go for it, and you’ll be glad you did.
3. Have the talk with your spouse
That roundtable discussion between you and your spouse does not get any more important than the few days after getting married.
It allows you to map out the next and best course your lives will take for the foreseeable future.
If you have set goals, priorities, or boundaries before getting married, now is the time to analyze them or reconsider them in light of new developments.
Talk about your family, your duties and responsibilities, expectations, goals, and your future.
These talks help you both to find clarity and fresh perspectives that’ll be crucial to your married life.
4. Give up old habits
Some of the things you used to do before getting married will have no place in your marriage and new family.
While this truth will not always be easy to accept, it is no less a reality you must face for your marriage and its future.
If you used to keep late nights or eat out frequently before, you may need to give up those things.
Your spouse may not be comfortable with your previous lifestyle, even if he/she was before you both got married.
You’ll need to see the big picture for you to agree to a change of old habits or find a way to make them more acceptable to your spouse.
5. Don’t go too hard on yourself
You’ll not always get it right in your decisions and actions after getting newly married. The stakes are higher for both of you from now on, so you can be forgiven for overthinking each move or doing too much.
The most important thing is to put in your best effort and see how the results pan out.
While you’re at it, remember to accept that you are not infallible or perfect and be willing to learn from your mistakes.
If you set the bar too high for you or your spouse early on in your marriage, you’ll set yourselves up to fail.
Don’t expect your spouse to sacrifice their career for the domestic front or to give up all their liberties.
If you do so, you’ll inadvertently plant the seeds of animosity that will germinate into something unhealthy for your marriage.
Marriage is a serious business that requires careful planning and even more thorough follow-up, especially if it is your first time.
It is a milestone that marks the beginning of a new adventure, so it is crucial to plan ahead of the marriage and after it.
If it is your first time getting married, it is okay to feel the jitters or to have reserved doubts about what lies ahead.
The key to pulling through your first marriage is to open your mind to new realities and possibilities and give room for compromise and reconciliation.