Three Fights to Expect Your First Year of Marriage
Greg and I are only a couple years into this adventure of marriage and we have been with each other much longer, (seven years to be exact) but still there are things that surprised me when we got married. And by surprised I mean angered and/or annoyed me.
There are so many "Oh cute newly weds in love" comments you get, but sometimes it doesn't feel cute and you don't feel in love every moment of every day. I had been with Greg over four years when we got married and moved in together and let me tell you, I learned a lot about Greg in that first year when I thought I already knew it all. The truth is I learned a lot about myself too. Turns out I'm not a ray of sunshine all the time! I know! I was as shocked as you guys!
I thought I'd throw together a short list of specific fights you'll most likely have within that first year of marriage. Mostly to encourage you that we are all the same and we've all been there, it's okay to not be riding clouds from cupid every where you go, and to let you laugh at us (and hopefully a bit at yourselves) as well. ;)
Three Fights To Expect Your First Year Of Marriage
FIGHT ONE // What he is spending vs. what you are spending.
I could just chalk this one up to "money" like most people do, but I think it is more specific than that. Everybody fights about money no matter how many years married I think. However, in your first year of marriage I think the fight is mostly about what you each are spending.
Naturally we think that what we buy is necessary and how much we spend isn't "that much". But what they buy and how much they spend is too much and for not a good reason. Greg and I are lucky enough to have pretty similar views on money and what to spend it on but we had to get there. Our first year of marriage we weren't there.
How to fight-the-fight:
Setting up a budget is number one.That way there is a pre-approved amount for everything. Stick to that budget is number two, if you or your spouse doesn't, then sorry but that person is in the automatically in the wrong. Show grace and adjust amounts if necessary but overall, stick to the budget.
Number three, and I think this one is key, try to understand each other's points of view. Compare your perspective to the others. Find ways to understand each other. For instance if you love buying clothes and don't want to give up all shopping but he never buys clothes so he thinks it is pointless he won't understand. Try comparing it to something he may love and can't just cut out but you don't necessarily think is worth it. We are all different and have different things we value or want to spend some money on. Understand that those things will be different but doesn't mean they are "wrong".
Greg and I are constantly comparing something of ours together. My clothes money to his Magic The Gathering cards (don't judge!), my computer and camera to his guitar gear. It helps us so much when talking about these things and money! Find the similarities and have grace with each other. But don't be too nice, be reasonable with your expense. Don't just allow more for him so you can have more. I know that angle lady! ;)
FIGHT TWO // How to do the dishes/laundry/cook/etc.
You may assume you would fight over who will do such chores. The typical complaint I heard before getting married was, "He never does such-and-such". What I didn't prepare for was the fight of, "You are doing it wrong." Or how crazy I would sound when I said it out loud.
Turns out there is not a "correct" way to do dishes or laundry despite what you may think. There is only your preferred way. And the only way to get it done your preferred way is to do it. Every. Single. Time. Now I don't know about you but I've experienced this kind of OCD behavior and let me tell you it eases up real fast when you are the only one doing the chores because you don't want to let go of that control. You start not caring as much how it's done just that it is done.
How to fight-the-fight:
Learn your way, isn't the right or only way.
When I let that go and let him help more, even if it wasn't the way I would do it, I became a lot more happy and thankful for him. I will admit to being gone or in another room when he does such chores because I just couldn't watch the way he did it. Nope I'm not making that up. And yes, you are glad you are not married to me.)
FIGHT THREE: What trashcan to buy.
We could also title this "meaningless-pointless-steal-your-joy-for-no-reason-fights"
I never knew I had such a strong connection to trash cans until we are in said isle at Target "hush yelling" at each other where you say things like "Honey." when trying to explain your side of the argument, like you are about to explain to a child why they can't have ice cream for dinner.
I was very set on a small trash can for our kitchen because then we can take it out more often and the trash wouldn't stay in the house for long. Which is exactly why Greg wanted a large one. Which of course I thought was him just being the laziest person on the planet! How dare you want a normal size trash can like the rest of America for three dollars more!?
How to fight-the-fight:
These fights are the easiest to start but sometimes the hardest to let go. Mostly because you can't actually believe how upset you got about it. My advice from someone who is still trying to not let the little things bother her, is to choose ahead of time in your mind what matters and what doesn't. Learn to file things, or arguments in one of those categories and go from there. When something comes up, train yourself to automatically ask yourself if it really matters or not.
Sadly the trashcan didn't make it into things that matter and we are going on two and a half years of his trashcan. But here is the lesson. I still love my husband and have a great marriage even though I own a "large" (normal size) trash can. Miracles can happen!
I hope you laughed at us, because I did. Now please, please, tell me your "trash can fights". Retrospect can be so embarrassingly funny sometimes.
Happy fighting! ;)