How to survive first year of marriage

The buildup to the wedding can lead to letdown. (Thinkstock)

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – What happened to the romance, togetherness and promises of forever- after? Y’know, the wedded bliss.

Seems the “honeymoon phase” may be a myth.

A new Australian study shows couples in their first year of marriage are more unhappy than couples that have been together for decades.

“Couples build up to the wedding day as the best day of their life, and then find reality biting as they tote up their wedding bills and get back to work after the honeymoon,” lead author Melissa Weinberg of Deakin University tells The New Zealand Herald.

Relationship expert Jennifer Styers isn’t surprised.

“That adjustment period the first year can tough,” says Styers.

Styers says the groundwork laid before marriage usually carries over past the honeymoon glow.

“I think where people get different in their first year of marriage is from expecting it to be different,” Styers says.

“You can’t expect it to be bliss all the time,” said Styers.

The first year can be difficult for two people sharing bills, families and space.

“We have to be really, really open to change, and to bending a bit in the way we do things, and really listening to our partner,” says Styers.

“That first year is about going with the flow,” says Styers. “It’s about working together to figure out a rhythm for your life.”

Styers says things get easier for couples who may be surprised to realize a happy marriage doesn’t just happen.

“Down the road, once you’ve gotten used to each other in the second or third year, it has the potential to be peaceful, and happy, and loving.”

WTOP asked you what some of the highs, lows and challenges were during your first year of marriage. Here are some of your responses:

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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