16 Mar Newlywed tips to thrive in your first year of marriage
Newlyweds are expected to face major changes in your first year of marriage. You know it’s going to be tough, and you thought you were prepared for it until you found yourself asking, “Is it true that the first year of marriage is the hardest?”
While the beginning is always the hardest, having a good start in your new chapter of life can help you and your partner to work towards life goals such as expanding your family and an early retirement in style.
Why the first year of marriage is important
The first year is a crucial phase in your marriage as both you and your partner adjust to new roles and responsibilities. People are creatures of habit and routine, so it’s natural for conflicts to arise as both of you try to adapt into a married lifestyle and establish new habits.
During this transition period, how you deal with the challenges together will set the tone and lay the foundation for your marriage. Hence, it is important to make an effort and be as prepared as possible. From dealing with finance matters to conflicts with in-laws, we have some useful tips for newlyweds to ease into your married life. Read on!
Useful tips for newlyweds
#1 Pay attention
These days, many of us get distracted easily. When you are commuting on the MRT or dining out, you may notice that your companion or people around you are looking at their mobile devices. Are you really paying attention to the love of your life?
Often, we hear but we don’t listen or stay engaged. To thrive in your first year of marriage, try to be an active listener by asking questions and reflecting on your partner’s words. Paying attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues from your partner can help to reduce potential conflicts that are likely to arise due to different communication styles.
According to the author of Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention by Johann Hari, “social media and many other facets of modern life are destroying our ability to concentrate.” It’s time to make an effort to put your mobile device away and start showing your partner you care.
#2 Work as a team
It is a known fact for married couples to share responsibilities and work together as a team. While it is easier said than done, both of you need to start somewhere and that begins with proper communication. Discuss and divide responsibilities if you have yet to do so, and be clear when you need help.
For example, managing finance matters and ensuring each other have adequate life protection can seem like a daunting task right after your wedding. Nonetheless, two heads are better than one, and doing things together will make things easier.
In case either of you start dragging your feet, which may lead to arguments (it happens), try to make things less painful by adding an element of fun. How about giving each other a small treat after completing a ‘daunting’ task? Mundane but necessary household chores can also be less dreary when both of you do it together or when there’s a reward for the most efficient one.
#3 Be independent while being interdependent
While we are on the topic of sharing responsibilities, be mindful that a healthy relationship is not made up of two people who try to split everything evenly. Working together as a team and being interdependent with your partner also does not mean leaving the responsibilities entirely to him/her.
Sure, it makes more sense for your partner to change the lightbulbs when it fuses since he knows how to do it or for you to shop for household items if you are an expert on finding good deals. However, it is important to be appreciative.
Also, ask yourself this question from time to time: “would I be able to do ‘this’ on my own?” Some old couples found out the tough way when their partner was no longer around. Instead of regretting at a later stage in life, it’s best to stay independent while being interdependent.
Learn how things work and be in the know, even if you are not the one actively handling it. This relates especially to finances and protection matters (e.g. home insurance, life insurance).
#4 Stay kind in all situations
When expectations are not met, people may easily get angry or upset and that often leads to hurtful words and actions. This is actually a vicious cycle in marriage and newlyweds who keep in mind to remain kind to themselves and their partner will thrive in the long run.
Being kind requires one to let go of pride and to think for others beyond self. Instead of letting a tiny argument spiral into a cold war, why not take the first step towards improving the situation?
Learn how to be less selfish by putting each other’s needs before your wants; e.g. forgo the latest electronic game device to save and invest for a more comfortable future for your family.
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#5 Be on the same page financially
Newlyweds often have to bear significant costs associated with marriage such as the cost of wedding, a new home, adjustment to life protection, etc. This can be stressful and conflicts may arise if you are not on the same page financially.
In fact, recent data released by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) reveals that divorce rates in Singapore are rising, and money is one of the most likely causes. Hence, it is important to manage your money together and plan ahead, especially if you plan to retire comfortably by the age of 65.
Based on Etiqa Insurance Singapore Retirement Survey 2022, 1 in 5 young people have started retirement planning from the age of 24 or even younger. As newlyweds, you and your partner will need to discuss and plan your retirement based on your financial situation and ideals in the midst of the growing inflation. You may want to consider investing to grow your funds and sustain your preferred lifestyle from now till retirement.
You may also like this:
- Your Retirement Planning Versus Inflation
- Retirement Planning – Act Now To Keep The Shine In Your Golden Years
#6 Communication is key
No matter how well you think you know your partner, s/he may still be able to surprise you at times. Hence, you should never assume. Also, as people go through different life stages, there will be new expectations and needs.
You and your partner are likely to have expectations that each other didn’t know prior to getting married. It helps to discuss unvoiced marriage expectations and not expect your partner to be a mind reader. Ask and listen attentively (see point #1).
Last but not least, newlyweds should be prepared to be caught unprepared. That’s because no matter how much you plan, things have a way of getting awry. When things don’t go as expected, it’s up to you and your partner to deal with it effectively and ultimately, communication is key.
1 Based on the minimum regular premium amount for a premium payment term of 20 years.
Information is accurate as at 15 March 2023. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K).
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