Lessons from the first year of marriage: what have I learned being married for 1 year?

I am a pretty lucky person, and so are you if you’ve been married for 1 year. I have learned many lessons in my first year of marriage, some surprised me quite a bit, really. I got married late in life, statistically, that is. Where I live in Sydney, Australia, the median age at marriage for males (in 2015) was 31.8 years (an increase from 31.5 two years before), while the median age at marriage for females was 29.8 years. I was older than that when I got married, not by choice, by circumstance.

Getting married was the best thing I ever did and my first year of marriage was not easy, despite the fact that I am in love with my adorable husband. I have learned a few things in my first year of marriage and I thought I would share my notes with you. You might also like to read How to show love to your wife & Tips for a happy marriage.

Whether you are looking for advice for newlyweds or for those of us who have already clocked up 12 months or more, here are my top tips for your first year of marriage.

Your first year of marriage: Top lessons & learnings

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No matter where in the world you get married, treasure your marriage & make it your priority

I am not perfect

I know, who would have thought? There is something so valuable about having a partner to reflect your personality and flaws back to you. Those who remain single for extended periods of time often become highly eccentric as they have no one to metre their checks and balances against. None of us are perfect and having someone who knows your faults and loves you anyway is one of life’s greatest and most true validations.

My husband is not perfect either

Yeah but we all knew that, right? Forgive someone when they’re not perfect. We all have major flaws, faults and things that we do that are seriously not ok. But you know what? That’s OK after all. Being human is hard, we start to shut down our creativity and imagination from age 7 and begin to harden and calcify day after day. When your husband or wife is not perfect, allow them their little flaws and forgive (if not celebrate) them.

Compromise is important

I don’t take lots of marriage advice from Madonna, since she’s been divorced a couple of times but I did love this quote, “I think when you get married you have to be willing to make a lot of compromises and that’s fair enough. I think that’s the way it goes in relationships.” There is nothing wrong with compromise, it makes marriages strong. Allow your partner to have their way, even if it means a slight discomfort for yourself. My sweet hubby suffers the loud hum of the air-conditioner in our bedroom, even through winter, as he knows it makes me more comfortable. What a guy!

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This is the real Alyce & her husband. This is a mandatory wedding shot in Sydney, Australia

Bad things happen to everyone

Ugh. They do. Yup. Get ready. What can happen? People die. People get sick. You get hit with unexpected bills, you get fired from your job. The floor of the house falls through to the basement, your neighbours make a noise complaint against you. Someone gets a speeding fine, you gain weight or lose hair. Shit happens every day, and to the nicest, best people in the universe. You are not immune. Let tragedy draw you close, do not let tough times divide you. If you need more advice, read How to Create a SWOT Analysis for a Relationship to help you breakdown your points of action.

Resentment is the enemy of love

Resentment is natural but it is bad. It builds up if you are not careful. Make sure you TREASURE your husband and wife and learn to love all the seriously annoying crap they do, or you’re in trouble. The way his nose whistles, the way his mother calls every day, the way she leaves her “lady products” all over the bathroom sink, the way she talks loudly over your favourite TV show. DO NOT build up resentment, DO NOT have the internal dialogue that says, “Oh here he/she goes again!” Be compassionate and when that fails, be even more compassionate. Be your spouse’s biggest cheerleader and number one friend. Protect them, even when they’re most annoying.

Forgive, forgive, forgive

Just learn to forgive them. When you spouse really screws up, forgive them. Pray for their forgiveness if you have to. If they forget our birthday, yell at your father, if they wreck the car or call you a name you’ll never forget – rise above. Say, “God help me to forgive my husband”, or “God help me to forgive my wife.” Keep repeating this until you genuinely forgive them.  No one is perfect, so let things go and move on, no matter how hard this seems.

We are family

When you marry you cleave to your partner and leave your parents behind. You become your partner’s family, their next of kin, their rock and source of comfort. This is one of the best things about getting married. I simply love being my husband’s family and that’s why I adopted his last name as well. I do not understand those who cheat, read A Married Man is Hitting on Me (and it’s Making Me Very Uncomfortable) to find out why I think this is one of the worst things you can do to your husband or wife.

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Lessons from the first year of marriage: what have I learned being married for 1 year?
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Lessons from the first year of marriage: what have I learned being married for 1 year?
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How’s your first year of marriage? If you’re anything like me, it’s thrown you a curve ball or two. Here’s what I learned being married for 1 year.
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Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist
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