What’s next after saying, “I do”?

As the reality of married life sink in, many newlyweds find themselves face to face with new experiences, such as managing combined finances, handling idiosyncrasies that were once thought cute, working around your schedule to fit your spouse’s, and some of these could take a toll on the couples.

However, all is not lost if these get overwhelming. It helps to know that there is always a transition period as you progress at every stage of your relationship. Using Tuckman's model on team development, every new team (you and your spouse) starts from ‘Forming’ (getting married or facing a new situation), and moving on to ‘Storming’ (facing differences), ‘Norming’ (understanding and accepting one another) and finally, ‘Performing’ (thinking alike).

With relevant know-how, both of you are well on your way to gaining ground in your first year. It’s also important to remember that your spouse isn’t the enemy, but your comrade-in-arms!

We’ve gathered some tips on how you can work towards a wonderful and enjoyable first year of marriage:

Build Boundaries and Form Good Habits

Knowing how to establish boundaries and forming good habits at the start will help set the right tone for your marriage. Even if you’ve failed, try again. It’ll get better the next time. Growing as an individual and as a couple is an on-going process — a series of learning and re-learning.

Learn to Take Care of Yourself

When you are exhausted — emotionally, physically and socially — you will find it hard to look after another. Discuss with your spouse and reach an understanding that setting aside some me-time to recharge will benefit both of you in the long run.

Establish Friendship with Couples in Healthy Relationships

Surround yourself with couples who can be counted on to provide a listening ear and sound advice.

Continue Scheduling Date Nights

Even when you don’t feel like it or might be caught up with other commitments, scheduling time for regular date nights will be beneficial to your marriage in keeping the romance and sparks alive!

Create New Traditions and Memories

Creating new traditions and shared memories strengthens your bond. Besides, the excitement of something new can help spice things up in your marriage.

With life’s ups and downs, married life might not a bed of roses every time. However, what makes it special is you’ve got your best friend alongside you (and growing with you) in this exciting journey!