The time just after marriage is so exciting. You're embarking on your new life together and the horizon looks bright. The memories of your special day are still fresh, and you're newly back from honeymoon. There might even still be wedding gifts to unwrap.
This is also the perfect time to set the tone for the rest of your marriage. The first nine months of marriage are thrilling, fun, and sometimes challenging. You're both adjusting to being a "we". You're learning who you are within your marriage, and what you want from it. The way you navigate the first nine months sets you on course for the longer term.
If you're ready for some happy home hacks for newlywed nest building, check out these 9 marriage tips for the first 9 months.
- Get practical
A wedding is a beautiful day, but a marriage is a practical long term project. Get practical from the beginning by discussing daily matters such as chores. Collaborate when it comes to the day to day things that make up your marriage.
Sorting out the practical daily details removes potential tensions and leaves you both free to enjoy your first few months of marriage.
- Talk finances
If you're married, finances are part of your shared life. Finances are also a leading cause of arguments, so it's a good idea to sit down and talk about them early before they become a bone of contention.
Agree a budget together, and stick to it. If you have a shared goal you want to save for, agree on a savings schedule. You'll also want to discuss how you're going to handle bill paying and whether or not to have a joint checking account.
Talk about a "spending limit" - the dollar amount each of you can spend before discussing it with the other. Accounting to each other for every $10 would feel stifling, but it's good to know neither of you is going to burn though $500 without a discussion.
- Start your own traditions
You each come from your own family with their own traditions. Now is the time to start building some traditions of your own.
When cultural holidays or birthdays come around, talk about how you want to celebrate them as a couple. Make a conscious decision to choose beautiful new traditions together. Your marriage will feel even stronger as a result.
4. Respect your in-laws
When you married your spouse, you also inherited their family - for better or for worse! Even if your in-laws are a little challenging, it's still important to respect them. They're your partner's family after all, and no one wants to be caught in a war between their spouse and their family.
Get to know your in-laws. Set aside time to talk with them and find out how they see life and what matters to them. Cultivate a positive relationship with them if you can.
If your in-laws are challenging or you need to set boundaries with them, sit down and talk to your partner about it. A united front is much healthier for your marriage.
- Get into the date night habit
With work, chores and daily life to attend to, the first flush of being married can soon fade. Before you know it a hot night in is a takeaway in front of the TV and a romantic trip is going out to get groceries. It happens much more quickly than you think!
A regular date night gives you time to enjoy each other's company without the pressures of work, family, or daily life commitments. Date night is your couple time to forget the world and focus on each other.
Set a regular date night and stick to it. For an even better date night, turn off your phones and give each other your full attention.
- Learn the art of healthy disagreement
Some disagreement is inevitable in a marriage, and the first 9 months are a potential minefield. You're adjusting to married life, dealing with finances and in-laws, and settling into life as a "we".
The art of healthy disagreement will serve you well now and long into the future. Learn to listen without judging, and to express your feelings without accusing. Remember your partner is your team mate and work together on solutions to issues instead of battling each other.
- Celebrate every first
The first 9 months of marriage is full of exciting firsts. Whether it's your first vacation as a married couple, your first pumpkin carving, or your first letter addressed to both of you, celebrate it. Photograph or video everything.
Gather all your "firsts" into a scrapbook or digital slideshow that you can enjoy together again and again.
- Set goals together
The first 9 months of marriage is the ideal time to start setting goals together. Maybe you want to save for your first vacation as a married couple, or maybe you've got your eye on making some investments. Whatever it is, devise a plan together of how you're going to achieve it, and check in regularly to see what progress you've made.
Setting and achieving goals together promotes teamwork and keeps your marriage healthy.
The first 9 months of marriage is an exciting time. Focus on building a beautiful happy home life together and embrace every first for a happy first 9 months that sets the tone for your future.