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One Year Itch: 25 Tips to Avoid Marriage Problems Early On

The first year of marriage can seem wonderful, but it can also lay a foundation of marriage problems. Avoid them early on, for a happily ever after.

marriage problems

Is there anything more amazing than being in love? The beginning stages of a relationship are full of bliss. You can’t get enough of him, he of you, and then you say “I do.” We all know that marriage isn’t always going to be easy but rarely do any of us think that it is going to be so difficult.

Suddenly all those cute things he used to do aren’t that cute anymore, the rendezvous in the middle of the day isn’t happening and at nighttime, the best feeling you get is digging into a pint of ice cream. This isn’t what you bargained for, is it? If you are asking yourself whether it was a mistake all along and looking over your courtship for signs that you missed, take heart.

The first year of marriage is one of the most difficult times for the majority of married couples. It is also the time that defines the journey that you set out on. If you find things getting out of control and negative, now is the time to nip it in the bud and turn things around.

The first two years can predict your marriage

The first two years are predictive of whether you live happily ever after or not. In America, statistics show that one in two marriages is destined for divorce. Most think that the reason people divorce is because the beginning stages of marriage are so romantic and the chemistry so great, that as the romance begins to fade, they can’t look past the rest to find common ground.

Other research indicates that people divorce because they can’t communicate, they don’t respect each other’s ideas, and they are hostile in their actions to each other. After decades and piles of research, the problem is that no one has really figured it all out. Why is marriage so difficult and what is it about that first couple of years that make some marriages fall apart while others bind together?

Practical research in the field of love and relationships is indicating that perhaps all the assumptions made about whether a marriage will last are not what everyone assumes. New research is concluding that some marriages may be doomed long before the first year when problems begin to arise. The four characteristics that seem to have the most predictive nature for those couples that make it and those that don’t, are not what you would think. [Read: The top 20 reasons for divorce most couples overlook]

The patterns – Who makes it and who doesn’t?

Researchers set out to study couples long before the first year when problems began to arise. What they found was contrary to what most falsely believe, the first year of marriage is not the “honeymoon phase.” Not many couples, just starting out, would report that their first year together is blissful.

It was also found that marriages starting out highly intense and magical are more prone to divorce than those that lack the sweeping rush of romanticism. Vows beginning with couples that were not so intense and full of heat, tended not to have as many expectations going in. That is why they were more likely to last through the ages.

Couples who would report their marriages as boring, or uneventful, are more likely to stay married than those who think their relationships are spectacular. Being even keel, they take it as it goes instead of always searching for and needing more from one another. Fulfillment is an illusion that can tear people apart. Finally, when couples didn’t make it, it was not due to their lack of communication or arguing as many would assume, but it is due to them falling “out of love” and not being affectionate to one another. [Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like you’re in a fairy tale]

The four groups of marriage couples

Couples fall into four different groups, happily married, unhappily married, divorcing early on, or divorcing later in life. Those who were happily married had one shining characteristic. They were very in love and affectionate with each other that first year of marriage and beyond. They also talked about, and thought about, their mates more positively.

The first two years are very significant and predictive of the success of a relationship because they set the tone for those years that come after, and they are the highest risk years for calling it quits. The biggest thing in those first two years was not, not getting along; it was loving and finding affection for each other. [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples in love go through]

Avoiding marriage problems: 25 ways to save your first year to save your marriage

So, if you are having a difficult time in the first year of marriage, here are the best twenty-five ways to turn it around and set up a scenario for happily ever after. Since the first two years are when the most change takes place, and they determine the rest of your union together, try these 25 things to make your marriage work. They may not make the day to day easier, but they will help you to continue to love and be affectionate with one another.

#1 Maintain some mystery. Don’t put it all out there. Keep your hygiene habits to yourself and close the door. It is important always to maintain some level of mystery and sexiness.

#2 Ditch the sweatpants. Granny panties weren’t cute when you were dating; they aren’t cute now. Be mindful of the way you look, not just when you go out, but when you are staying in. You used to dress to attract each other, now is not the time to stop. [Read: 30 super sexy ways to spice up your sex life]

#3 Pretend you are dating. When you are dating, you stop from saying critical things and do those particular things that make each other feel good. Do the same things as when there was the potential for them to say goodbye.

#4 Remember that your mate is still wanted by others. Just because your spouse married you, doesn’t mean that others wouldn’t love to be with them. When they said “I do,” they didn’t become unattractive to others. Remember, you are still lucky to be with them.

#5 Picture the first time you knew you were in love. Periodically, especially when things get tough, picture the first time you knew you were in love with them. There was a look that they gave you or something they did that let you know they were the one. Conjure up those memories when you are overwhelmed, frustrated, or upset.

#6 Don’t let the ugly out. If you wouldn’t have said it before you got married, you ought not to say it now. Many couples think that once the vows are said, they can say and do whatever they want to hurt each other. Don’t show that side of yourself. [Read: 18 relationship turn offs that can completely ruin your romance]

#7 Recreate the hunt. The fun in dating was hunting for each other. Show your mate that you are still attractive and that others want you. Flirting is okay in moderation and may not only make you feel wanted again; it may let your mate know that you are still something to be desired. [Read: Is flirting cheating when you’re in a relationship?]

#8 Don’t get too comfortable. You wouldn’t have waited for him in bed with your tattered old underwear when you were dating, why would he want to see that now?

#9 Go out alone. Don’t smother each other, it is important to maintain your life outside of the relationship as much as it is to maintain your relationship with each other.

#10 Send sexy texts. Let them know you still find them attractive by sending them sexy texts about how you are thinking about them. Sex can’t be something that you take for granted. Don’t stop trying to turn each other on. [Read: 10 sexy conversation starters to get you both horny]

#11 Those three words. Never go a day without saying “I love you.”

#12 Make lists of the things you love about each other. Make your top ten list of what you adore about them, and they are likely to reciprocate. If you notice that you have been very negative and critical, lists will remind both of you what you mean to each other.

#13 Always kiss goodnight. This is a simple act, but one many couples overlook with time.

#14 Be friends. If you wouldn’t treat your friends in a certain way, don’t treat your mate that way. There is no reason that your mate should be subjected to anything less than the respect you pay others in your life.

#15 Make time for each other. Even though you are now living together, that doesn’t mean that you are spending time together. Instead of sitting on the couch, go out for the night and spend time reconnecting. [Read: 30 naughty questions for couples to keep the spark alive]

#16 Make sure to smile. Even when things get stressful, it is important to reassure your partner with a smile. A smile tells them that things are bound to get better.

#17 Gaze into one another’s eyes. Take time to look each other in the eye and kiss often.

#18 Go to bed mad. Staying up and fighting all night just makes for tired and angry people. Settle things in the morning after some time to rest and let the anger subside.

#19 Keep working out. The first “marriage 15” isn’t fair. It tells your partner that you don’t care enough about them to care about how you look for them. Stay in shape and don’t let yourself go!

#20 Buy sexy underwear. For no reason at all, go out and buy new sexy clothing and underwear. Don’t wait for an occasion to increase the heat in the bedroom. [Read: The complete guide to being the sexy wife of your husband’s dreams]

#21 Continue to learn about sex. Sex advice does not stop once you put rings on each other’s fingers. Keep things new and fresh by being open to new ideas and enhancing your intimacy.

#22 Try new things. Be open to their fantasies. Being open-minded can bring you both to a level in your relationship that will bind you forever.

#23 Have sex often. Make a promise to never go a whole week without sex. Schedule it, if you can’t be spontaneous. [Read: 10 ways to make married sex feel like a sexy one night stand in no time]

#24 Make up nicknames for each other. Make up a name for your spouse that only you call them. Adding intimacy, it reminds them that they hold a unique place in your heart.

#25 Send flowers often. Remember a blow job is like giving flowers, so it goes both ways.

[Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

The first year can set the course for a healthy romance or a unhappy marriage full of marriage problems. It may take some effort and being more introspective about the part you play, but in the end, it is well worth it for a sound and happy marriage.

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Julie Keating
A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined in...
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