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OMHs- Is the first year the toughest?

(For anyone who is new, OMH= old married hags)

One of my favorite couple friends just revealed that they are splitting up after 9 months of marriage. They dated/ lived together for 8 years. I'm pretty shocked- they always seemed great together and on the same page about everything.

I always here psycologists/ therapists say (on tv, not to me personally) that the first year is the hardest. Do you agree? What was/has your experience been with the first year?

DH & I talked about this, we're at 5 months, and we both do feel a difference. Leading up to the wedding, we just figured it would feel exactly the same afterwards but we do feel some unexplainable difference. But for us, it's in a good way. We feel even closer, and so far this first year has been nothing but happiness and bliss. It makes me so sad for my friend that her experience has been the opposite.

                                                                 

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Re: OMHs- Is the first year the toughest?

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    This month will make 6 months married for us. We lived together for a year, and spent every weekend together for the 6 months before that. Being married feels mostly the same as before, just MORE, you know?

    These six months have been the best yet for us. It definitely has not been hard. We love being married to each other.

    That is so sad about your friend, especially since they were together for such a long time before.
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    It's been almost 5 months for us. I know this is totally cheesy, but if anything, I find myself more and more in love with him each day. Things are really good. Sure, we fight sometimes. But nothing that isn't discussed and squashed that same day. I haven't felt that anything has been harder. If anything, I think getting married made our relationship stronger. 
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    sarahuflsarahufl member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2015
    We dated 3.5 years and never lived together, although we basically did. He moved his stuff into my apartment on a Thursday, we left first thing Friday morning for the wedding.

    We didn't have any issues moving in, getting settled, or adjusting to married life. I don't understand the supposed tumult of the first year.

    My brother had a TERRIBLE time getting adjusted to marriage, but he is difficult anyway :)

    I think it is different for everyone, but I feel like their relationship was likely not in a good place if they were together eight years and actually getting married spoiled that.

    ETA: We have been married since July
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    H and I have been together 4 years.  3 of those long distance.  Being married and living together has actually made life easier for us.  No stress of travel, the constant back and forth, living out of our cars, etc.  

    Don't get me wrong we have our days but for the most part its smooth sailing.  

    Sad news about your friend.  Wishing them the best.
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    Our first year felt exactly the same as our last year together as an unmarried couple.  Everyone would ask me, does it feel different after the wedding, and my answer was always no.  My H felt the same.  

    We did pre-cana with our Church and that marriage prep is pretty extensive.  We did realize there were some things that we needed to have a more focused discussion on.  I think people, generally, would be more ready for marriage if they all had to take some sort of pre-marital counseling.  I think the current pre-cana being offered is pretty good and I've recommended it to even non-religious people because it truly focuses on getting an engaged couple talking about important things, without being 100% about God's influence.  

    This is a total guess, but I often wonder if people are holding back on some of the big talks until after the wedding.  Like money, babies, religion, and all that tough stuff.  Even if these discussions were done in the course of your relationship, maybe one party wasn't totally truthful or just wanted to agree with their SO on their viewpoint.  But now that they are married, they may be trying to put out their true feelings and its throwing their partner for a loop.
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    We have lived together for 4 years. Literally NOTHING feels different now that we are married.
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    I am really curious to know the answer to this. FI and I will be spending our first year mostly apart. He is military and is expected to be going on his first deployment soon after our wedding, and I am in grad school. We have spent the past two years long distance (we lived together for a year before that), so I am not worried that we can't handle it or anything like that, the distance has made us stronger for sure. But I can't help but wonder what it will be like to do the first year of marriage long distance. 

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. 
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    H and I just had our 2 year anniversary. Certain aspects of year 1 were harder, especially since we didn't live together before the wedding. But there were new challenges for us in year 2.

    This may be just me, but I think something should feel differently after the wedding.
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    I remember our first just being relaxed and nice. To be honest, we've been married 7 years and it's never been hard. It just gets better all the time. [/end cheese]
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    @larrygaga those are very good points.

    I didn't get in too much detail with my friend, but I think she EXPECTED change after the wedding. Because she told me that they never really managed to "merge" things. They still had separate bank accounts and considered things yours & mine. They got in a fight and he told her "get the hell out of MY house" since her name isn't on it.

    I think she really just expected that to all change and merge. And that's the problem. DH & I still have all of our separate accounts, we still pay things separately, one of us owns the house, and we have not a single problem because went in expecting to keep things how they were. We didn't suddenly feel the need to get a joint account and change anything we were doing. What we do works and we like it. I get the feeling that the way they were doing it didn't work and she wanted to change it after the wedding.

                                                                     

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    @jenna8984‌ I think you hit the nail on the head with the big problem for them. Marriage is great for me and DH because we wanted more of the same from before we were married. Neither of us expected things to be different or change, or for any issues to magically resolve once we were married. We worked all that stuff out before marriage.

    Things never seem to go well if one or both of the couple expect things to change for the better after they get married.
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    We have been married 4 months and it has honestly been a breeze. We even bought our first house together (still waiting to close and then move in). We are planning on doing some renovations though and I heard THAT'S what really tests your relationship!

    I feel that we both went into marriage NOT expecting the other to change, and realizing that no matter how we manage our money, it's OUR money.


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers



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    Our first year felt exactly the same as our last year together as an unmarried couple.  Everyone would ask me, does it feel different after the wedding, and my answer was always no.  My H felt the same.  


    This.  We have been married 3.5 years and the first year and the years after weren't any more or less difficult then the 9 years we were together prior to getting married.

    It does surprise me when newly married couples separate or get divorced within the first year of marriage.  It makes me wonder what exactly changed or if they hadn't really talked about the major topics (kids, money, etc) prior to getting married.  Or if they were having doubts prior to getting married but thought that getting married would fix everything.

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    Wasn't for us. It was later when DH lost his job, we moved to another state, making less money.  That was stressful.     The first year wasn't hard at all.

    I would think in the OP's friend's situation they got married because "that's what people who have been together for a long time do".    Sure sometimes one part of the couple completely does a 180 after getting married, but more often the signs were all there they were not meant to be together for ever.    Especially if you have have been together for 8 years and split up after 9 months.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    I can honestly say that had we lived together first, I don't think years 1 and 2 would have seen so hard, because I wouldn't have married him until he had sorted his life out. But some things I couldn't know until I lived with him. I might have stuck it out and still helped him, I might have peaced out, I don't know. I do know that 3 times in the first 2 years I wanted a divorce. Year 3 is the first time I feel I have a husband the majority of the time, and not a child who needs his hand held.
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    Not an OMH, but I have heard that most divorces happen within the first three years.  I guess there could be a lot of reasons for that.  Some people let their SO see their true selves after they "nail them down" by marrying them (like my mom's first asshole husband).  Some couples get married too soon, so in their first years of marriage they are still getting to know each other more and find out things that maybe they can't live with.  Some people just feel like they have been together so long that they "have to get married" and so they do, but then they realize they have all these stuffed down feelings.
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    Let me clarify about things changing after marriage.  I view marriage as a religious sacrament (which I realize is not a universal standard, nor do I think it necessarily should be).  So when I say that things should feel differently, I mean that there should be a change to the relationship that makes it harder and less desireable to break up.  
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    Nothing changed for us.  We also had lived together before hand.  We actually commented that nothing felt different ager getting married.  We've been together 5 years, married almost 3 now. 

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    jenna8984 said:

    @larrygaga those are very good points.

    I didn't get in too much detail with my friend, but I think she EXPECTED change after the wedding. Because she told me that they never really managed to "merge" things. They still had separate bank accounts and considered things yours & mine. They got in a fight and he told her "get the hell out of MY house" since her name isn't on it.

    I think she really just expected that to all change and merge. And that's the problem. DH & I still have all of our separate accounts, we still pay things separately, one of us owns the house, and we have not a single problem because went in expecting to keep things how they were. We didn't suddenly feel the need to get a joint account and change anything we were doing. What we do works and we like it. I get the feeling that the way they were doing it didn't work and she wanted to change it after the wedding.

    That's really interesting, re, the merging. Had they lived together prior to getting married? Had they discussed finances and combining their lives? 

    I know a married couple who had been married five years before they merged their bank accounts. They owned real property together and lived together prior to getting married, but for some reason they had never merged together the money. They decided to do it because they wanted to be budgeting and saving better. I think it was quite the adjustment for them both to go from no accountability to knowing what the other spent on everything. 

    How have other posters handled the money, have you talked about it, do you have combined accounts? 
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    badbnagdway- We haven't merged our finances yet- 6 months in. We just joked this weekend that we are "actually" married because I cancelled my own Amazon Prime and just got onto his.

    We were both very independent when we got married and both make enough money that we don't need to depend on the other for cash. He pays our rent, and actually just bought a house. My name is on it, but we used 100% his money. I tend to buy groceries and take care of other household expenses. We will get around to merging eventually but it hasn't been that important to us yet. Once we got married, I increased my 401K contributions to about 30% of my salary (up from only 5% before we got hitched).

    Different things work for different people, we just havent decided what we want to do yet.
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    badbnagdway, we merged our bank accounts about 6 months in or so.  We each still have our own credit cards because we have built up loyalty with our rewards programs.  The house is still in my name, mostly because I keep forgetting to change it (HA!).  Otherwise, we're financially merged.
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    That's really interesting, re, the merging. Had they lived together prior to getting married? Had they discussed finances and combining their lives? 

    I know a married couple who had been married five years before they merged their bank accounts. They owned real property together and lived together prior to getting married, but for some reason they had never merged together the money. They decided to do it because they wanted to be budgeting and saving better. I think it was quite the adjustment for them both to go from no accountability to knowing what the other spent on everything. 

    How have other posters handled the money, have you talked about it, do you have combined accounts? 


    They did live together for about 7 of the 8 years, and even moved across the country together. They were happy in FL for a few years, and moved back home to our area a few years ago. It seemed like they had experienced a lot together and had it figured out. But I guess not??

    I honestly don't think DH & I will ever combine our accounts. I'm the saver, he's the spender. I know all of his income and expenses and the percentage he gives me for bills and to invest in long term savings. I'm very particular with my money and my 7 different savings accounts (that he knows about and contributes to) and it would honestly just be a huge disaster if we had one giant account. BUT even though the accounts are in our own names and managed individually, we still consider it both of ours. If he needs $500 out of the "home improvement" account, I just give it to him. I'm not like "no, that's mine" even though I'm the one who manages it. By the way my friend explained things, it sounds like they had similar going on except her husband did say "no it's mine" and she expected that to change.

                                                                     

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    We only have a joint account for paying household bills.  All other accounts are separate.  That just works for us.  We both like having our own money because then we can use that money however we see fit without having to have a discussion with the other person.  Now if we were to spend money from our joint savings then we would have a discussion, but if I want to spend $400 on a purse from my personal savings account then I can do that whenever I want and do not need to tell him or ask for permission.

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    This is interesting - I would have thought nothing would "feel" differently, since we've been living together already for the last year. 
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    We have both joint and separate accounts.    

    DH is a bad saver.  It's just the way it is.  So we have him deposit money (direct deposit from his pay check) into a joint account that he doesn't really  have access too.    I mean, he's on the account, so can get access if he wanted.  He doesn't have a debit card, couldn't tell you where the checks are kept or what the online login information (even though he picked it out, he just can't remember what it is.)    

    DH makes a lot more money then I do and thus pays a much bigger part of our living expenses.   We each take on different bills.  DH deposits money for his bills into the joint account and then I pay the bills.   He likes that whatever is in his account is his to do with as he pleases.     

    The joint expense bills I pay for I just pay from my own account. I also deposit into the joint saving account. Since I'm more of a saver, I also have my own savings account.








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    I think you got it exactly with people expecting to change. If you think your life is suddenly going to become rainbows and sunshine, or your SO will be more faithful or less mean or whatever, you're going into it for the wrong reasons and you'll be harshly disappointed. Personally, while nothing has changed in our day to day life, I feel more... IDK, responsible? protective? of our relationship now that we're married. Not that I took it lightly before, but it does feel more like a Really Big Deal now, and I love that. 

    I think it's interesting that some people say the first year is the hardest, while others say the first year is still a honeymoon phase so it's the easiest. I think a lot of that has to do with expectations.

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    We only have a joint account for paying household bills.  All other accounts are separate.  That just works for us.  We both like having our own money because then we can use that money however we see fit without having to have a discussion with the other person.  Now if we were to spend money from our joint savings then we would have a discussion, but if I want to spend $400 on a purse from my personal savings account then I can do that whenever I want and do not need to tell him or ask for permission.
    This was actually one of the best practical take-aways from our Pre-Cana.  The deacon told each of us to write on a piece of paper how much $$ you'd feel "comfortable" spending on your own for leisure without talking to your spouse.  H's and my amounts were $50 different, so we feel like we measured up rather well.  We have an agreed-upon threshhold, and if we want to spend more than that, we discuss it with the other.  I don't think we've ever "vetoed" something, but it's more for accountability.
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    We just hit our 1st anniversary a few weeks ago and it was "easy" by most standards.  

    We lived together about 6 months before the wedding and dated 1 1/2 years before that.  During our first year of marriage we completely merged finances, sold "my" house bought a house together and did a kitchen and powder room remodel.  Lots of stressful situations but we managed.

    We have friends who are splitting up and their first anniversary was in November.  They lived together for awhile too and dated a few years before that.  We are pretty sad about it.
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    We only have a joint account for paying household bills.  All other accounts are separate.  That just works for us.  We both like having our own money because then we can use that money however we see fit without having to have a discussion with the other person.  Now if we were to spend money from our joint savings then we would have a discussion, but if I want to spend $400 on a purse from my personal savings account then I can do that whenever I want and do not need to tell him or ask for permission.
    This was actually one of the best practical take-aways from our Pre-Cana.  The deacon told each of us to write on a piece of paper how much $$ you'd feel "comfortable" spending on your own for leisure without talking to your spouse.  H's and my amounts were $50 different, so we feel like we measured up rather well.  We have an agreed-upon threshhold, and if we want to spend more than that, we discuss it with the other.  I don't think we've ever "vetoed" something, but it's more for accountability.
    I actually had to have a discussion with H about this recently. We are both aggressive savers and he makes a lot of money. We never talk about how the other spends $$ because, frankly, neither of us are spenders. I feel like if he wants to treat himself, he should, and he feels the same way about me. I recently spent close to $300 on boots (SORELS, FTW!!) and he never asked how much they cost. Since we are both generally thrifty, spend vs. save has just never been a problem.

    But he recently got a large bonus and we recently bought a house. He came home the other day and told me that he put $20k of the bonus straight into our mortgage. He was sort of flippant about it, I just started laughing.

    I told him we really need to start having discussions about that kind of money. I'm not mad- and, hell, he spent the money responsibly! But I told him that spending money in that way should be a joint decision. I am all for paying down the mortgage early, but we have to talk about it first.
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