After years of being in the twilight zone of being ‘forever single’, have you finally partnered up and just had that big, fat wedding that you’ve always wanted? Even as you nurse that gorgeous honeymoon tan, handle new relatives, a name change, comes the age-old question, “So how’s married life?”
The rose-tinted glasses are finally off, and you slowly start taking stock of what is fantasy and what is real as you adapt to marital adjustment and the newness of being married. Adjustment in marriage is a lifelong enterprise that begins just after the wedding.
There will be loud fights, broken cups and bruised egos for days. A newly married couple is the coming together of two imperfect people from different backgrounds and life experiences who are getting to know each other amidst spending most of their waking hours together. A new marriage, therefore, needs to have patience, time, a lot of room for adjustments, disagreements and imperfections.
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Whether you have a love or arranged marriage, the trick here is to communicate clearly with your partner about your moods, anxieties, food traits, health issues, ailments, eccentric relatives et al. This information about your partner can inform your communication and relationship style and encourage bonding.
There are different types of marital adjustment. Here, we tell you how to deal with situations and irritations, and the areas of adjustment in marriage to make your bond stronger.
1. Some things will irritate you about your partner
Mind you, not everything in a new marriage will impress you. Tiny details like a partner’s spending habits, his/her hygiene standards, workaholic nature, social media and gaming addiction, to their bond with their parents or his best friend may annoy you silly. These lead to adjustment issues in marriage.
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However, stay authentic to yourself and your expectations from your spouse. Convey clear cut boundaries on issues that are non-negotiable for you. Iron out the less essential pain points or disagreements by addressing them with patience, humor and conversations with your partner. This will help you to adjust better in a marriage.
2. Get inventive while making up after a fight
Many, if not most, of the mud-slinging, will be over innocuous things like the TV remote, screen time, vacations, money, children’s names or even pets. Add to that factors like work stress, adapting to change, expectations and tiring lifestyles that can make a modern marriage shaky. We did tell you marital adjustment doesn’t come easy, didn’t we?
But remember to ditch that ego and cool tempers with romance and humour. So indulge in romantic gestures, ‘date nights’ and some passionate bedroom antics to work up that magic again.
Give space to your significant other and wear your creative cap. Sometimes just the right gesture, a raised eyebrow, a smile, a hug or a funny conversation is all that one needs to set the equation right. So don’t hold back. One of the biggest adjustments in married life is to know how to make up after a fight, even if you’re still holding your ground.
3. There will be relatives and unsolicited advice, galore
Listen, families are complicated, and distant relatives should be kept at a distance. Getting married can open you up for scrutiny and gossip. Or maybe it’s just that you feel that your mother-in-law hates you.
If you want to make a peaceful adjustment in married life, then learn to ferret out relations or people who matter to your spouse and your immediate new family. Mute the rest! Avoid dwelling on somebody’s opinion and guard your emotional energy from gossip and slander. Keep the focus solely on each other.
4. You will fight about each others’ parents
We’d just like to reiterate: Families can be complicated! Apart from money, this is a common area of disagreement for many couples. Parental expectations on future grandkids, home interiors, child-rearing, financial assets, investments and savings, holidays and interactions with them; bear down heavily on a newly married couple. This remains one of the main areas of adjustment in marriage.
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Remember not to crowd your marriage with multiple opinions and do what suits both of you the best. Communication and adjustment in marriage go hand in hand. Have frank conversations (sometimes loud ones) and air out your woes. One of the biggest adjustments in marriage is letting your partner know what you think and feel.
Empathize and remember to draw healthy boundaries for both sets of parents if they are overbearing and also stand up for your partner if need be.
5. Your partner is not your best friend
Remember, your partner was raised differently to you. Remember that they had a completely different set of life experiences. They may not agree with everything you have to say or do. Avoid falling into the trap of avoiding real connections or friendships expecting the same only from your partner. Nobody can be objective about your life experiences 100% all the time, so do not expect it.
6. Nobody has marriage figured out
Every wedding is different, but respect in a relationship and mutual love and understanding are pivotal to its success. No one, including your parents or grandparents, has figured out the rules of this game. Each marriage has its rhythm, and it can be custom-built according to the partners. The adjustment in married life must happen on your mutual terms and conditions.
Unsolicited advice on marriage, expectations and other’s opinions just end up crowding a marriage. Talk things out and give utmost importance to each other’s feelings. Communication and adjustment in marriage are important.
7. Marriage is a lot of work by both partners
Invest time and passion into the marriage and build up mutual trust slowly. Keep sight of each other’s goals and dreams, have your spouse’s back always and every day. Be each other’s rock and sounding board. Let your consistent love give confidence to the other.
8. Let the past be
We all have a history, and no one should have to be its prisoner. Similarly, avoid mentioning your ex or high school sweetheart as you step into a new husband and wife relationship. Don’t compare your partner to past lovers or your peers and reinforce negative feelings and lack of trust in the relationship. Adjustment issues in marriage are perhaps inevitable, but you needn’t go digging up the past to add to them!
9. Don’t let social media into your time together
Try as we might, social media and electronic devices have found a way into our lives and wield an unhealthy influence in our lives too. While many of us have jobs which require us to be connected to social media or work 24/7, remember to make time for your spouse.
Start by having switch off zones inside your bedroom for social media, watch popular shows or movies together and take digital detoxes on a regular basis together through the holidays, date nights etc.
Do not compare your relationship with your peers on social media as it creates unnecessary anxiety and burden on the marriage. Steer clear of stalking your significant other on social media and liking their posts. Keeping abreast of all their interactions online is unnecessary and immature.
10. Stay authentic to yourself always
Finally, we all come with their own set of vulnerabilities and flaws. So, while adjusting to marriage, it’s good not to lose sight of who you are, in trying to fit into the stereotypes of the society of a typical husband or wife.
One of the biggest adjustments in marriage is to cultivate your passions and friendships as they will help you stay in touch with your authentic self. Do not change your identity to fit into anyone’s mold. Go out on your own, or with friends, or even travel solo after marriage.
There are many types of marital adjustment. Listed above are simple ways to help you adjust in your marriage and avoid the common marriage adjustment problems. Both men and women take different approaches to fit in a marriage.
Marriage adjustments do not happen overnight but are a result of a conscious strategy. Patience and respect, coupled with love, will make your wedding more reliable in its foundation.