Family/Relationships

Becoming One: Life in the First Year of Marriage

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Evelyn Duvall developed the 8 Stage Model of the Family Cycle. The first major transitional stage in the family cycle begins with marriage. Marriage can be described with so many glorious words, but a less common description of marriage is a transition.

Marriage is the transitional stage where 2 people leave their family unit to develop a new family unit. In North American culture, the transition begins with a dating relationship, then leads to a period of engagement which leads to the start of the marriage. The couple uses the engagement period to “prep” for their marriage. Being married is so much more than changing your last name and moving into a house together.

Once the couple steps into marriage, there are still many transitions. This is the part of marriage that a lot of people forget to prep young couples on. Here are some of the transitions that you may experience in your first year of marriage:

  • Prioritizing Schedules – Being willing to share your time. Not YOUR own time, but YOUR as in ya’lls time… understand??? When you make dinner plans, you now have to consider how that affects your other half and their dinner plans. *Communicate* 😉
  • Budgeting Your Lifestyle – Something my husband says (love this!), “What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine.” This applies to every area of our life.
  • Meal Planning – This is more relevant than you may think…. especially when you like different food.
  • Changing Your Morning Routine – Being flexible and courteous is truly the key in developing a morning routine that works for both people.
  • Moving To A New Place – This may not apply in terms of moving to a new city, state, or country, but just moving to a new home is a transition. Take ownership of that home by making it a reflection of you.
  • Possibly Changing Your Church – If this is a transition, be sure to make this decision together. There are so many churches, so visit a few, talk about which one is best for both of you and your marriage, then get plugged into that church.
  • Making Friends With Their Friends – You may already be friends with them, but if not, then plan on it. It’s important to spend time together, but it’s also important to share each other with their friends.
  • Talking About Money… ALOT – Aca-awkward…. but actually not awkward, if you just get used to talking about it on a regular basis.
  • Achieving Individual Goals – Hopefully, you’ve already shared your major life goals with each other. When you get married, these goals don’t have to disappear, but they may not be able to be the #1 priority all the time.

There are so many more transitions that happen during the “Marriage” stage of the family cycle, but these are some that I personally think are relevant. Just like “Change isn’t always a bad thing,” transition does not have to always be a bad thing. The best way to make transition work is to communicate with your beautiful spouse about everything. Talk about your thoughts, feelings, everything, and then LISTEN to their thoughts, feelings, and everything. Be fair and open to having different perspectives. Perspectives that may be different but both right.

If you have another transition that you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments! 🙂

-L

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