COMMON FIGHTS COUPLES HAVE. Once you’ve chanted your “I dos,” you might think what comes next is you basking in that easy breezy newlywed glow for the nearest future. But the reality is that just because you are in the honeymoon phase doesn’t mean it will all be smooth sailing. Many of the changes that occur when you join two lives together can result in some choppy waters – from family dynamics to finances.
Almost every person imagines that they will be a great spouse one day, but as soon as the rings are on and the wedding cake is all gone, reality sets in and you realize that marriage isn’t just as easy as you thought. With the combination of family, belongings, friendships, and money, many pitfalls and booby traps abound – especially in a culturally diverse country like Nigeria.
So here we are taking a look at the common fights couples tend to experience during their first year of marriage and how you can navigate these dicey issues.
COMMON FIGHTS COUPLES HAVE.The “What Happened to Our Sex Life?” Fight
You can imagine how easy it is to take the sexual chemistry that you and your partner shared during the earlier days of your relationship for granted. So you might actually think that maintaining a hot-and-heavy sex life will continue to be effortless. But the simple truth is that many couples experience in a drop in their sex lives during the first year of being married.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for the sexual passion to die down after the wedding and one or both partners become unhappy with their sex life.
Diminishing sex life can create both emotional and physical distance between a couple, especially if one partner is always making advances that are constantly rejected by the other, while the other feels guilty that they can’t satisfy their partner’s sexual needs. This is especially common among couples in big cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt where busy schedules and other distractions create an even larger gap between couples.
Some couples even decide that it is easier to have no sex at all than to deal with unpredictable emotions like anger and guilt. This approach only allows the problem to take on a life of its own and worsen in the end.
So if you notice a decline in your sex life, don’t fret. Instead, try to have a conversation with your partner about these changes sooner rather than later.
The “When Will We Have a Baby?” Fight
I can imagine the mother in laws breathing down the husband’s neck right after the wedding, followed by the, “so when am I going to meet my grandkids?”
By the time you get married, both you and your spouse should be on the same page about whether or not you want to have kids. But it’s possible that you may not have hammered out the exact details of “how and when.”
It is so common for one partner to have a “clock is ticking” mentality, while the other either wants to enjoy life as a couple before having kids or has financial or career goals they want to reach first.
At the same time it also happens that while reeling from the shock of the wedding, one partner might want to push the issue back, while the other person may want to speed things up after discussing with family and friends.
Either way, the issue of kids should be discussed before you even get married. It may even be better to live your lives together for a few months to a year after the wedding before exploring any changes to your plans instead of it turning into a fight or one of you succumbing to familial pressures.
COMMON FIGHTS COUPLES HAVE.The “I’m Sick Of Cleaning Up After You” Fight
Yes, this is for all the men in the house. Some of you might already be shaking your head and saying, “me? Do chores? But that’s the woman’s job.”
Figuring out how to divide household chores – like cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry and doing the dishes – in a way that works for both of you can be very tricky for newlyweds, but it is important for the health of the relationship. In fact, a research survey found that 56% of married couples say that sharing household chores is essential to a successful marriage.
This is because when the bulk of these responsibilities falls unfairly on one partner’s shoulders, it can lead to the buildup of resentment, resulting in frustrated outbursts and arguments.
In a lot of Nigerian homes, women are still usually the ones to shoulder the burden of chores but it isn’t always the case. Although it’s very common for the men to leave their dirty socks and underwear on the floor and the new bride has to pick them up, there are cases of women not cleaning up after themselves as well.
So right at the beginning, discuss and agree on cleanliness standards and in such a way that both of you can comfortably follow it. Don’t leave all the work to the woman just because. And don’t leave all the work to the man either.
The “Money” Fight
This is the most interesting point of all. Money is a notoriously touchy subject for couples – especially newlyweds who might just be starting to combine finances, looking to buy a house or starting a family.
During the time you dated, or even if you were living together, it’s easy to hide your finances. However, once married, most partners find out the truth about things like the real amount of debt their partner has, or learn about the bad spending habits that may go against their ideals.
Money matters might seem to only be practical concerns, but there’s frequently a lot of emotional baggage tied up in them, that make them difficult to discuss. Some Nigerian men even feel uncomfortable sharing their finances with their wives.
However, honesty, transparency and expressing your feelings about money before developing a plan on how you will move forward with your new financial life together is another way to ensure there are no fights or arguments in your marriage.