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So you got married in the past year, and everything is going just great! You thought you knew everything about your spouse, but you find yourselves still learning new things about each other. You wouldn’t complain about a thing. Well, maybe one or two things. A handful at the very most. (Psst. It’s okay if things haven’t been perfect. In fact, it’s normal! We shed some light on some of the common conflicts that couples face in the first year of marriage in Part 1 of our Newlywed Guide, which you can read here.) However, not every challenge comes in the form of a conflict needing to be resolved. Much of the journey that you’ve started on is an ongoing sense of growth and learning. You’re figuring out what makes each other (and yourselves) tick and learning what that means for your relationship. How do you manage your innate differences? Maintain balance? Stay connected and keep growing together? Let’s explore. Getting a little annoyed with each other? It’s bound to happen, and honestly, if you haven’t gotten annoyed with each other up until now, that’s pretty impressive. Getting irritated is a natural part of being around each other a lot and knowing each other well. Whether it’s personality differences that are causing friction or personal habits that are starting to drive you nuts, the key is to keep a positive perspective and learn to leverage differences in productive ways. When you get stuck focusing on the negative, it can drive a wedge between you and begin to cause more serious damage to your relationship.

  • Need some tips for appreciating your spouse’s personality? You can find some here.

  • If you’re a case of opposites attract, you’ll want to check out these 6 essential tips.

  • Trying to keep your cool in the midst of each other’s annoying habits? Check out these 6 peacekeeping tips.

The Free Time Debate Going into marriage you may have envisioned spending most of your free time together – enjoying shared hobbies, going out regularly, hosting friends and family… sounds great, right? Things might be going as planned, or you might be encountering some snags. These could range from having different ideas about how you’ll spend the weekend to feeling like you’re spending too much time together (or apart). The reality is, there is no universal equation for getting it right; it all comes down to a sense of balance and what currently feels right in your relationship. This is not a one-and-done conversation, but more of an ongoing dance that you’ll engage in throughout the course of your marriage as you navigate different stages and seasons of life. In the meantime, here are some resources you might find helpful:

  • Are you feeling out of balance when it comes to the time you spend together or apart? Check out these 10 tips for a more balanced relationship.

  • Have you found that a lack of interests tend to take you in opposite directions? Find out how you can still stay connected.

  • Having trouble getting on the same page when it comes to your social life? Here are 5 things you’ll want to talk about.

  • And finally, if you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the time you do spend together, here are 3 tips for increasing the quality of your quality time.

Dating your spouse This phrase always sounds a bit odd at first. You’re married now, do you really need to keep dating? But the simple answer is yes! Dating is more than just a stage before marriage, it’s a way to continuously nurture intimacy, connection, friendship, and romance in your relationship. This might seem like something that comes naturally right now, but it often requires more effort and intention as time goes on. Prioritizing this from the start ingrains habits that will strengthen your relationship for years to come.

  • Keep your date repertoire fresh with our go-to date night guide.

  • Different situations and seasons of life mean you’ll need different kinds of dates to suit your needs. Here are the 6 types to master throughout marriage.

Welcome to parenthood! If you’ve grown your family or are getting ready to, congratulations! You’ve probably gone through a wide range of emotions and may have already experienced changes in your relationship, in both positive and challenging ways. You’re both in a completely new element, figuring out your own needs and identity as a parent while caring for a new baby. It’s hard, and it’s also very rewarding – for both of you as parents and for your relationship. Read more about how parenting brings you closer and how you can support each other as parents. Has it been a year already? Happy Anniversary! This year has probably flown by, and now it’s time to celebrate. As you’re toasting your first year of marriage, it’s exciting to not only look ahead to what the future might hold but also to reflect back on how you’ve grown. Consider starting a tradition where you sit down and answer these questions on every anniversary. Your anniversary is also a great time to consider taking a relationship assessment. That’s right! We often associate relationship assessments with premarital counseling, but there are several reasons to continue taking them periodically throughout your marriage. Check them out here. As you’ve probably realized, marriage isn’t always smooth sailing, happily ever after, or all the other clichés, but it’s still pretty wonderful. In fact, we’d argue that the imperfection actually makes it better than a fairytale. Why? Because out of the struggles comes growth, and growing together is crucial for a lifelong marriage. So cheers to the struggles, successes, and everything in between – you’re doing great!

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