MomsGetReal Guest Contributor Amy Nielson

marriageThe party’s over, the gifts are unwrapped, and the honeymoon’s coming to an end. You’ve spent the past handful of months planning your wedding, and now you and your new spouse are officially entering the world of marriage. Your first year of being married can be a really difficult one because it’s all about adjustments, and even if you think you have an idea what these adjustments will be, it’s guaranteed there will be way more than you imagine. Weddings are a romantic and exciting affair, but afterwards, when you’re learning to live with someone brought up with different morals, habits, and expectations than you, life can be decidedly unromantic. Don’t panic. Figuring out the important questions that all newlywed couples have to deal with will soon set you on the right path to discovering how you want your marriage to be and how you can make it last.

1. Handling Money and Bills

There’s no way to underestimate how important tackling money issues are in the first year of marriage. A report by the Daily Beast says that couples with fewer financial assets are over 70 percent more likely to get divorced than wealthy couples. Money issues can be incredibly stressful, and fighting about money puts a strain on your relationship that can last for years. It’s better to start out with a budget. Talk through your monthly expenses and think about some big purchases that you want to save for, like a house or a dream vacation. You should decide whether to get a joint bank account and whether to put both names on your utility bills, which most experts recommend in case something was to happen to one of you. Also look for married perks, such as discounts that come from combining your auto insurance policies, like the discounts offered at . The most important thing to be sure of as you move forward is that you’re both on the same page when it comes to finances.

2. Dealing with Arguments

CouplesIt’s not uncommon for couples who rarely fought before to start fighting over every little thing after they get married. What’s behind this phenomenon? It may simply be that you’re both pretty scared about the transitions you’re making. Marriage is hard, and forever can be an overwhelming prospect even after you’ve said I do. If you find yourself getting really upset over dirty dishes in the sink or the choice of restaurant on a Friday night, stop and breathe for a moment. Remember that you’re probably feeling nervous about the bigger picture. Couples can also fight about surprises after marriage. Maybe you’ll discover something in your spouse’s past or even just a bad habit they have that you never noticed before. It’s important to remember that you couldn’t possibly know everything about a person before you marry them, and that these surprises can be seen as positive. Discovering new things about each other is part of what keeps marriage exciting.

3. The Important Things

Margarita & Rosalio's WeddingPsychiatrist Margarita Tartakovsky says one of the biggest challenges for newlyweds is being perceived as a unit socially, legally, and religiously. It’s therefor important for both halves of the couple to assert their individuality. This could mean holding on to your personal bank account or simply maintaining your own hobbies and activities. And just because you do things as a couple doesn’t mean you have to do them the same way. Embrace your differences and be willing to talk about ways to compromise. Tartakovsky also explores the decreased intimacy that newlyweds experience when the so-called honeymoon period of the relationship inevitably comes to an end. The changes in your sex life can go hand in hand with the changes in every other aspect of your life, and it’s important to give each other time and communicate openly. Don’t panic if you aren’t having sex every day of the week. Don’t panic if marriage is a lot different than you imagined it would be. Remember everyone feels this way at first.

When you start your married life, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re playing house. The feeling of transitioning into adulthood can cause you to miss your parents, even if you haven’t lived with them for years. Juggling your changing financial situation, along with a possible move, a new name, and a host of responsibilities you never considered, can make your fantasy wedding day seem like a distant memory. But remember that somebody is choosing to spend their life with you, and that’s something you should be grateful for, even if every day isn’t an adventure. It’s okay if your definition of romance changes, too.

Amy Nielson is a blogger who writes articles for Briggs & Butler, a medical insurance provider that can offer policies for families. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.