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By Cassondra Scheiber

The first five years of a young marriage

So, you are in that stage of your life where you think you want to marry your better half. Well, I am going to tell you, it does not matter if you have been together for three years or three months; it is still going to be a challenge!

With three years of dating, you feel like you know someone, but do you really? Even if you lived together before you got married, you will learn something new about this person every single day.

The first year

At this point, you are still learning a lot about your other half. You learn how they like certain foods, how they like their clothes sorted and even their bathroom habits. What makes this year so hard is that you may not necessarily like all the new things you learn about this person, like how they leave the toilet seat up every single time or obnoxiously smack their food. Can you really live with the fact that he absolutely hates even the smallest amount of change? Well, you have to, because that is the vow you took.

You are going to learn more about their past and more about the bad decisions both of you made in your youth. Just remember: The past is the past. No matter how you feel about it, you have to let it go. That is not who they are any more, and that is not who you want to be. Now, you are married and starting a new life together, and that is all that matters.

The second year

By the second year, people still consider you newlyweds, but it does not feel that way. The honeymoon stage is over, and it feels like you have been together forever. By this point, you have learned their dislikes and preferences on how they live their daily lives and they have learned yours. You have learned to live and coexist in the same home and are hopefully happy doing so.

Now you are probably thinking about buying your first home. This is a huge step. You are making your first big decision as a married couple and are going to have to do a lot of compromising to find the home you both love.

The third year

Year three is a big year. You may be feeling like you are ready to bring a baby into your marriage. It seems like a good time. You have been married for three years. You have bought a house together and built a home.

Hopefully by this point you are somewhat established and able to support a child. This is a stressful thing to think about. Do you plan? Do you just let it happen? Just do what feels right to you and your spouse. Talk about it, pray about it and make him give up the man cave.

If you are happy then maybe it is time to have a baby. However, if you are not happy, a baby will not change that, but will only add to the stress. Work on your marriage first and then think about a baby.

The fourth year

Now I am not saying by this point in your marriage you have to have a baby. That is for everyone and their own time to decide. There are a few things however that will not change about your fourth year. It seems insignificant because, what is four years? Well, it is not. You have made it through the first couple years. You are no longer considered newlyweds. You probably feel like you know everything there is to know about this person you married.

If you did have a baby already, you are learning how they parent, how they want to parent, and the things they do not really like about being a parent. You will probably even learn how much you want to strangle them for asking you what you did all day. The good news is you get to be parents together for the rest of your lives.

The fifth year

You are really only getting started at this point. You have made it half a decade together; what can stop you now? The fifth year can be hard. You have been with your spouse three hundred sixty-five days a year for five years. It is easy to get irritated, or even tired of being around some one. That does not mean you love them any less or would change a thing, that is just life.

We get caught up in the day to day. We are stressed as parents. We often take things out on the people we love the most. If you can make it five years, who says you can not make it a life time?

Things to remember

There are going to be things that come up that seem impossible, they are not. You are going to get angry and irritated. Just take things one day at a time, continue to pray for your marriage and always forgive. No matter how big or how small forgiveness and patients are the keys to any successful marriage. Learn to be understanding of each other and always kiss goodnight.

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