A couple displays wedding rings. PHOTO | NATIONA couple displays wedding rings. PHOTO | NATION
By NAIROBI WIFE

It has been one year, two months and three days since I said I do to my husband. They say the first year is always the hardest, because two people who were independent before have to find ways to accommodate each other. I agree. Since we are both still alive, I count it as a success. Here are few things I learnt along the way.

1. You will not always agree

My husband and I get along quite well most of the time. However, there are times when we just do not see eye to eye on some issues, and it’s okay. It makes life interesting. I believe in putting the tissue roll over when the old one runs out, he believes in leaving the old roll on the holder, someone else will change it.

2. Relatives are good, but friends are better

Anyone who has planned a wedding will tell you that relatives call the shots in a lot of the planning that goes on. They determine the guest list, menu, venue and in extreme cases, the spouse. When the day fades away, though, so do they.

Since I got married, I have realized that the friends we have as a couple and separately as individuals are the ones who have stuck by us. Relatives called the shots for the wedding, but it is friends who helped the day to come to fruition. Afterwards, they are the ones who stick by us in times of joy and sadness.

Can you imagine of all the relatives that my husband and I have combined only a handful have come to see the baby? Of friends, numerous have popped in to congratulate us.

3. Still on friends, don’t throw them away just because you got yourself a husband

Keep the friends you made before he came into the picture, as well as the ones you made together. In the event of a misunderstanding, the friends you have as a couple, specifically couples themselves can help you out of the rut.

The ones you made when you were single will still have the same interests as you and are still the same people you liked. If they are still single, don’t feel superior to them. Remember, what goes up must come down. And besides, you never know what value they may add to your life and relationship.

4. In my year in marriage, I have learnt that my husband is and should be my closest ally

I have learnt that we should put up a united front; it’s us against the world. You may have disagreements and moments where you don’t really like each other, but nothing should be able to get in between you. If you are already friends, maintain the friendship, if you’re not, cultivate it. When the romantic love is gone (and it will) at least there will be friendship.

5. I have also learnt that not everyone will be on board with your decisions

When you will decide to have children, if at all; what you will name said children, where you will live… the list is endless. Just stick to your guns, if you are in agreement and let the world talk.

I recently saw an article that described perfectly what the number one killer of marriages is – unfulfilled expectations. I came into the marriage with very many expectations of how life with my husband would be like. For example, I expected him to help me with the chores around the house while he expected me to handle everything.

I would then get annoyed when he wouldn’t lift a finger to help and he would wonder why he’s expected to do anything yet he had a more than capable wife who could handle it. The fights stopped when we talked and reached a compromise.

The first year in marriage is never easy, but open communication helps a lot. Do not get into marriage with a preconceived idea of how it will be like, you will be disappointed. Talk to your partner and agree with them. Don’t let external forces dictate your relationship too much.