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First year of marriage...is it just mine, or is it actually quite tough?! Long....

(19 Posts)
ClaireBear54 Mon 26-Sep-11 08:47:37

I got married in a wonderful ceremony to a wonderful caring man earlier this year. Background is that my DH and I met two years ago, had a long distance relationship (he lived in Scotland, me in London) and I then moved up after we got married in Feb (ie we didn't live together beforehand). Tons has happened this year: I took voluntary redundancy in March from my old work because I wanted some time off for a few months to settle into married life and to be with DH. DH's grandfather died, my Dad had had a stroke right before the wedding, his work as a very busy teacher means he's under a lot of pressure, plus we live on the school site, as he's head of boarding.....as well as that, his position changed at the last minute due to redundancies at school which although a promotion, means there's also been a lot of work to catch up on. We also got a puppy in Aug who needs a lot of attention, but who I adore! To top it all off, we're about to start IVF next month because I've had two bad years of health due to hideous pelvic infection etc in Feb 2009 that has scuppered things for me.

So, thing is, we've argued quite a bit. He gets very stressed, and maybe it's a man vs. woman thing, but it seems to me that he just can't handle pressure very well. We had a hideous, emotional crying argument last night about stress, pressure, IVF, school, work...I was terrribly upset, as was he. I never imagined that 7 months in, we'd be having these chats. He says he just wants to make me happy. Which I am. But I clearly don't seem as Doris Day about it all as he'd like.... hmm But it's been a big deal moving up from London and leaving behind all my friends and work to come here. Both our parents are about an hour away which is lovely, but I'm quite independant at times and used to bustling about....I love being at home and making a nice home for us, and he likes it too, especially as two nights a week he works late at boarding. The IVF has rather put a hold on what I do about looking for new work, as I'd like to at least get the crap stressy injection bit out of the way first and see how I feel before deciding. I should also (whispers it) mention that our sex life ain't great....which I miss a lot.

The arguments always blow over, he apologies for being a stressy plonker, I apologise for being a nagging harriden, and all is well. But we've had a few now, and I hate them. So sorry for the long post, but I'd love some thoughts on it all. Where can we go from here to make things better? I suspect I eventually need to get a job and meet more people, but equally, like making a nest for us. Bottom line is, we love each other so so much, but feel there are some issues to work out. I should also mention that when I asked him last night if he wanted to go through with IVF, that he was horrified that I'd even mentioned it, as he was desperate for children too. AGHH!

ShimmeryPixie Mon 26-Sep-11 08:58:49

I wouldn't say it's something specific to the first year - more that some years and good, some are pretty bad, and you just have to work through the bad ones as best you can. From the sounds of it, you're having a pretty rough year overall - lots of changes, illness, work pressure, plus IVF on top of that. It's no surprise that you're having occasional blow-ups.

To make things better, I do recommend trying to meet some new people, so that it's not just you and your DH all the time (i.e. to give you somewhere else to chat/have fun as a bit of breathing space). Beyond that, it sounds like he's worried about you and is quite stressed - he has concerns that you are not happy and probably blames himself (I assume it is his work that you moved for, but please tell me if that is wrong). The sex life may be a symptom of all that. When my DH was similarly worried about me, I just made sure to talk to him if I had specific problems (always posing them as scenarios he could provide advice on, so he felt useful/could help) and made sure I told him about something that had been fun/enjoyable each day. It helped us get back on an even keel at the time.

trixymalixy Mon 26-Sep-11 09:02:58

DH and I had been together for 6 years and lived together for 2 years before we got married.

Our first year of marriage was awful we had massive arguments and I think some of our friends were quite concerned.

This year it's our tenth wedding anniversary and we're having another bad year, but the ones inbetween have been fine and I think we'll work through this one.

I think marriage will have its ups and downs and you have to work through them.

ClaireBear54 Mon 26-Sep-11 16:10:11

Thanks for your kind words and helpful advice. I guess I thought it would all be a bed of roses, what with us being newly weds and all....but real life does take over! He's been v nice today and said sorry again for upsetting me, but as this has been fairly regular recently, leads me to think that he needs to man up and get a grip sometimes. And that I need to get out more and meet new friends! My sister told me earlier today when I was having a moan chat with her that for the time being, I need to back off and let him have some space and time to himself, which I'm sure is good advice. So he's now on puppy walking duty for 20mins in the evening wink. Or xbox if it's really raining.... Thanks again for thoughts.

ClaireBear54 Mon 26-Sep-11 16:12:53

PS, meant to say ShimmeryPixie that your advice on telling him about something good that happened each day is a great idea, as he told me last night I didn't seem to enjoy being up here (which is rubbish, as it's beautiful and a haven of autumn loveliness). So I'm definitely going to do that from now on!

IggyPup Mon 26-Sep-11 16:21:36

My first year of marriage was awful. I was never as lonely or as unhappy. Er until my last year of marriage, 16 years later which ended in divorce.

Sorry for your unhappiness, I am sure it is because of all the stuff you are going through. How about writing a journal? Would that help getting it off your chest? You may want to burn it after!

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 26-Sep-11 16:24:10

We came very very close to splitting up in our first year. We were both lonely, depressed, we'd given up a lot of our individual hobbies, we were living in a new area, not far away from home but unfamiliar. It was horrible. However, 11 years down the line we're happy as Larry.

lolaflores Mon 26-Sep-11 16:36:36

My biggest suprise at married life was how tough and mentally draining the first years were. We had lived together before but his work took him away alot. So I was pregnant quite soon after. We really didn't know what we were doing. We didn't relocate like you but bought a house and so on. It seemed llike our feet didn't touch the ground. A whirl of events. and then I turned 40 and so on. DD is now 4 and we are 5 years married. Hitting our strides but still learning about compromises and patience. That is my advice. Dig deep in the patience department. by god you are going to have to learn how to keep it topped up[

diddl Mon 26-Sep-11 17:01:31

It sounds as if you both have a lot on and have enough to do/think of for yourself, & not enough left over to support the other one iyswim.

But if he´s coming home to a calm wife who hasn´t just rushed in herself, that should be helping him lots!

And what´s this about him wanting to make you happy?

If you are-then that´s a pressure he can take off himself, surely?

Good luck with the IVF.

Dozer Mon 26-Sep-11 17:11:47

All the things that happened and still going on sound incredibly stressful. Try to hang in there.

It sounds like he's adding to the pressure on you to be positive, and making it hard for you to talk about negative stuff. Suspect that few women going into IVF (let alone the rest of your situation) will be all happy-smiley all the time. So he's being unreasonable on that front. You made the compromises to get married, and will take a while to deal with it, he needs to deal with that.

Some female friends might help you a lot!

Sorry to be negative, but have you thought about what happens next in your life - together and as individuals - if the IVF doesn't work (or if you miscarry)? Getting a job (maybe part-time) or doing something structured might be a good idea, so that everything isn't hanging on having a baby. I have been through fertility issues (though not IVF) for 2 years or so, and work was actually a god-send during that time.

Almostfifty Mon 26-Sep-11 17:21:28

I think most people would say it's hard work. You're used to being yourself, and suddenly you've got to take someone else's views into consideration all the time. I know I found it very hard, and I moved away to be with my husband too.

If you don't want to start a job at the moment, how about doing some voluntary work? It would get you out of the house and they're crying out for help in lots of places.

ducati Mon 26-Sep-11 17:21:54

I am not at all surprised you feel down. Your probs are compounded by no job and IVF as well as all the other stuff. What do you do all day? If you are used to working, it is pretty hard to adjust to drifting about looking at the autumn leaves, no matter how romantic it should be. Why not get a job as IVF treatment allows (most people have to fit it in with a job anyway) and then you'll make new friends and then it won't bother you when he has to work late as you'll be in the pub when he is. In fact nice to make a bit of a social life for yourself before a baby comes along.

Btw you have my every sympathy. I had terrible first year of marriage, desperately missed gassing with my girlfriends who I lived with right up until wedding day. Also I worked 7am to 3pm and my dh finished at 8pm so I was lonely in the evenings and ended up drinking a lot. Got a new far more sociable job in the end with normal hours and that fixed things

fraktious Mon 26-Sep-11 17:36:14

Ours was hideous. Year 2 better...

Like you I moved, I had no family support, no friends, DH had a stressful job, I didn't have one lined up, I ended up resenting him a lot and feeling like I'd lost my identity completely just by getting married (I hadn't, obviously, but with marriage came big changes). It does get better, talking helps smile

I think it's a bloody steep learning curve!

WishIwereAtTheWiesnProst Mon 26-Sep-11 17:52:41

nothing to do with marriage, first year of moving to a new place, new friends, livin with partner for first time, and ivf?!

Fuckin hell give yourself (and dh) a break. It will take a while life will be stressful.

SenSationsMad Mon 26-Sep-11 18:18:33

Hated the first year of my marriage, don't think I'd put up with it now. He behaved as if he was still single. My first anniversary gift from him was a pair of beer bottle glasses (and I still haven't forgiven him!)

But, I can honestly say, things did improve, and I'm madly in love with him, 15 yrs later. It's a big change, give yourselves a chance smile

DoodleAlley Mon 26-Sep-11 18:28:01

I found the first year hard and I don't think it helped that it coincided with starting work moving cities and moving in together. As others have says when points if pressure come I think it's normal that it sometimes spills over into your relationship.

That said, I'm very fiery and argumentative and I do think the arguments have diminished to only in times of pressure or stress. Maybe I just got older (I was 22, DH 26) maybe we ran out of things to have stupid arguments about. I'd like to think we now recognise when the others under pressure etc and are learning - ever so slowly - to have more grace.

Marriage can be hard work, you're trying to get two individuals to work as one in a sense. There are always going to be points if disagreement and I'm in the "better out than in" school of thought. But there are good arguments and bad arguments.

If you're going thru a big time of upheaval then try making time to talk things thru in the way that suits you. For DH and I it's walking and talking. If you sit me down to talk I panic and find things inexplicably stressful but find that doing sinething like walking at the same time really helps.

Good luck. I think marriage is worth the battle as a rule, but I am well aware of how it can sometimes feel like battles are all there is.

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 26-Sep-11 18:43:14

My marriage started like yours and yes, the first year was challenging. I got pg quite quickly though and for us, the hardest year has been the last one, during which we have split three times. Basically we didn't know each other well enough and the adjusting period threw that into focus. You do have a shot but you need to get yourself busy and sorted for yourself - don't try to cushion everything for him as I did. I tried to make the transition smoother as it was a massive move for him and a big culture change but I ended up taking on far too much and almost parenting him.

Can you put IVF on hold for a bit?

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 26-Sep-11 18:48:35

Oh I see it was you who moved....well then from his POV I'd say try to pull your weight, try to stay positive - it's a huge weight of responsibility when someone moves to be with you and it's incredibly disruptive. That sounds bad - but your entire life is changed in one fell swoop for this other person and you can question it at times! Focus on getting a job and putting down roots in your area. One of the things that has come close to splitting us up (and may yet do) is his wanting to keep one leg in his own country and never fully committing to me (and DS by extension). Be very aware of that.

ClaireBear54 Tue 27-Sep-11 08:30:17

This is all brilliant advice, and thanks so much. It's funny: just by posting and reading all your experiences, I feel a lot better and not like I'm the only one in this situation! We were and are SOOO in love when we got married and just assumed it would all jolly along nicely. But it hasn't done at times, and we've both been really shocked by that. Everyone makes good suggestions: give ourselves a break, get me a job/some new friends, talk to each other when things are tough (which we do do to be fair), and generally hang in there! I think the single biggest thing that will help is me getting some part time work once I know how the IVF goes in the next few weeks. I have thought about what happens next, so it's not a negative thing to ask...v sensible actually! My MIL has just kindly given us her timeshare in Aviemore for a week at Oct half term (the same week I start injections, so v timely) which will be lovely to get away from school and spend some time by ourselves. We also said last night that at Christmas-time, we'd see if we could find a cheapo spa break somewhere by ourselves to chill out (we might definitely need it by then post IVF). So there's lots of nice things to look forward to, but I just want to STOP having these awful chats. I suspect they will die away (and it's not like we're having them every day, more like one a month, but that's enough). It HAS been a bonkers year, and I do miss working for some things (I should have mentioned that I used to work in central government in Whitehall, so v v busy and stressful at times, so the planned break from work was a GODSEND) like friends and social contact. I think the fact that our relationship is a new one anyway (only two years this past weekend) also means that there are still things to be discovered about each other.....
But it's onwards and upwards and I take comfort in knowing that it does get easier. My sister was given a candle when she first got married that had little lines all the way down it. Apparently, she was to light it whenever she had an argument and if there was still candle left after the first year, then she'd done well! We'd stilll have lots left, but I'd rather I didn't have to light it at all (in a fantasy world!). Thanks again for advice! x

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