How Relationships Change Over Time: What to Expect in the First Year of Marriage

happy couple

Marriage is one of the most important relationships we will ever experience in our lives, and it can be exciting but also overwhelming as you adjust to your new life together. While no two marriages are alike, there are certain common changes that most couples go through in their first year of marriage. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how relationships change over time and what to expect in the first year of marriage.

The Honeymoon Phase

The first year of marriage is often referred to as the Honeymoon Phase. During this time, a couple is typically in a blissful state of newlywed love and everything is rosy. It’s a time when couples are filled with joy, hope, and optimism for their future together. During the Honeymoon Phase, couples tend to spend more time together, take more risks, and enjoy each other’s company without worrying about the difficulties that can arise over time.

However, it is important to remember that the Honeymoon Phase is not an indicator of what your marriage will be like in the future. Unfortunately, some couples do not make it past this stage, which can lead to divorce. Therefore, it is important to be aware of potential pitfalls and develop realistic expectations for your relationship. With good communication and healthy boundaries, you can ensure that your marriage is on the right track and prepare for the changes that come with it.

The First Fight

The first fight between a couple is an inevitable part of a marriage or relationship. As with any new endeavor, there will be learning curves and misunderstandings that lead to disagreements. In some cases, it may even lead to arguments. While some couples are able to work through the first argument relatively quickly, others may find themselves in a heated discussion for hours.

No matter how you handle your first fight, it’s important to remember that arguing does not necessarily mean the end of your relationship or marriage. In fact, research has shown that couples who fight constructively have lower divorce rates and better communication skills.

For couples who are still feeling their way through the early stages of marriage, it is important to remember that fighting can often be a healthy sign of progress and growth. By understanding each other’s needs and communicating openly, couples can learn to resolve conflicts without resorting to destructive behavior. With proper communication and trust, couples can successfully navigate the rocky waters of their first fight and ultimately grow stronger together.

The New Normal

After the initial adjustment period, couples in a marriage will settle into a new normal. This is the state where the couple has developed a rhythm in their lives that works for both of them. This includes routines for spending time together, communicating about important matters, and working through disagreements. At this stage, couples may also find that their marriage has improved their overall quality of life. They might feel more connected to their partner and have a greater sense of security.

In order to reach this new normal, it is important for couples to be open to change and willing to compromise. Marriage requires dedication and ongoing effort from both partners in order to last. Divorce rates have been decreasing over the years as couples have worked hard to keep their relationships strong. While marriage can often be difficult, it is worth the effort when couples are able to settle into a new normal and enjoy the lifelong benefits of the relationship.

The Adjustment Period

The Adjustment Period is a time of transition for couples as they navigate the realities of married life. This is the period when many couples get a better understanding of how their relationship works, and how to work together as a team. This can be a difficult process, particularly in the first year of marriage, as many couples are still adjusting to living together and dealing with unexpected issues that arise.

During this period, it’s important for both partners to stay positive and remain patient with each other. Couples should strive to maintain open communication and a commitment to addressing issues that arise, rather than letting them fester or become a source of resentment. Having realistic expectations about what marriage will involve and developing healthy coping strategies for managing conflicts can help couples build strong foundations for the future.

Divorce rates tend to be higher during the first few years of marriage, as couples are still learning how to negotiate disagreements, manage expectations and set boundaries in their relationship. The Adjustment Period is an important part of marriage, but it can also be difficult. For couples who are struggling to adjust to married life and find themselves in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage, there is always the option of seeking professional advice or counseling to help them navigate their difficulties.

The Settling in

At this point in a marriage, the couple has hopefully worked through some of the bumps in the road and are beginning to settle into the new relationship. The couple is comfortable with each other, have figured out how to navigate disagreements, and have come to understand each other’s needs and preferences. This is often referred to as the ‘marriage plateau’, where the initial excitement and novelty of being married fades, but is replaced with a feeling of companionship and commitment.

At this stage, a marriage can last for many years, if both partners are committed to continuing to work on their relationship. Divorce rates tend to go down significantly after the first year of marriage, as couples learn how to support each other and resolve conflicts in a healthy way. Additionally, couples may begin to focus on growing their relationship by engaging in activities that foster communication, such as taking classes together or making a regular date night.

The Settling In phase is an important part of a successful marriage. It allows couples to develop an understanding of each other while also deepening their bond and connection. With dedication and effort, couples can make sure their relationship continues to grow and thrive over time.


At the end of the day, all relationships change over time. As a couple, it is important to remember that these changes do not have to be negative and that some of the most meaningful and beautiful moments in marriage come after the initial adjustment period.

While there are no guarantees in life, investing the time and energy into developing a strong relationship in the first year of marriage can help couples to lay the foundation for a long-lasting and loving union. If you are feeling unsure or worried about any aspects of your relationship, it is always beneficial to seek out professional advice and assistance. No matter where you are on your journey of marriage, always remember that both divorce and marriage are equally valid options and that you should never feel obligated to stay in a relationship if it is not right for you.