Money, Sex, and Hobbies: How to handle potential conflict issues in your first year of marriage

We’ve heard the news that Kim Kardashian is separating from husband Kris Humpries after their jaw-dropping wedding celebration in August. But have we stopped to ask why? Let’s get past personal attacks, and look a little deeper.

Kris and Kim at their wedding

As a Las Vegas bride myself, I’ve learned the wedding is worth the effort and so is marriage to the man I love. But it takes work. Marriage is hard. When feelings fade and the arguments hit home, I have to step back and remember what my marriage is all about. It’s about commitment. It’s about perseverance. It’s about faithfulness, and it’s about learning to prune the worst parts of myself while letting someone help me grow into a better human being.

While I can’t speak for Kim and Kris’ marriage, I can speak for mine. Today, Las Vegas brides, I want to level with you. I’m so excited to guide you through planning your upcoming Las Vegas weddings, but I also want to help you prepare for your lifetime commitments to your spouses-to-be.

Today, take a look at what I’ve found to be the toughest conflict areas in my marriage. Then you’ll know what to expect and how to react when these issues affect your relationships.

Finances—Money Matters

You and your groom will bring different spending habits, bank accounts, and budget priorities to your marriage. Don’t get into a money fight on the fly. Instead, set time aside each week to calmly talk finances together. Bring the facts, figures, and a lot of honesty to the table.

Just as you set a wedding planning budget, set a monthly spending plan. This may include bills, food, entertainment, gasoline, insurance, medical expenses, savings, and debt/loan repayments. You may also want to consider opening a joint bank account for more transparency and accountability.

Sex—Beyond the Bedroom

As one of the keys to marital intimacy, sex is a gift to be cherished and treated with the utmost care. If you’re entering marriage as a virgin, sex may be uncomfortable at first. That’s okay. With perseverance and patience, you’ll develop trust and learn to bring each other joy in body, mind, and spirit. Then let your love deepen as you understand the importance of intimacy, which you saved to specially share with your spouse.

Likewise, if you’ve lived with your groom prior to marriage, take this time to rediscover one another emotionally and physically. With marriage, you can experience a new sheet. What would you like to see changed? What would you like to continue? It’s encouraging to talk with each other about sexual intimacy, even over a glass of wine at your dinner table. Then you’ll know each other more, and you’ll be better prepared for the bedroom.

Hobbies—Growing Together

I love my husband and the marriage we're creating!

As an engaged couple, you two could hardly be separated. But with wedding planning finished and life taking its toll on honeymoon bliss, you may find it difficult to maintain that level of togetherness. It’s not that you and your spouse are growing apart. It’s that you’re growing.

As long as the activities are healthy, let each person pursue their favorite hobbies and aim for a balanced life. If possible, also determine an activity you can practice together. Keep an eye on expectations too. When your marital expectations aren’t fulfilled, don’t quit. Communicate, extend grace, and be open to compromise to resolve the issue.

Marriage—A Lifetime Commitment

Now in my second year of marriage, my husband and I have discovered we have a lot to work through. But we’ve also found this work is worth the effort. I’ve never before felt so loved, and I’m encouraged because challenges we conquer bring us even closer.

Brides, I wish the same for you and your grooms. Let your wedding planning be the beginning. Then pursue each other for an unsurpassable lifetime commitment of love, patience, and partnership with your lover and best friend.

Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2011

Photographs: first image by E! Online, second image by Heidy Siwajian

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