Dealing with Our First Argument as Newlyweds
Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. You’ve found your perfect partner and are ready to start your lives together. During this honeymoon phase, everything seems incredible.
However, no matter how compatible you may be, conflict is inevitable in any relationship. When that first real argument happens after your wedding, it can feel jarring and concerning.
Navigating your first fight as newlyweds can be challenging, but it’s essential to handle it healthily. Doing so sets the tone for managing disagreements throughout your marriage.
Why Do Newlyweds Fight?
It’s perfectly normal for newly married couples to have conflicts. Here are some common reasons you may face your first fight soon after your wedding:
- Unrealistic Expectations
The excitement and bliss you feel during your engagement and wedding can lead to unrealistic expectations about married life. When reality hits, it can cause friction.
- Discovery Stage
During your first year of marriage, you learn more intimate details about each other than ever. Different habits, pet peeves, and personalities may surface, leading to arguments.
- Change in Roles
Transitioning to husband and wife comes with new roles and responsibilities that you’re both getting used to. Adapting to these changes can be tricky initially.
- Lack of Quality Time
Between work, family, and friends, your schedules may leave little couple time. Spending less time together can strain your relationship.
- Financial Pressures
Financial stressors like moving expenses, wedding debt, or combining finances can pressure your marriage and lead to money-related fights.
- Poor Communication
Without solid communication skills, minor issues or misunderstandings can quickly escalate into major fights.
What to Do During Your First Argument
When you find yourself in your first spat as newlyweds, try these tips for handling it constructively:
1. Stay Calm
It’s easy to let emotions take over during an argument. Try to keep your cool rather than yelling, name-calling, or saying hurtful things you’ll regret. Take some deep breaths if you feel yourself getting worked up.
2. Actively Listen
Instead of thinking about what you’ll say next, focus on truly listening to your spouse’s perspective. Making them feel heard and understood goes a long way. Don’t interrupt them.
3. Use “I” Statements
Talk about how you feel using “I” language instead of accusing “you” statements. For example, “I feel concerned when dirty dishes are left in the sink,” rather than, “You never do the dishes.”
4. Find the Root Cause
Look beyond the surface issue to identify the real source of the conflict. Is it really about keeping a tidy home, or does your spouse feel you don’t pull your weight with chores? Dig deeper.
5. Compromise and Problem Solve
Be willing to meet in the middle to resolve the disagreement. Brainstorm solutions and respectfully discuss ideas until you agree on something.
6. Take a Break
If things get heated, take some time to re-center yourselves before continuing the conversation. Twenty minutes apart can help you gain perspective.
7. Use Humor
When used appropriately, a bit of humor can add some fun and prevent things from escalating into a more significant argument. Just don’t use humor to undermine their concerns.
8. Pick Your Battles
Not every disagreement needs to turn into a major fight. Choose which issues are worth discussing and let the more minor things go. Save your energy for what’s important.
9. Know When to Get Help
If you still struggle to communicate without arguing after several attempts, don’t be afraid to seek counseling. A therapist can equip you with healthy conflict-resolution skills.
What to Do After the Argument
Just as important as how you argue is how you make up after. Here are some tips for recovering after your first fight:
After settling tensions, reflect on what led to the disagreement and your role. Think about ways you could argue better next time.
Take accountability for the areas where you were wrong, and sincerely apologize for any hurtful words or actions. Ask for forgiveness.
3. Let It Go
Once you’ve resolved the conflict, don’t keep rehashing it or hold grudges. Forgive each other and move forward.
Spend quality time together doing something fun to help rekindle your emotional connection after the disagreement. Plan a date night.
5. Discuss Expectations
Talk about what you both could do differently to avoid or better handle fights in the future. Set some ground rules you agree on.
6. Seek Understanding
Ask your spouse why specific issues tend to lead to arguments so you can gain insight into their perspective and feelings.
First Fight Stories and Tips from Real Couples
Reading about other newlyweds’ first fight experiences can help provide some comfort and perspective when you go through it yourself. Here are first fight tales and tips from three real couples:
Sarah and Matt’s Story
“Matt is a total night owl, and I’m an early bird. About a month after our wedding, I woke up one morning to find Matt playing video games in the living room. I got upset that the noise woke me up so early, especially on my day off.
Matt got defensive when I asked him to keep it down in the mornings, and we ended up in a big, pointless fight over our different sleep habits.
Now we make an effort to communicate our schedules so I’m not caught off guard by early morning gaming marathons. Finding compromises that work for both of our preferences has made a big difference.”
Alicia and Ryan’s Story
“The first few months of our marriage, Ryan was working overtime a lot to cover some medical bills from a surgery he had right before our wedding. Between his long hours and my busy grad school schedule, we hardly saw each other.
One night after Ryan came home late again, I broke down crying from sheer exhaustion and feeling like we never spend time together anymore. I accused Ryan of choosing work over our marriage.
Of course that only made him defensive, and we ended up fighting about how we never make time for each other. Once we calmed down, we had a good talk about managing our schedules better so we prioritize couple time.
Now we protect at least two nights a week for date nights, no matter how busy we are. Having that sacred time together has brought us closer.”
David and Emma’s Story
“During wedding planning, we never fought about anything. After the honeymoon phase ended, we started bickering over little things like chores and clutter around the house.
Then one weekend, Emma’s friend came to visit from out of town. I thought it was just for a night but the visit ended up extending all weekend.
When I complained about not getting any quality time with my new wife all weekend, Emma got annoyed that I was trying to control her time with her friend. Our irritation with each other boiled over into a big blowout fight.
We learned we have different ideas of boundaries with friends that we needed to discuss, not argue about. Now we make sure to talk out expectations before either of us makes plans without the other.”
Arguing with your spouse is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to damage your marriage – primarily if it’s handled healthily right from the start. Remember, you’re on the same team.
If you can communicate with kindness and compromise, you’ll find your way through any conflict, just like you did to make it to your wedding day! Learn here more about newlyweds’ guides and tips.