Our first year

What is the first year of mar­riage re­ally like? Ig­nore the in­spo quotes and hear it straight from the mouths of these new­ly­weds

Cosmopolitan Bride (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

“Your list of pri­or­i­ties changes. It’s no longer how things af­fect me, it’s how they af­fect much more com­plex”

GE­ORGES & PHOEBE Mar­ried May, 2015 What made you de­cide to get mar­ried?

Ge­orges:

I was 38 when I pro­posed, and this is my first mar­riage. Peo­ple say when you know you know and I hon­estly be­lieve that’s true. There was no other op­tion for me; af­ter a par­tic­u­lar time, Phoebe was it. Phoebe:

Be­ing with Ge­orges, I made some big changes. I moved to Aus­tralia from Eng­land; I took the re­la­tion­ship se­ri­ously from the be­gin­ning. Mar­ry­ing Ge­orges was the path I was on from the very be­gin­ning.

What kind of ad­vice were you given about mar­riage?

G: My dad said you don’t have to feel like you’re madly in love with your wife every day but you can never feel like you’ve lost re­spect for her. It’s true, not just in mar­riage, but in re­la­tion­ships.

Is mar­riage what you ex­pected?

P: I ex­pected noth­ing to change. G: Me too, but ev­ery­thing has changed. P: Day-to-day rou­tine doesn’t change. What does change is the re­la­tion­ship it­self. There is so much more worth fight­ing for; you’re in this to­gether and you’ve made this com­mit­ment. There are go­ing to be strug­gles, but you have this strength that you can get through it and sup­port each other. If I make a mis­take or mess up, that’s, to an ex­tent, on both of us. We both deal with each other’s stuff.

G: Be­cause a mar­riage is, in prin­ci­ple, a life­long com­mit­ment. If peo­ple say things don’t change, then I think their per­cep­tion of mar­riage is dif­fer­ent. I think it is the best change in my adult life. It’s not like you’re try­ing to feel dif­fer­ent; your list of pri­or­i­ties changes. It’s no longer how things af­fect me, it’s how they af­fect us. It’s much more com­plex. I think that’s also where com­pro­mise comes into it. But you’re still sep­a­rate peo­ple be­cause that’s who you fell in love with.

What sur­prised you most about the change?

G: I wasn’t go­ing to wear my wed­ding ring, mainly due to my line of work as a photographer and oc­cu­pa­tional safety. Plus, I don’t even wear a watch; I don’t like any­thing at­tached to me. But this ring, I can’t take it off.

P: It’s a beau­ti­ful sym­bol but it’s what you do through­out the mar­riage that makes it. I didn’t mind that he didn’t want to wear it – it didn’t mean he wasn’t go­ing to love me any less, but when I saw he was wear­ing it I was over the moon.

How have you changed as peo­ple?

G: I’ve put on so much weight and got a lot more grey hair [laughs]. I feel more fo­cused. I feel like I have a shorter amount of time to do things be­fore it gets hec­tic and we have chil­dren. Time has be­come con­sid­er­ably more fi­nite.

I just feel re­ally grown up. I think I’m also pro­cess­ing the real­ity of things start­ing to change, so I think I’m also on the same wave­length of get­ting my ducks in a row and fig­ur­ing out how to pre­pare us for the next step.

JAMES & BEN Mar­ried Oc­to­ber, 2015 First things first, how did you two meet?

James: We were in­tro­duced by two mu­tual friends of ours. We went on a date and I fell in love straight away. Ben:

I was a bit bom­barded and a bit scared by the com­mit­ment side.

J: Ben put the brakes on and a year later we or­gan­i­cally came back into each other’s lives. Two weeks later and we were liv­ing to­gether.

When you came back to­gether, how long did it take un­til you spoke about mar­riage?

J: I didn’t take too long! Around the three-year mark I would ask him all the time, and at my 31st birth­day he said, “We’ll be mar­ried by your next birth­day, so stop ask­ing all the time.”

B: I’d al­ways con­sid­ered mar­riage, it just wasn’t at the top of my mind. I think it was im­por­tant for the per­son I love to be happy, and James wanted to get mar­ried; I fell in love with the con­cept of get­ting mar­ried, too.

Were you ex­pect­ing much to change post-wed­ding?

B: I don’t think much has changed and I don’t think we’re sur­prised by that. Say­ing that, our re­la­tion­ship is just as good and as strong as it was be­fore.

J: We made a com­mit­ment to one an­other a long time ago, be­fore our wed­ding. For me there was a mas­sive change at the time of the en­gage­ment – it felt more se­cure and of­fi­cial and ex­tremely ex­cit­ing for the both of us.

B: We’re also re­ally proud and happy of the fact we’re mar­ried. Our be­hav­iours haven’t changed but deep down in­side we know our life is more com­plete.

What kind of ad­vice were you given be­fore get­ting mar­ried?

J: Ben and I both have ex­tremely good role mod­els in our par­ents – they’re all still to­gether in happy mar­riages. That’s a big rea­son I wanted to get mar­ried, be­cause of the strength of my par­ents. It’s the ul­ti­mate ex­pres­sion of love.

What is the main in­gre­di­ent to a happy mar­riage?

J: Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, for sure. And Ben and I are very in­de­pen­dent. We’re co-de­pen­dent but we can break away and do our own thing too.

B: We have fun to­gether, which is re­ally im­por­tant. We make a con­scious ef­fort to do things to­gether and that’s a re­flec­tion of why we’re still happy.

“Our be­hav­iours haven’t changed but deep down in­side we know our life is more com­plete now”

LEITH & BROOKE Mar­ried June, 2014 How did you two meet?

Leith: At a friend’s Christ­mas party at the Ivy Pool Club [in Syd­ney]. I think Brooke was be­ing in­tro­duced to some­one else but I stole her.

How long did it take for you two to talk about mar­riage?

Brooke: We never re­ally talked about it that much. What tested the re­la­tion­ship was when we moved to LA to­gether. That was make or break.

L: When we came back it was log­i­cal to get mar­ried. Brooke never said she wanted to get mar­ried. I want to have kids, too, but I wanted to be tra­di­tional about it and get mar­ried first.

What were you ex­pect­ing mar­riage to be like?

B: We didn’t want it to be any dif­fer­ent. We’re both tra­di­tional in want­ing to get mar­ried be­fore hav­ing chil­dren. Peo­ple say it’s just a piece of pa­per, but it does feel good; we’re a team.

L: I don’t feel like it’s chal­leng­ing. We’re pretty laid-back and chilled. But we said if we’re go­ing to get mar­ried then we’d be se­ri­ous about mak­ing it work; it’s not a flash in the pan.

B: Mar­riage is not what it used to be, which is sad. Some­times peo­ple get en­gaged af­ter two min­utes. I think they do it be­cause it’s the next step and they have to. I was still young, I got en­gaged at 24, there was no rush for me. He just wanted to tie me down [laughs].

What is the most im­por­tant thing you’ve re­alised a mar­riage needs?

L: Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lis­ten­ing.

How has your re­la­tion­ship changed?

L: It’s been more about grow­ing up. Dif­fer­ent things are im­por­tant to us now. But I think Brooke’s def­i­nitely more con­fi­dent.

B: I think that comes with age, too. When we met I was still young and par­ty­ing. For me, I think that Leith has helped with ma­tur­ing and given me a lot of guid­ance in re­gards to my ca­reer and fu­ture. There are 12 years be­tween us. I found that has been good for me in ma­tur­ing.

L: She keeps me young…

“We said if we’re go­ing to get mar­ried then we’d be se­ri­ous about mak­ing it work; it’s not a flash in the pan”

“The big thing that changes is you feel like two souls com­ing to­gether to make a fam­ily”

DAVID & CHRISTIE Mar­ried May, 2014 What were your ex­pec­ta­tions of mar­riage?

Christie: We were re­al­is­tic be­cause by the time we got mar­ried we’d been to­gether for five years. We knew all about the ups and downs of re­la­tion­ships.

David: Liv­ing to­gether was a great thing; you re­alise what peo­ple are like and the give and take you’re go­ing to need when you get mar­ried. It takes a few of the sur­prises out of the game.

How has your re­la­tion­ship changed?

D: From a guy’s point of view, when you ask some­one to marry you, you’re bring­ing them into your fam­ily and it changes your whole per­cep­tion on fam­ily. It’s a back flip on just dat­ing some­one.

What kind of ad­vice would you two give other cou­ples think­ing about mar­riage?

D: Take your time. There isn’t a huge rush. Get to know each other first, so it’s not sur­prise af­ter sur­prise. Re­spect is a big thing and giv­ing the other per­son their space.

C: The en­gage­ment ring plays a big part – as women we are re­ally fix­ated on the ring. But I ac­tu­ally lost mine five min­utes be­fore I was meant to walk down the aisle. Then my dad told me, “It’s just a ring, it’s about the man at the end of the aisle.” That was a les­son to not hold on to ma­te­ri­al­is­tic things in the mar­riage.

How has what you love about each other changed since mar­ry­ing?

C: Dave’s very sup­port­ive and al­ways try­ing to look af­ter me and my needs.

Has it changed? I think the sup­port be­comes more fam­ily-ori­ented post-mar­riage, so you feel that com­mit­ment. D:

The big thing that changes is you feel like two souls com­ing to­gether to make a fam­ily. That is some­thing that was sur­pris­ing to me.

BIANCA & SI­MON Mar­ried Novem­ber, 2015 Did you know mar­riage was on the cards when you first met?

Bianca: I don’t like to place em­pha­sis on “this is the per­son”. We were en­joy­ing each other’s com­pany and not plan­ning for the fu­ture, but we re­alised we wanted to spend the rest of our lives to­gether.

Si­mon: It’s a process; you’ve cre­ated a life to­gether. It be­comes our life and when that hap­pens, then mar­riage is just the nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion.

Has any­thing changed in the re­la­tion­ship now you’re mar­ried?

B: I feel like we’re bet­ter friends. I love Si­mon and I’m in love with him, but in terms of the friend­ship, get­ting mar­ried brought us closer. He’s my soul mate and my best friend now.

You’re both busy peo­ple. How do you get used to balanc­ing mar­riage with a ca­reer?

B: It was a chal­lenge; it still is. Learn­ing to put down our phones and not be on the com­puter as soon as we wake up. It can be stress­ful, but it’s all about com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ac­knowl­edg­ing you should be plac­ing your part­ner first and not the phone.

What are the main in­gre­di­ents in a happy mar­riage?

B: Chem­istry and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. S: Be­ing able to talk to each other. B: …and the other per­son not get­ting all de­fen­sive and an­gry. It’s about an am­i­ca­ble res­o­lu­tion. Re­la­tion­ships are never smooth. It’s the jour­ney, and how you tackle the prob­lems.

How has your re­la­tion­ship evolved?

B: When you’re on your own, it’s all about you. But then when you’re in a re­la­tion­ship it’s about the two of you to­gether and how you work and bounce ideas off each other. What he lacks, I have and what I lack, he has, and that’s how we fit to­gether so well. We play to our strengths.

What was the best ad­vice you were given for mar­riage?

S: Ev­ery­thing I’ve been told by the boys is sim­ply not ap­pro­pri­ate for Cosmo Bride… [laughs]

B: Make time for us and be in our mo­ment to­gether. Even if it’s just din­ner or go­ing for a walk and re­ally lis­ten­ing to each other. When you’re in such a long-term re­la­tion­ship you can take each other for granted and that’s when the wheels fall off.

“What he lacks, I have and what I lack, he has, and that’s how we fit to­gether. We play to our strengths”

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