Lifestyle & Parenting

Why The First Year Of Marriage May Be The Messiest (Win!)

February 16, 2024

Did you know your first wedding anniversary is also known as your Paper Anniversary? Each wedding anniversary has a traditional gift that correlates with the respective occasion; i.e., your 50th wedding anniversary is known as a Gold Anniversary. Traditionally, couples will commemorate their “paper anniversary” by exchanging paper-themed gifts, symbolizing the delicacy and strength of the new marriage. Naturally, with the merging of two separate lives, families and adjusting to new lifestyle changes and habits, the first year of marriage is known to be the messiest. But mess is normal! To commemorate the spills and stains of the first year of marriage and to breathe new life into the Paper Anniversary tradition, Kruger Products has launched limited-edition Messy Paper Anniversary Gift Boxes to help newlywed couples celebrate the milestone and enter to win a romantic trip for two to Messy, France. Each box is inspired by three common messy moments, including: Finally Learning How to Share the Bathroom, All the Messiness of the First Year of Marriage and The Time You Tried to Cook for the In-Laws, and includes a full line of household paper products from Kruger Products. And, to normalize the messy moments of marriage, Kruger Products has partnered with renowned relationship expert Shan Boodram, whom we chatted with to learn more. —Vita Daily

Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

I’m a certified sex educator and intimacy expert with a M.S. in psychology. People may know me as the host of The Marriage Pact on The Roku Channel, the host of the podcast “Lovers and Friends,” the workshop facilitator on Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle, the author of the The Game of Desire, or you may just be introduced to me through my exciting partnership with Kruger as they help couples celebrate their Paper Anniversary! On a personal note, I’m born and raised in Toronto and currently I live in Los Angeles with my husband Jared Brady and daughters Ryu and Xya.

Why is the first wedding anniversary also known as the Paper Anniversary, both traditionally/symbolically and from a practical sense?

The tradition of giving specific materials to celebrate wedding anniversaries dates back to the Middle Ages, with each year assigned a specific material. Paper being the first material symbolizes the foundation and starting point, like the beginning of a new book that you’re writing together. In addition paper represents something that is both delicate and dense because a page can hold a lot of information and meaning, yet can also still be torn if the handler is careless. This duality reflects the nature of a new marriage. Finally, paper is affordable, which couples who just spent a lot on a wedding or those starting out will appreciate! Paper represents this simplicity and modest beginnings, emphasizing that the value of the gift isn’t in its material worth but in its symbolic meaning.

What are some the common adjustments that need to be made in the first year of marriage?

Of course there are adjustments that need to be made in financial management, division of labor, personal space, social circles, and possibly intimacy and connection as the passion of being new cools. In addition to those I’ve seen couples struggle with:

1. Embracing Ambiguity and Change – Although it’s the same relationship, as a married couple it is essential to recognize that change is not only inevitable, it is often non-linear as couple’s learn together what it means to be married.

2. Nurturing Desire – with the popular notion that a newly wed couple is now one, each partner must now work overtime to ensure there is an element of mystery and individuality within their marriage to keep the flame of desire alive. This may mean that couples must look for ways to cultivate personal growth and experiences outside of the relationship.

3. Curiosity – In new relationships we act like tourists of the other person’s world, but the more enmeshed we become we may begin to feel like we already know it all to the point we will begin to act like tour guides. Do these sound familair: oh you don’t eat spicy food! You hate staying up late! I’m sure you’d rather get it in this color… a successful couple resists the urge to assume what was will always be and instead, keeps the curiosity alive by asking questions, showing interest, and genuinely engaging in discovering each other’s evolving selves.

4. Resilience – understand that the first year of marriage can come with unforeseen challenges and stressors, so couples need to cultivate resilience in order to bounce back from difficulties together.

What’s your pro advice around navigating some of the “messy” stuff, like the merging of two separate lives, families and adapting to new lifestyle changes and habits?

Especially during the first year, schedule a board meeting. Seriously every couple of weeks or once a month have a sit down where you go through aspects of your relationship item by item (see above). It will feel strange, but a) it creates a safe space where people can bring up their concerns b) it will prevent you from constaly picking at one another since issues should be deferred as much as possible until the meeting.

On the flip side, what are some of the highlights that many couples experience during the first year of marriage?

Marriage can alleviate a lot of stress about the other’s commitment to the partnership so there can be a new sense of security that can be very comforting. In addition, the social perks of being married can be remarkable from tax savings to discounts/ bundling opportunities. Also, it’s a lot of fun to introduce someone as your husband or wife! 

Any tips on celebrating those highs?

Talk about why you love being married to each. Socially it’s common to talk down on marriage, so make it a habit to express to one another and your circle why it’s been additive and perhaps even transformative for your life. Personally, I love being married to my husband, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, which is why I’m always happy for any couple who decides to give this crazy, wonderful institution a solid go.

Win! A Year’s Worth Of Tissue Product + A Messy Paper Anniversary Box From Kruger Products!

Congrats Olivia H. of Mississauga, ON, who will receive a year’s worth of tissue product and along with one Messy Paper Anniversary Box from Kruger Products! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadailymedia. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.


  1. Marilyn

    February 17th, 2024 at 9:15 am

    Don’t make a deal out of small things, like squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube! 😂

  2. Florence Cochrane

    February 17th, 2024 at 10:26 am

    Respect each other. @fcochrane2019

  3. Mary

    February 17th, 2024 at 11:43 am

    Be patient with each other.

  4. Shantel

    February 17th, 2024 at 11:50 am

    Date nights and lots of laughter

  5. laurel jones

    February 17th, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    always more give than take

  6. Mary D.

    February 17th, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    Don’t go to bed angry.

  7. l p

    February 17th, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    honesty is the best policy. thanks

  8. Alex

    February 17th, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    Strong communication is my favourite relationship advice and to be able to laugh at yourself

  9. Xu Li

    February 17th, 2024 at 8:55 pm

    Being honest! @xuliang889

  10. Donna Maroulis

    February 17th, 2024 at 11:50 pm

    Make sure to develop your own interests – give each other space.

  11. Toni Velthuis

    February 18th, 2024 at 9:21 am

    Talk through the difficult conversations


  12. Nolan S.

    February 18th, 2024 at 12:27 pm

    Communicate and listen.

  13. Alice Smith

    February 18th, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    Have regular check in with each other to make sure all is okay. @tigerd18

  14. Rachel C.

    February 19th, 2024 at 5:08 am

    never go to bed still angry with one another!


  15. Mary M

    February 19th, 2024 at 8:14 am

    Respect and communication are key. @maryandcedar

  16. Denise M

    February 19th, 2024 at 8:58 am

    My favourite tip is to have open and honest communication. Share your thoughts, feeling, and concerns and encourage them to do the same. (@qwertypie4ever)

  17. Marilyn

    February 19th, 2024 at 9:22 am

    Don’t sweat the small stuff! 😉 @mmsittie

  18. David Smith

    February 19th, 2024 at 11:06 am

    Never go to bed angry @coach_Daves9

  19. Amanda masters

    February 19th, 2024 at 3:51 pm

    Its important to keep dating your spouse. Having fun together often keeps things interesting.

  20. Anne Tam

    February 19th, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    Be respect and communicate honestly! @jcont1234

  21. KaLei

    February 19th, 2024 at 4:35 pm

    Don’t go to bed angry.

  22. Leik

    February 19th, 2024 at 8:20 pm

    communication – be aware of the negative non-verbal language

  23. Lana H

    February 20th, 2024 at 7:08 am

    Always be kind

  24. Sharon D

    February 20th, 2024 at 9:41 am

    Have hobbies that you do separately and passionate about, but also have hobbies that you share and enjoy together @quiltcrazyyy

  25. Jenelle Fraser

    February 20th, 2024 at 5:03 pm

    Practice patience! @jenelleefraser

  26. Jessica

    February 20th, 2024 at 5:04 pm

    Simple acts of kindness. Small gestures. @gypsyblossom25

  27. Ming K

    February 20th, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    Always put oneself in the other party’s shoes @squirmer03

  28. Tatiana Quental

    February 20th, 2024 at 9:52 pm

    Always cool down before having conversations about something that is bothering you. Try not to have these discussions in the heat of the moment when emotions are heightened. Also try recognizing your own triggers and let your partner know what they are. @review_mama2.0

  29. Monique L.S.

    February 22nd, 2024 at 7:33 am

    Making time for yourself is equally as important as making time as a couple.
    IG @minty_mo2020

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