One of the things that has helped me greatly when I've been tackling an intricate project with intricate patterns is to "re-write" the pattern rows, in full, on individual index cards. I break down the pattern and write it up with each segment of that row on a separate line. Placing markers between the sections on the actual knitting would tell you when to move to the next line on your card.
Not only has this helped me to get an overview of the whole pattern and gain familiarity and understanding BEFORE I've tackled it, but by putting each row on a separate index card I can use them to flip through as I knit, putting the finished row card behind the stack of cards. Then I have the row I'm working on right on top where it needs to be.
Also, be aware that not all patterns are created equal. Some are written in such a complex way that they can be very difficult to grasp. If you come across one of these then writing the pattern out line by line on index cards gives you at least a fighting chance of being able to complete it.
It's all too easy, which I know from experience, to want to throw the whole mess across the room and go on to another pattern! But, patience pays off.
And particularly on the complex patterns you might want to check out the video section for one on how to use a lifeline. It's simple, easy and can save you some serious swearing if you have to rip back. Putting a lifeline at the beginning of each pattern repeat, for instance, limits the number of rows you've got to pull out if your knitting train runs off the tracks!
And take heart - loving the project is 90% of the battle. Your enthusiasm for what you're tackling, even when you've hit a speed bump, will help you have an incredible learning experience and a wonderful completed project!
Good luck and please let us know how it's going!