You don’t really get to know someone until you live with them. That’s probably one reason why so many couples choose to cohabitate before getting married.
But even if you lived together during your engagement, things change when you enter your home for the first time as a married couple. What used to be “mine” and “yours” is now called “ours.” The property is no longer owned or rented by one person, but instead, two people share that responsibility. Although you may be living in the same place as you did as two unmarried people, living as a married couple will have a completely different feel.
Here are some tips on how to transition from an engaged couple to a married couple.
- Start your new life together with a new mattress.
While most couples are unable to afford all new furniture and decor for their home right after paying for a wedding, some suggest that you should at least splurge for a new mattress. If the mattress had been used throughout a long history of previous relationships, it only makes sense that the partner moving into the home would want a new bed to create a fresh start.
As newlyweds, you may be spending a great deal of time in bed. Although you may have always bought the cheapest mattress available as a young person, you should consider upgrading when you begin life as a married couple. Get one that is comfortable, supportive, and environmentally friendly. Make sure you get a new sustainable mattress for better sleep.
Spend the morning at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick out a new comforter and throw pillows. Even though you may have been used to picking out your own bedding, you have a life partner now, and both of you should have a say on this purchase that you will be using every day.
2. Blend your decor styles.
You may describe yourself as laid back or open-minded. You may think that you focus on the bigger things of life instead of worrying about the small stuff. But then, your new spouse will excitedly unveil a new painting that he wants to hang above your mantel, and that laid back personality will fly out the window.
We all have opinions on how to decorate a home nicely. You may have found the love of your life, but you may not have found your decorating soul mate. We want to offer some solutions to this issue, but they won’t work unless both of you are willing to compromise.
You could consider hiring a professional decorator and agree to whatever decor style this professional decides. You may choose to divide up the house and have one person decorate the basement, and the other decorate the main floor living area. Perhaps both people are given veto power over at least one item in each room. That way, you can veto the ugly painting over the fireplace, but your husband could also forbid the brown and gold afghan that your grandma made for you in the 1970s.
3. Get rid of duplicate items.
As you combine households, don’t make the mistake of holding on to duplicate items. Your coffee maker is going to last ten years. Don’t hold on to your new wife’s coffee maker for that entire time as a back-up for when yours finally quits. You only need one vacuum, one bathroom scale, and one dining room table.
Have a big garage sale or sell the duplicate items online. Use the money to pay down debt or go on a weekend trip.
4. Divide the household chores.
If you and your spouse both have full-time jobs, you need to divide the household chores down the middle. It shouldn’t matter if one member of the couple has a higher-paying job over the other person; if you both work the same number of hours, the chores need to be divided equally.
If you are incredibly particular about how your clothes are laundered, that needs to be your job. If your spouse only wants to use organic foods, then he or she needs to be in charge of the groceries. This chore division will need to be revisited when children enter the picture.
5. Talk about money.
Hopefully, you talked about money before getting married. If not, it is time you had a frank discussion about it.
Both spouses need to have a complete understanding of household expenses. In fact, you may want to set aside one night a week to go over the upcoming expenses, so there are no surprises when someone needs to pay a bill.
Money problems are one of the most common reasons for divorce. If one person tends to spend and the other saves, you may consider having a budgeted allowance for the husband and the wife. This will allow the spender to do so without guilt, as long as he or she stays within the budgeted amount.
Also, talk about who is in charge of paying bills. Some couples divide the responsibility between creditors, and other couples have one person in charge of the task.
6. Embrace compromise.
Perhaps you have seen photos of couples celebrating their 50th or 60th anniversary, and you want to have a similar celebration someday. If you wish to stay married for the rest of your life, you need to embrace the art of the compromise.
You aren’t a single person anymore, so you can’t live like one.
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