Before you and your significant other decided to enter into a relationship together and eventually get married, you might have lived very singular lives with firmly entrenched routines.
You would have had your own bank accounts, own insurance plans, and weekly schedules around work, social gatherings, and household chores. However, when you move in with your significant other, your entire routine can be thrown on its head, and you can feel completely overwhelmed by the prospect of having to create an entirely new one with the love of your life.
While it can take time to merge two lives and households into one, it can be much more straightforward than you think. Keep these tips in mind for when the time comes to explore this significant life change for yourself.
1. Look At Your Insurance Policies
One of the most crucial changes to make as you merge households can be the insurance policies you both hold. As your situation has changed, your insurance needs can also change, and you may need to review your health, life, home, and car insurance policies to make sure they reflect your current situation. The earlier you review your insurance policies, the more peace of mind you can have to know you and your new spouse are covered for any unexpected event or situation thrown your way. You can visit this site to learn more about home and car insurance.
2. Discuss Your Current Routines
Before you married your spouse and moved in together, you likely both had set routines and didn’t have to communicate these to anyone. However, to keep expectations in check and avoid miscommunication, discuss your current patterns and the aspects you’d like to remain the same.
For example, you might have a group of friends over on a set night each week to watch a sports game, and you want to make sure your spouse is aware of that to avoid any surprises. With time, you and your spouse will form a new routine together, but awareness of your pre-established activities might help prevent any teething problems during those early days.
3. Talk About Money
Money is among the most common causes of arguments in relationships, and it can lead to significant conflict in any newly married couple. Before it becomes an issue, make it one of your top talking points as you get married and move in together.
There is no right or wrong way to handle finances, as every couple is different. However, you might decide to join bank accounts that you can both access or set up a shared one that you put money into to cover household expenses.
Discuss the share of the bills you’ll both pay, the debts you have, and what it would mean if one of you had to give up work to take care of future children. The earlier you discuss your financial situation, the easier it might be to solve any money-related problems that arise.
4. Make Big Decisions Together
When you live alone and only have yourself to care for, you make all significant and potentially life-changing decisions by yourself. You might not even discuss them with anyone else. However, that can all change when you get married.
Your life decisions now impact more than just you, and it’s important to discuss your intentions to make sure they suit both parties. For example, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a new car, speak with your spouse about your idea rather than simply bringing home a new vehicle that they had no input in.
5. Give Each Other Space
When you return from your honeymoon and settle into married life, you might sometimes struggle with how contrasting it can be to single life. You have to share your space with someone else, and you might sometimes feel like you’re not able to enjoy any alone time as you once did.
After moving in together, consider the value of creating spaces you can both retreat to when you want to enjoy time apart. For example, you might set up a spare bedroom as a hobby room with a reading nook and comfy sofa, or you might even renovate your garage to become a tinkerer’s paradise.
Most importantly, respect each other’s personal space and the times you want to be alone. As much as you might like to enjoy every waking moment together, some solo time can be important.
6. Lay Ground Rules for House Chores
Every relationship should be 50/50, but you can’t always expect household chores to be shared equally unless you establish ground rules and open the lines of communication. While creating a new life routine together, don’t forget to include the more mundane tasks that can keep your home running smoothly.
For example, one person might take care of all the laundry while the other does the weekly vacuuming and lawn mowing. The earlier you lay these ground rules, the smoother and less stressful your transition into a shared life might be.
7. Discuss Household Changes
When you lived alone, you might have thought nothing of moving furniture around, painting a wall, or selling items you no longer needed. However, to make such changes in a home you share with your spouse, it never hurts to communicate your intentions and make sure it suits the other person.
Talk about your goals with any changes you want to make and get input on how you might be able to improve the space for both of them. A few small changes might not seem like a big deal, but not involving your significant other might make them feel like they don’t bring value to the decision-making process.
Fortunately, you can often get practice with how to communicate and negotiate changes when you begin planning a wedding together.
8. Talk About Your Feelings
There may come a time in your relationship when you’re feeling uncertain, upset, angry, or stressed about something. Emotions can be particularly heightened when you’re giving up everything you’ve known to start a new life in a new home with your spouse.
Rather than bottling up your emotions, discuss any positive or negative emotions when they arise. Doing so can set a healthy foundation for a successful relationship.
Entering married life can be full of ups and downs, particularly as you generally need to merge two individual lives into one. However, by taking some of the steps above, you might be better positioned to navigate this stressful and daunting process in a much healthier way.