Post # 1
Hello Newlyweds! I’m getting married in 6 months which seems so soon after being single for so long! Although I am excited and feel extremely blessed to have found my fiance, I also know marriage will be a huge transition. My question(s) to you are: What do you wish you had known while preparing for marriage? Did you have any fears that turned out to be unfounded? Have you had any happy surprises? Is marriage better or worse than you expected? We are not going to live together until after we’re married so I also anticipate some stress there because I will be moving into his house. Has anyone else been in this situation? I am, overall, excited, but I’m also a big planner and want to be as emotionally prepared as possible for marriage. What has this transition period been like for you?
Post # 3
Marriage feels exactly the same as it did pre-marriage, but with more complicated banking ;-). If you’ve lived with your FI, it isn’t a huge change. I didn’t have fears, and we were happy before and are happy now! I think our biggest challenge has been me showing him how to budget and strategize to save money. He makes a lot more than he spends, so he always just did what he wanted, and what was most convenient, instead of what was the best deal. Now that we have some lofty financial goals, i’m having to show him how to live differently (since I was the starving student for so long, even though I make really good money now, I still know how to squeeze milage out of money!). I think the money transition is a big one for a lot of couples. But emotionally, we basically were already married, and that made that easier 🙂
Post # 4
For us the hardest transition has been dealing with large life decisions. Before I always consulted my then FI but now it really effects him so he actually gets a fair say in the decisions. I think that part has been the toughest.
Other than that, its really just logistical stuff. If you guys keep good communication in check, you will be fine.
Post # 5
Married life is mostly the same as pre-married life. It just feels slightly different and things are a little bit more serious. We have had more budget talks, more talks about children, houses, where we want to be in 5 years, etc. It’s not that we didn’t have those talks before it’s just they feel more real and immediate now. There arent any surprises because we have lived together for 3 years. The biggest thing for us is honest and open communication always. Marriage is a lot better IMO than being engaged just because you dont have the stress of wedding planning. Also, each of us is trying a little harder – doing more chores, being just a little nicer, etc.
Post # 6
I have found out IL situations do not get better after you get married- pretty much what you see is what you get, only sometimes worse.
Moving in together can be scary but we lived together before the wedding and I don’t really remember it being all that difficult. All in all, life is the same for us and if it’s not, nothing to freak out over so just be patient- it will take some getting used to.
Post # 7
I would definitely agree that moving in together and combining finances are the biggest changes. Emotionally, our relationship is almost exactly the same. But when we moved in together, we had to adjust our dirty dish habits, our laundry habits, how we keep the fridge stocked/cleaned, even our showering habits. Financially, we can’t just go purchase anything we want anytime, we talk over things (not every little purchase like gas or a snack on the way home, but the bigger things like monthly clothing budgets or weekly grocery spending or a new $50 video game). In that regard, we’ve increased our communication really, because those were things we never sat down and had “adult” conversations about. Same thing with financial and family planning. We had talked about it, but not in such a serious “it’s actually a reality now” sort of way.
Post # 8
We lived together in the house that we bought a year before we got married, so not much has changed… until today, when my mom emailed me the dreaded “holiday question.” DH and I have been together for nearly 6 years, and every year we did Thanksgiving separately, but met up at each others’ parents’ house for dessert so that we still got to have dinner with our respective families. Now DH is telling me that we can’t do dinner separately now that we’re married… which means… we have to choose… ugh. I don’t want to give up Thanksgiving, but it’s also his mom’s bday, and he doesn’t want to give up that… soooo it begins… alternating holidays/years. Yuck. Other than that, everything feels the same for the most part!
Post # 9
@7SEVENJ9: UGH I hate this dreaded conversation. We have started to have this conversation but its an ongoing one. It really is hard having to choose. Since my ILs are Jewish and my family is not DH said we could do Thanksgiving with his and Christmas with mine since his family doesnt celebrate Christmas. But I am not okay with never spending Thanksgiving with my family ever again! So we have decided that we are just going to take it on a year by year basis. It will depend on factors like where we are living at the time, how much we have seen our families within that year, if we can afford to travel if necessary and of course this will all change even more once we have kids!
Post # 10
Well I think the biggest things we worked through once we moved in together. Like having to pick out all the decor together from now on, cleaning/chores, whose family to visit for Xmas, etc.
As far as marriage, the only thing that I think will be different for better or worse(it hasn’t happened yet) is society’s expectations of us. For example, now we will be expected to have kids by society. Not necessarily our close friends and family who know us well, but in general that’s what people will start asking us about. Also, I think it will be less acceptable for us to be apart, i.e. for me to attend a wedding or social event without DH and vice versa. I think it might raise eyebrows more than it would have before we got married, since now we’re a family unit.
And of course, just be careful that you actually want a marriage and not just a wedding. Because I feel like that’s been a big shocker to some women I know, who didn’t really think about the whole marriage thing and were unpleasantly surprised once the wedding was over that now they’re married. It’ really sad to see that happen, but I understand why it does. Mainly because of society’s pressure on us to get married and the glamorization of weddings.
Post # 11
@PitBulLover – it’s horrible, I LOVE Thanksgiving with my family, and if I’m to be honest, the food is much better at my mom’s house (shhh don’t tell MIL I said that!!). We come from a big Italian/French family, so between pork pie, pork stuffing, roasted turkey, cranberry salad, homemade buns, real mashed potatoes… man, I’m gonna miss all of that! At his mom’s, it’s deep fried turkey, instant mashed potatoes and gravy from a jar, which isn’t horrible, but it’s not Thanksgiving in my mind… I’m being a brat, I know.
But it’s his mom’s birthday, and he said it would mean a lot to her to have us there… so I’ve agreed for this year, stipulating that we will alternate years, and that we’ll have dessert at my parents’ house (fortunately, they live close by). But then we haven’t talked about where that leaves his dad in the mix, since his parents are divorced, and we usually have three stops…
Christmas is a little easier (although stressful) because we do his dad’s house on Christmas eve, my Dad’s family the weekend before, my parents’ house in the morning on Christmas (he usually sees them later, but will come for Christmas morning this year), his mom’s house around lunch time, and my Mom’s side of the family at night… phew!~
So it looks like dinner/dessert will alternate each year, and Christmas will be the mad dash… until we have kids, yikes.
Post # 12
Nothing major has changed for us. We lived together for several year before marriage (owned a home together), we are not changing our banking situation, and I’m not changing my name. I didn’t have any fears because I felt like the lifelong commitment had been made a long time ago, it was just time to make it legal and legally protect our relationship.
Right now the biggest change is that although we have always talked about and been open about money, I want to really zap all the debt we have (minus the mortgage) before we have kids. So we had to sit down and create more concrete budgets and strategies than we’ve done in the past – but maybe that’s more about targeted goals (we had similar talks for creating/sticking to the wedding budget) than marriage itself, I guess.
Since we live in Maine and my FH’s entire family is in southern CA, the only real obstacle we’re currently debating is Christmas…I’ve always gotten off the hook and spent it with my parents then flown out after, but his family REALLY expects us both to be there on Christmas this year. We’ll see!
Post # 14
I’m going to be the odd man out and say that yes, things were very different for us after we got married. We discussed everything under the sun prior to marriage and we had (and still have) a very strong relationship. However, life has a way of throwing some crazy stuff at you when you least expect it, and THAT is the stuff that threw us for a loop. It wasn’t the moving in, figuring out chores, day to day things that got us (although that’s an adjustment for anyone, whether you moved in a year before you were married or after the honeymoon). For us, it was in-law and family problems that came out of the blue. We are super lucky to have had such a strong relationship prior to all of these problems, because I don’t know how we would have handled it otherwise. Luckily, things have planed out for now with his family, and we can finally start ENJOYING our marriage without constant negative interference. I don’t want to be a debbie-downer on this thread, it just seemed like so many people were giving positive responses, I wanted the OP to have an idea that it ISN’T always an easy adjustment.
Post # 15
@7SEVENJ9: can you either combine everyone together or ask that one is an early dinner around 2 and the other a typical dinner around 6?
Post # 16
I’m not married yet, but the hardest part of living together for ME is not having my own space. We live in a very small condo (500 square feet) with our 90lb dog. I moved in by myself while FH was in Iraq (it’s my condo, I bought it, I remodeled and furnished, etc). It was me and the dog for 8-9 months. then he shipped his stuff home and I already felt like the place was too small. With the three of us, I sometimes want to scream and he’s very clingy so it’s hard to just say “I’m going to the bedroom to read. Alone”. I’m very independent.
However, I love that I have someone to cook for and talk to me – it’s better than being alone. I am looking forward to being able to move to a bigger place when he comes back from Afghanistan. In fact, I’m so used to him being home that the change to have him GONE while he’s in AFG will be much harder to adjust to.
We haven’t tackled finances yet but it’s on our to-do list prior to the wedding. I think we’re going to combine a proportional amount of money in to a shared account and link that to our individual ones. Then start to invest together and alone.