For many couples, once the final thank you card is sent, full-time marriage sets in and we need to get used to a new normal.
The types of conversations and debates you have with your spouse while planning a wedding are distinctly different than those you have six months after you tie the knot. Instead of picking table linens and creating heartfelt vows, you’re arguing about who will unload the dishwasher.
The adjustment from being a fiancée to being a wife can be challenging. Here are some tips for transitioning gracefully.
When you’re planning your wedding, focusing on your actual marriage can take a backseat. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to sit down as a couple and set expectations for life as a married couple.
Even long term, stable marriages can stumble when it comes to day-to-day expectations. From who takes out the trash to who manages the finances, there are so many details involved in running a household.
You and your husband should sit down together regularly and discuss how your marriage is doing and what your expectations are for managing your married life.
All married couples argue, and even couples who don’t verbally argue are still having arguments with each other without saying a word. It’s simply impossible to live with someone and share a life without running into disagreements.
Many men are raised to avoid conflict and emotional discussion, while women are more typically raised to discuss their feelings. This fundamental gender difference can make marital arguments very challenging.
Knowing this, you need to establish argument boundaries. He might need to get a little more comfortable with listening to your feelings, while you need to respect that sometimes he might need to take a break. Some couples set time limits on arguments, hold hands while arguing or never argue in bed.
Once you acknowledge that there will be arguments and set some boundaries around them you will set your marriage on a course for success.
Your marriage will change constantly. You are two separate people who have merged into a single home and lifestyle. You will continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. You may add pets, children or purchase a new home together. You may lose your job, or decide to switch to being a single-income family.
Whatever happens in your life will impact your marriage. By staying flexible and recognizing that change is normal, you can weather the storms together and come out stronger than ever. That includes being flexible about your expectations and boundaries. They will continue to evolve as your marriage does.
Don’t panic if your marriage feels like it’s losing its way. There are many resources to help you get back on track. Consider doing some research online, find a forum of other women in your boat or ask your friends for some advice. Sometimes, we just need to know that we’re “normal.”
The only caveat is that you should try to find resources that are positive towards marriage. If you’re having trouble, it can be tempting to find articles and forums online that are negative towards marriage, but these will only lead you down a depressing path. Similarly, avoid man-bashing or husband-bashing conversations with girlfriends. To stay committed to your marriage, you need to surround yourself with positive people.
And if you find yourself really stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to a marriage counselor. Getting help for your marriage is not a sign of failure or weakness. Just like you sought a wedding planner for important details of your wedding, sometimes you will need a guide when your marriage needs a refresh.