Blissfully in love. You’ve got spring fever written all over. Blushing bride, swanky groom.
These are just a few of the adjectives that we use to describe people who have just gotten married and are embarking on their new journey as husband and wife. While everyone thinks that it’s a walk in the park, it can’t possibly be.
We’re talking about bringing two people from different backgrounds and making them stay in one household until death do them part. There are bound to be a ton of adjustments, compromises and escalating arguments to ensue in the next couple of months as a newly wedded couple. So what’s in store for this newly joined pair?
What should newlyweds expect after they marry?
If you want a head’s up on what’s going to happen after you tie the knot, here are a few things you should expect.
#1 The adjustment bureau. Everything is going to be an adjustment. It’s a merge that meets halfway through. You were your own person before you met your spouse and you still are. There will always be things that you will not like about each other. It might be as trivial as the way he chops onions or the way she folds your shirts after washing.
Keep in mind you’ve lived separate lives before this union, and will always have your own personalities to carry with you. You may not always eat the food that your spouse likes or the sounds they make when they sleep.
It will be months of adjustment. Be patient and understanding. If you feel like it’s overwhelming, talk to your spouse. Surely, your spouse is also feeling the same way. Living together and starting a new life together is not a game. Both of your lives are now entangled, for good.
#2 It’s just you and me against the world. The world isn’t ganging up on you, but if it does, you know there’s one person that will never let you down. Having a spouse is like having an extension of you, going with you anywhere, loving you more than you love yourself and will do everything to make you happy. Even willing to risk their life to protect you.
As sentimental as all this sounds, it also means that it’s just you and your spouse responsible for each other. So always be ready to be depended upon as you are each other’s source of strength.
#3 You both have money on your mind. This is real adulthood where you both have responsibilities. You pay your own bills, buy your own food, pay for rent or for the car, and save up for the future. It is not a joke anymore and you can’t be a free loader. Your parents might help, if you’re lucky, but other than that, the two of you need to budget your money wisely.
#4 To reproduce or not to reproduce. The age old question, when are you going to have kids? Everyone else seems to be excited, except for the two of you. It’s not that you don’t want to have kids, it’s just that you still want to enjoy the first year of marriage with your spouse, and you still haven’t raised enough money to make your lives comfortable enough.
Or perhaps you and your spouse are on the other page, and you are dying to have kids ASAP. You need to think about your readiness as parents, and the support that you can get from both your families when the baby comes.
Maybe you’re on an entirely different book, wherein you don’t intend to have kids. Even though some people may not understand this, remember that you, as a couple, should not be pressured into having children simply because society deems it “normal.”
#5 The name game. In some cultures, the wives have the option of using their father’s surname, which is what they have been using since birth or they may opt to adopt their husband’s surname. There’s the thrill of changing the surname and letting the whole world know that she has been absorbed into her husband’s family.
Yet, keep in mind that before the wife was married, she had several things under her name as well. Bank accounts, passport, licenses, etc. Changing these important documents might also take time and can be a stressful phase for the wife.
#6 Two heads are better than one. From now on, everything that needs a decision will be decided by both spouses. And this is the most difficult part of getting married, especially if one of you is incredibly independent or strong-willed.
Which cable subscription are you getting, or are you even getting one or just download everything on the internet? Are you going to buy a washing machine or just bring clothes to the laundry? Are you going to hire a maid? A cleaner? Or are you both going to clean the house?
There are so many things to discuss now that it’s just you and your spouse. The sooner that you get everything smoothed out, the better it will be for the two of you.
#7 Never-ending to-do list. You will notice that it seems like yesterday that you cleaned the car, and now you’re cleaning it again. Or that you feel like you only recently bought groceries, and yet you are running out of food to eat.
Being two responsible adults means that there are errands and tasks that need to be done daily, weekly or monthly. There is no one else that would remind you of these. Having a system that will work for the two of you will be good, so you won’t forget anything important.
#8 R and R time. As newlyweds, you two are both excited about the activities that you do together. While it might be true that you’ve done some when you weren’t married yet, everything seems different now that you’re married.
Like planning for vacations, or which recreational activities should you both spend on. Now that you’re married, you both need to give consideration to the things that you will both enjoy. It’s not like the husband wants to go play golf, while the wife just sits around the whole day and does nothing. There is something called ME time for those things.
Marriage is a compromise, which is why your R and R with your spouse should always be something that the two of you will enjoy.
#11 The obligatory extended family and friends. Your family is your spouse’s family now and vice versa. So even if you’re annoyed by one of your spouse’s cousins or your spouse isn’t a huge fan of attending the 4th of July barbecue with your family, you kind of have to suck it up and learn to get used to it. Family is family, no matter how inconvenient or annoying they can be.