You did it! You found someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Hooray! Maybe you even had your dream wedding complete with a chocolate fountain and harpist (or whatever your dream is).
Ok, so now that you are done with wedding planning and back from your honeymoon, the work of actually being married begins. This is a whole new phase of life, and although it’s a wonderful change, it’s also a challenging time for many.
In my work with couples, I’ve noticed three major mistakes that newly-married people make. So today, I want to give you the heads up on what they are and how to avoid them.
Pushing Things Under The Rug
Let me paint you a little picture and see if any of this sounds familiar. You just got back from your honeymoon. You’re still able to smell the sea air and the lime from your Mint Mojitos. Sharing a wonderful time together and you are SO IN LOVE!
Then, you notice your new spouse starts leaving the toilet seat up. Ok, no big deal. You don’t want to say anything because you don’t want to ruin the bliss. Plus, it’s easy enough for you to put the seat down before you use the bathroom. Fight averted!
Next, you notice that your loved-one left his towel on the bathroom floor after showering and he left the cap off the toothpaste and there is toothpaste on the bathroom counter. Yeesh, you didn’t realize he was so messy!
You clean up the bathroom and walk into the kitchen just in time to see him chugging orange juice straight from the container. No glass. Just his lips on the (now half empty) container that is supposed to last at least a week. At this point, you are wondering what sort of monster you married.
While individually these things may seem small, all of these little annoyances can easily add up and cause you to resent him if you don’t find a way to communicate what you are feeling. Still, you don’t want to hurt his feelings or seem like a nag, so what are you to do?
Suggestion: Hold a “family meeting,” once a week where you talk about appreciations as well as any grievances or frustrations. Keep the mood light and positive by including lots of things you love and appreciate about your spouse but don’t be afraid to bring up all of the things that are bothering you too. Having a designated time to talk about these things encourages ongoing communication in your marriage. It is also a great thing to keep doing if and when you decide to have kids as a way to teach them healthy communication.
Gossiping About Your Spouse
I get it. This thing of being married is new. In the past, when you had a bad date or a boyfriend irritated you, the first thing that you did was talk to your girlfriends about it. However, times have changed. You are married now, and if you tell your friends all of the annoying things that your spouse is doing, they will likely hold those things against him even after you’ve made up. This will make it harder for your friends to accept your spouse, and that can have negative implications for your relationship as a whole.
Suggestion: Don’t gossip! Keep a journal to let out your feelings or consider seeing a therapist who will always remain impartial. Don’t tell your friends anything that your spouse wouldn’t want shared. Remember, it’s not only about you now; it’s about your relationship too.
One of the biggest changes that happen after marriage is the way that money is handled in the relationship. Maybe you had separate accounts before but now you are sharing one. Perhaps, you have brought your student debt into the marriage or he has a car loan. Either way, your financial profile as a couple is likely different than yours was alone.
Too often, I see individuals in a couple acting as if they are still on their own when it comes to money. Now that the two of you are married, so are your finances!
Suggestion: Set some guidelines for how money will be handled in your relationship. For example, maybe you talk to one-another before making purchases over $100. Setting boundaries like this can help avoid hurt feelings and let both of you know that you are on the same page financially.
If you are newly married and want to learn more about keeping your marriage on track, contact me. I’m here to help!