7 Things to Know About Starting Life as a Married Couple

The wedding was spectacular, the honeymoon was bliss, and now we’re settling into our “lovers nest” to set off on the grand adventure of life together as husband and wife.

7 Things to Know About Starting Life as a Married Couple

The wedding was spectacular, the honeymoon was bliss, and now we’re settling into our “lovers nest” to set off on the grand adventure of life together as husband and wife.

At least, that’s “the dream.” However, for many couples, that first year of marriage is less equated with a “lovers nest,” and more equated to a stressful getting-to-know-each-other period. And, according to a study done in the UK in 2013, the fifth year of marriage is generally the hardest for most couples, meaning marriage will be a bit of a roller coaster for most.

When we first get married, we’re so deeply in love that it feels as if there will never be problems, and we can take on the world together. But the truth is, marriage is probably the most intimate relationship we will ever have, which can get ugly.

This doesn’t change the fact that marriage can be a beautiful union that nourishes a lifelong love between two people. However, this lifelong love doesn’t come easy. There are a lot of things that we must work on, to make our marriage the best it can be. The following are seven things to know about starting life as a married couple.

Be able to talk about money

Considering that money problems are one of the biggest issues that lead to arguments that can lead to divorce, it’s important to be talking about our financial situation and our financial goals before even getting married (and then be able to continuously talk about it). This seems evident by the fact that a research study conducted by Kansas State University showed that arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce.

Plus, being able to talk about money gives the two of you a great opportunity to learn together, not only about how to communicate, but also how to budget effectively. For example, maybe the two of you plan to buy a house, and wish to learn more about how to raise your home's equity to be in the best financial situation.

Talk about insurance issues

Often, we don’t consider things like health insurance when we’re young and in love. However, there’s a reason “in sickness and in health” is often included in wedding vows. Getting sick happens, and we must be prepared for it. People who already have preexisting conditions know the importance of this all too well, but it’s important for everybody to make sure they’re covered in all insurance aspects. Most people opt to get joint insurance, and with online sources, you’ll be able to shop around for the best plan for both of you.

Learn to understand and respect each other’s values

This could be everything from religion and politics to whether our significant other values family, nature, or is a feminist. While these things may not be “deal breakers,” we need to be able to coexist with the things we disagree on, and be able to respect the things that matter to each of us.

Decide on a last name

This can be a real issue for some people, specifically for women, since it is assumed in American society that the woman will take her husband’s last name in most cases. According to an article on NPR, in 2006 more than 80 percent of women were taking their husband’s last name. And, now, we can find countless articles written by women who took their husband’s last name that are now full of regret. Making sure there is a good reason for the last name we choose can help us avoid this type of regret.

Be able to fight

According to an article published last year in TODAY, one of the things that licensed marriage and family therapist Liz Higgins says we should know about getting married is that, “conflict is inevitable.” Her advice? She says that “a big piece about how to handle conflict and anger is knowing that it starts with yourself... how you can manage your own anxiety, practice healthy ways of taking care of you, and just making sure you’re in a good place to address whatever stressors are happening.”

Considering that conflict will happen, it’s important to be able to fight it out in a constructive way. For example, talking about whether we see children in our future may be a topic we’re scared to approach for fear of an argument. But, it’s better to have this discussion as early as possible to avoid resentment.

Don’t compare

Every relationship is different. It’s important to not compare your marriage to other “successful marriages,” but to instead find what works best for your marriage.

Make time for romance

It’s important to not let our spouse start to feel more like a roommate and less like a lover. In marriage, we tend to get comfortable, and stop making as much effort to woo our partner. This is beautiful in a way, but it’s important to always be working to make our spouse feel loved, important, and wooed.

When you and your significant other become a married couple, there are many considerations to keep in mind. By noting these points, you’ll be on a path toward a long and healthy relationship.

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Carlos Fox
See all posts by Carlos Fox