6 Tips for Living Together in Harmony With Your Spouse
Living together after tying the knot can be both exciting and stressful. You’ll have to make adjustments to your lifestyle when you move in together to accommodate to your spouse—no hogging the covers anymore!
Fortunately, Rent.com has put together six tips for couples moving in together once they’re married. We hope this helps make the transition from your single’s pad to your love nest as smooth as possible:
1. Know Your Spouse’s Living Habits Up Front and Communicate
If living together is new for you both, it’s important to understand what your spouse’s day-to-day life is like before you officially move in. You want to be caught off guard as little as possible in your marriage. Communicate your needs and expectations to each other and always be thoughtful.
If your spouse works from home in the evenings, agree not to watch TV loudly in the same room. Likewise, if you’re hosting the occasional girls’ night or poker game at your place, give your spouse fair warning to make other plans—they’re sure to appreciate it.
2. Commit to Clean
Some people are inherently tidier than others; it’s just a fact of life. Before getting married, you may have thought that your spouse was generally clean, but for all you know, they could be scrubbing everything down just before you come over—or worse, having a cleaning crew come in!
Be sure to discuss expectations for home maintenance and cleaning prior to moving in to your new apartment. Talk about who will clean what, when and how often you will clean, and what’s acceptable in terms of daily and weekly upkeep. Lots of couples have quarrels over chores, but agreeing on standards of cleanliness and division of labor in advance will ensure that you’re both on the same page (and that no one is overly frustrated).
3. Give a Little
In an ideal environment, both you and your spouse will agree upon priorities and interests. However, life is not perfect, and it is important for you both to negotiate in order to live successfully on common ground.
While you shouldn’t “keep score” of who is compromising on what, over the long run, your relationship should feel pretty equitable. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of resentment building up (or leaking out) later. Forgive, forget and move on—your love for each other is way more important than the stupid fight you had over dishes!
4. Respect Each Other’s Privacy and Property
Although you’ll be sharing a bedroom (and likely closets), it’s still important to respect each other’s privacy and property. If your spouse prefers that you leave his books in one place, try not to reorganize them. Similarly, if you like to read in quiet for an hour or two each weekend, your spouse should understand this.
Most people need alone time to reboot their energy, so make sure to respect your spouse’s right to seclusion.
5. Make a Financial Plan
Before moving in together, decide how bills and rent will be paid. If one person is in charge of utilities and the other in charge of submitting the rent check each month, make sure that both you and your spouse agree to the terms. It’s easy to argue over money, but determining responsibilities in advance will make for a more peaceful living environment, not to mention help you divide labor fairly.
Budgeting is also an important step you may want to complete before moving into your married pad. You’ll have to adjust what you must and can spend according to your new two-person income. Discuss priorities (such as saving for a car or living near public transportation) and be ready to compromise. Your spouse may not be as keen to own a hot tub as you are.
6. Be Specific
It’s easy when you are starry-eyed in love to think you and your spouse want the same things from life without getting down to brass tacks. However, the devil really is in the details. So, when you communicate about living habits, household chores, finances and the like, make sure you are clear and specific. You’ll have a lot fewer surprises (and conflict) down the road.
What were the biggest adjustments you and your spouse made when you moved in together? We’d love to hear, so sound off in the comments!