Getting Along With Your New Roommate—Your Spouse!
Moving in together after marriage can be both exciting and stressful. Rent.com has put together these six tips for couples moving in together after they’ve tied the knot. We hope this helps make the transition from your single’s pad to your love nest as smooth as possible!
- Know Your Spouse’s Living Habits Up Front and Communicate: If you haven’t lived together yet, it’s important to understand what your spouse’s day-to-day life is like before you officially move in. 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 to be out of the house.
- Commit to Clean: Some people are inherently tidier than others. 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 together. Talk about who will clean what, when and how often you will clean, and what’s acceptable in terms of daily and weekly up-keep. 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.
- 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 should not “keep score” over who is compromising on what, over the long run your relationship should feel pretty equitable. If it doesn’t, then you run the risk of resentment building up—or leaking out—later.
- 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.
- Make a Financial Plan: Before moving in together, decide how bills and rent will be paid for. 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.
- 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—later.
What were the biggest adjustments you and your spouse made when you moved in together?
[Photo Credit: Mike Staff Productions]