When it comes to building a relationship, most don’t realize how deep the challenge goes. You’re doing more than just spending time with another person. You are, step by step, creating something completely new with them.
Moving in with a partner or new spouse can be one of the most challenging transitions in life. Along with adjusting to the changes that come with giving up some of your solo-living habits, you will also be getting used to living with somebody new and dealing with the transitional issues that come along with that change.
Here is some practical advice on how to navigate the challenges that come when combining households.
Get on the Same Page About Finances
Financial disagreements are the most common source of conflict in many relationships. You can take steps to reduce the chances of money issues causing havoc in your household if you take the time to devise a solid budget plan from the start.
It’s wise to acknowledge, up front, that you probably don’t want to have this conversation. According to Marriage Name Change, “Even with all the financial advice out there, marriages are still strained due to fights over money. There are many reasons for this but the truth is many married couples today do not want to listen to vital advice on finance.”
Even so, money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce. If you want to maintain your relationship, you’ll need to have this discussion sooner or later.
When planning your budget, you will want to account for every dollar in and every dollar out. You will also need to discuss how the incoming money will be divided between household expenses and individual spending money.
When taking the time to devise an everyday budget, be sure to write some financial goals down on paper so that you have something to strive for. Lastly, you will need to determine who will be responsible for paying the bills.
Compromise on Material Belongings
It can be challenging to combine households because it means that somebody will likely have to give up some of their stuff if everything is going to fit in one home. The important rule to follow is to be willing to compromise on what belongings to keep and what to get rid of.
All Storage Online explains that “adapting your lifestyle to fit with someone else’s is a learning process that requires a lot of compromise – key to a happy marriage. So before you begin the merge, a helpful tip is to have a conversation with your partner and decide what to keep and what to either toss or place in storage.”
Just remember that at the end of the day, these are only material items that you are debating about.
Divide Chores Early On
Once you have the budget settled and household items organized, it will be time to decide how to handle the everyday routines of cohabitation. Part of this routine involves establishing the expectations of responsibility around the home.
Successful relationships have set guidelines regarding who will be in charge of specific household-maintenance responsibilities. Chores to consider include cleaning, laundry, yard work and basic maintenance. By agreeing to the division of labor from the beginning, you can avoid arguments down the road. Remember, in the case that something goes wrong in your marriage, it is your lifestyle that impacts certain decisions. Make sure you are spending adequate amounts of time with your children and with each other. Make sure you are splitting duties and working together to instill good habits in each other as well as in your children. It will lead to greater happiness later on.
Although this life transition is full of challenges and meaningful discussions, it can also be incredibly rewarding if it’s executed with the right intentions. With a little teamwork, willingness to compromise and sensitivity, you can ensure that you get off to the best possible start in your new life together.