Although nearly half of women move in with their partner before marriage, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, that still leaves slightly more than 50 percent who are moving in with their new husband for the first time.
Planning a wedding and a move simultaneously can be rather overwhelming and stressful. Moving is enough work as it is, and the many details involved with organizing a lavish ceremony on top of it might seem nearly impossible. There are so many decisions that have to be made, including what to move, whose dishes and other kitchen items to keep, whose décor should be used, and whether or not you’ll just start over again from scratch.
While this is an exciting and even exhilarating time, it will also require compromise, patience and understanding. Getting some help from family and friends can alleviate quite a bit of the stress and pressure.
A conversation about money
Financial problems have been known to destroy a marriage. Throughout the years, one of the most common reasons that couples fight is money. Forbes reports studies have found when one spouse feels the other is spending foolishly, it increases the likelihood of divorce by 45 percent.
Much of the strife is due to the perception of how the spouse is handling the money, which means this can often be resolved by engaging in an in-depth discussion about finances prior to marriage and moving in together. Talk to your partner about how he handles money now, and discuss the options for managing it together.
Should you merge your finances together? Get shared or separate bank accounts, or both? How much will you put into savings? Do you want to save for a house? Talking about your debt and your spending habits can alleviate many potential money fights in the future.
Getting rid of past relationship reminders
Getting married should mean you’ve also moved on from any and all former relationships. Moving in together is also a good time to put the past into the past. You certainly don’t want any framed photos with you and your ex hanging around the house.
Let go completely by placing old love letters, cards and other mementos into the trash. Expensive items that were given as a gift and frequently used are a different story, as long as they aren’t a huge reminder of the relationship — to you or to your fiancée.
Furnishings: What to get rid of and what to keep
Assuming you aren’t moving in together directly from your parents’ homes, both of you probably already have a household full of furniture and various décor. Unless you’re very lucky, the odds are good you don’t have the same tastes in furnishings, so it might be best just to start from scratch.
As far as things such as kitchen appliances, electronic items or sporting equipment, you and your spouse-to-be should take an inventory of everything you already have to decide which items to keep, such as a toaster, blender, audio and video equipment, treadmill, etc.
One item that should be purchased for your new life together is a mattress set. Do you really want to sleep with your new husband on a bed he shared with his ex, or you with yours? This is a must to eliminate when it comes to past relationship reminders.
Donate or sell any unwanted items, and perhaps use the money to get a head start on your savings.
Plan out some personal space in your new home
Everyone needs a little personal space, especially after the “honeymoon phase” is over. If possible, a room of your own for use as an office or study can be ideal. If you’ll be living in close quarters, just having your own area such as a closet or even a drawer can help ease the pressure.
Sharing the housework
Another way to minimize conflict after marriage is to talk about how you’ll divide household chores. Discuss your preferences — do you enjoy cooking, or does he? Perhaps you both like to cook, and you can take turns putting meals together while the other does the cleanup. However you do it, make sure the matter is settled in a way that neither of you feels taken advantage of.
The Atlantic recently reported couples who don’t have a system for household tasks can quickly become resentful, which often causes tension and strife within the marriage.