After I Do

Perfecting the Happily Ever After

The wedding is over, you got a great tan on the honeymoon, but what’s next? Every married couple seems to have advice in spades for newlyweds, some helpful and some not so much. Make sure you get your happily ever after and continue strengthening your relationship with your spouse.

Communication is Key

Communicate is the most cliche advice for couples, but that’s because it is the most important! If your spouse says or does something to upset you, let them know. Bottling up your feelings will make you grow resentful and blow up over small problems. Also talk with each other about the small things. Talk about how your day went, politics, news, movies, music, and whatever else.

Be a Team

It is a simple fact that every couple fights. What's important isn't that you have a fight, it is how you deal with it. Never personally attack the other person, and talk with each other civilly. If voices are getting raised, try to deescalate and offer to talk about it again once you both are not as emotional. You are fighting the problem, not each other. When deciding on a solution, compromise is necessary.

Keep Dating (each other!)

Keep the relationship exciting by regularly going on dates. Try new activities together like rock climbing, surfing, scuba diving, or just trying a new restaurant together. Show your spouse that you still appreciate them by expressing your love, listening to them even when you don’t care about the topic, and giving thoughtful gifts. As many long-lasting couples will tell you, “love is an action verb. Love your spouse actively, every day.”

Finances

It is essential for new couples to have a conversation about debts and expenses and to create a budget. Prior to making any big purchases, consult your spouse. Your spouse's debt is now your debt. Find out the extent of their financial situation and create a plan to pay it off. List out your planned expenses. If your spouse doesn’t approve of an expense (like a $100/month gym membership), talk about it and come to a compromise. Create a budget to manage incomes and planned expenses.

Discuss the Future

Well it is definitely a good idea before marriage to make sure you’re on the same page about kids, but the conversation should be comprehensive. Talk about if and when you want to have kids, how many, where they will be raised, and parenting styles. Even if you don’t plan on having kids, have a discussion incase someone changes their mind later in the marriage.

Talk about other aspects of the future, like plans to change jobs, desire to move, and personal and professional goals. This ensures that you and your spouse are on the same page about your future together.