First congratulations! Second, you tell me.
This is one of those sobering conversations that few couples like to have during such a celebratory time, but it’s one of those things that talking about now can save a lot of headaches and fighting down the line. While there will for sure be some perks to moving in together like waking up next to the love of your life every day (and cheaper rent), there will also be some growing pains like reminding him to put the the toilet seat down or sharing the TV when the game is on the same time as the Bachelor finale.
This is also a great time, if you haven’t yet, to really dig into your finances.
The big thing to get out the way is the expenses. Are you going to split everything 50/50? Are you going to split it by income? Maybe he pays rent and you pay utilities. There is no right or wrong answer because it’s your life. This is also a great time, if you haven’t yet, to really dig into your finances. I always think of the freecreditscore.com commercial about the guy who married a girl with bad credit.
Now is the time to be honest about student loans, credit card debt, and income so you can plan accordingly about where you can live and what luxuries you can afford. It also allows you to make a financial plan for the future. If you’re looking to buy a house soon or eliminate debt then maybe you go for the smaller, less sexy apartment now. If you aren’t planning for kids right away then maybe you want to go for a super modern all white loft space. Getting aligned with what you want to do and what you can actually afford will be really helpful as you guys create and manage your household budget, not to mention the dreadful and always expanding wedding costs.
As far as household maintenance, start by talking about what you don’t mind doing. Maybe you prefer doing laundry and he prefers doing dishes (that would be a match made in heaven). However you decide to split it up it’s important that you hold yourself accountable and give your partner space. I remember talking with a woman once and she had a deal with her husband that on nights she cooked he would do dishes and vice versa. On her nights to do dishes she would do them immediately following dinner. On his nights he would put it off until later in the evening and this really bothered her and began to cause tension in their marriage. Finally he told her one day to get over it. As long as he got the dishes done that night he was holding up his end of the agreement. She realized he was right, so she changed the expectation that was in her head and let him do the dishes when he was ready and it made things a lot calmer for them.
The key here is to be clear about what your expectations are so you guys can live peacefully, while also honoring that there will be some differences….
The key here is to be clear about what your expectations are so you guys can live peacefully, while also honoring that there will be some differences and that it’s okay. Choose your battles wisely. In my experience things go the smoothest when a couple feels like they’re in a partnership. Before I go further down that line, let me say that’s not true for everyone.
A very close friend of mine is in a very traditional marriage where her husband is the breadwinner and she is the homemaker and they are very happy together and also very adamant about not blurring those lines. However, I think most couples are currently blurring those traditional boundaries and that’s creating a sense of teamwork not hierarchy. As always, talk talk talk. Sit down and decide what you want your future to look like and keep the conversation going as different obstacles arise.