Getting engaged seems like the easy part. Once you’re engaged, you’re past the dating phase and on the way to “happily ever after.” The thing you might forget is the engagement phase brings up it’s own list of decisions you must make as a couple and obstacles along the way to the altar. Here’s a few of the most common problems newly engaged couples face.
Wedding Detail Stress
Most brides have their entire wedding planned by the time they’re a teenager. They dream of a fairy tale coming to life. The problem is, they don’t ask for the groom’s input. Your future spouse probably has an opinion and it might not the be same as yours. They may want to get married outdoors in the middle of nature while you want a church wedding. They may want a small, intimate gathering when you want the party of the year.
You can both have what you want with a little compromise. Talk about the most important details to each of you and meet in the middle. If your future spouse wants that outdoor wedding and you want the church wedding, you compromise by maybe doing the reception at an outdoor venue and the wedding at your church. If you come upon a wedding obstacle that is too hard to find a compromise, ask friends and family for their input so they can maybe bring new ideas to the brainstorming session.
Once you get married, money and finances merge as one creating huge stress on a marriage, if the issue isn’t hashed out before the wedding. Make a spreadsheet and a budget figuring out where your money will go once you’re married. Many couples have a joint wedding account, while some couples still have their single accounts along with a joint account. Your spreadsheet will help decide where the money goes and which account it comes from.
Talk about your long-term and short-term financial goals. Decide how much you’d like to budget for vacations, shopping and eating out. One of you may be a huge spender while the other is a huge saver, and that’s okay. Talk about how you’ll balance one another out.
Future In-Laws In Your Business
The future in-laws are stereotypically a scary topic. Movies portray them to be unbearable, and as people that just won’t like you no matter what. This isn’t always true, but be ready for anything. Your boyfriend’s sweet parents that always loved you, are now your fiance’s parents, which may come with a new set of expectations. Wedding planning is stressful, so having the future in-laws breathing down your neck with their own opinions on the nuptials, will only stress you out even more. Be respectful, but be sure to tell your fiance your fears about their folks.
You need to set boundaries early, so they won’t think they have input on every part of your married life. They may already start planning the holidays for the next year (or more) thinking you’re coming there from now on, because that’s just what you are expected to do. Be open and communicate with everyone involved, explaining you’re now a team and you’ll make these decisions as a team, respectfully.
Deciding Where To Live
Many couples get engaged while living in different locations. A huge decision will be which one of you will move. One of you is going to have to box up all of your stuff and move into their other person’s home. Some couples may even decide to buy a new home together. This can be a stressful decision because you may both love your homes. Talk about the best location in regards to work, friends and family. Talk about how much your budget allows when it comes to house payments, rent or utility bills.
If you decide to buy a new home together, you’ll be house hunting while planning a wedding, which is even more added stress. Take each decision slowly and do what’s best for the two of you. If you do decide to move into the future spouse’s home, it’s going to be a long process to make it feel like home for both of you. Make sure you’re able to transform the home into a place for both of you, and not remain a bachelor or bachelorette pad.
Remember, just because your significant other now has a new title, doesn’t mean they’re a different person. Engaged couples often start expecting more out of the other person. They think they need to be with one another more often and they think they need to be immersed in wedding planning every day, instead of doing things they actually enjoy. You can expect your future spouse to up their game, but don’t expect them to change. You decided to marry this person for a reason, so don’t think they’re suddenly going to become Superman or Superwoman.
Your fiance probably won’t start naming your future children, and sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch with you, if they didn’t do these things before the marriage. Easing into your future married life is all about doing it slowly. You don’t need to suddenly become old married folks in a matter of a few days. Enjoy being engaged and just enjoy being with one another. The planning will be stressful at times, but don’t expect one another to totally change for the wedding.