Getting engaged seems like the easy part, right? Once you’re engaged, you’re past the dating phase and on the way to “happily ever after.” The thing you might forget is that the engagement phase brings up it’s own laundry list of decisions you must make as a couple and numerous obstacles along the way to the altar. Here are just a few of the most common problems newly engaged couples face and how to handle them.
Coping With Wedding Detail Stresses
Many brides have their entire weddings planned by the time they are teenagers. 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. He or she may want to get married outdoors in the middle of nature while you’ve been dreaming of a traditional church wedding. Your partner may want a small, intimate gathering, but you want to throw 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 input to 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 from which account it comes.
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.
Dealing With 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 you try. This isn’t always true, but you should 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 opinions on the nuptials will only stress you out even more. Be respectful, but be sure to tell your fiance your fears about his or her 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), assuming you’re spending holidays together 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 the 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 mortgage 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 to 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, rather than letting it remain a bachelor or bachelorette pad.
Avoiding Crazy Expectations
Remember, just because your significant other now has a new title doesn’t mean he or she is a different person. Engaged couples often start expecting more out of the other person. One think he has to spend time together more often and think it is important to be immersed in wedding planning every day, instead of doing things you both actually enjoy. You can expect your future spouse to up his or her game, but don’t expect a complete change. You decided to marry this person for a reason, so don’t think he or she is suddenly going to become Superman or Superwoman.
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 being with one another. The planning will be stressful at times, but don’t expect one another to totally change for the wedding.