Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shacking Up

They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I suspect this is because there is such a learning curve to living with someone for the first time. New roommates are always tough to adjust to, but you remain polite and learn their habits and quirks quietly and learn to live harmoniously over time. But there is something different about moving in with a spouse I think. This is your roommate FOREVER. Might as well get things hammered out right away, no need to be polite, you are legally bound to that person. Fights about cleanliness and tidiness will ensue and feelings will get hurt. I can picture fights about chores starting and leading to a fight about something completely different and much deeper. Do couples that co habitat before marriage have an advantage?

Co habitating for us happened out of convenience. I had the nicer place and better parking, so we spent all of our time at my house. It only made sense after a while for us to get rid of his place and save some money by only paying for one house. When he moved in it wasn't as stressful to learn each other's nuances. We were only dating, no pressure of forever yet. He was moving into my house, so he respected the way I kept and did things. Over the years, chores naturally split themselves up. He sorts the laundry, but I take it from there. He does that bathroom because he knows I hate it. We both do the dishes. We split most chores or just do what needs to be done. Dust when there's dust, vacuum when it's time. We're a good team.

During our first 5 months of marriage, it has all been newly wedded bliss. Our daily lives didn't change too much post wedding and we just kept doing what worked for us pre-wedding. We had even combined bank accounts when we got engaged, so even money discussions and spending habits had already gone through the ugly hashing out. Now it's really "our" money as opposed to his and hers, so money has come back up for discussion, but we are talking about long term goals now and not just who is paying for dinner. I hope that the next 7 months continue on this path and that dreaded, awful, tough first year will be over and we'll just continue on into our forever.

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