Married life is wonderful, isn’t it?
Well…the reality is that after planning one of the biggest days of your life, coming home and facing the bills can be a drag. The adjustment to husband and wife can be difficult, especially if you haven’t lived together before.
Take a breath and tell yourself it’s ok. Because it is.
Even though the engagement and wedding are over, your lovely life together is just beginning! Here are 10 things you can do right now to make your transition a bit easier.
The honeymoon kicks off your married life with an amazing bonding experience. Anniversary trips are similarly important because they give you time away to reflect on the past year and indulge in your love for one another. Even a staycation or weekend excursion will do! Dream up ideas for your one-year anniversary and beyond, so you’ll have events to look forward to.
When you were in wedding-planning mode, maybe work didn’t matter much in your lifestyle. If you’re feeling stuck, taking a part-time job or new position can refresh your energy and invite different people into your life. You’ll have professional projects to tackle and a whole new perspective. (Plus if you’re stressed about money, the income will help.)
Speaking of perspective, take time to think seriously about your life. Examine the big picture: your plans, dreams, and desires. In order to maintain a healthy relationship, you should still pursue personal goals. Being married is about building on your individual identity by adding your role as a wife—not substituting one for the other.
Get a Hobby
Feeling bored? Take up an old hobby that you haven’t had time for since before the wedding, or cultivate a new interest! You can get crafty, take up a sport, or volunteer. Sell stuff on Etsy. Write book reviews. Start a knitting circle or take dance lessons. Get involved in blogs and groups, so you’ll have a community of new friends to support your efforts.
Now that you’re back and settled in, it’s a good time to connect with friends! Let them know how your honeymoon was, and ask about their recent endeavors. Hanging out with a diverse circle of people will keep you from getting stuck in a rut, so make plans to go out regularly. You can also reach out and reconnect with family you haven’t seen in a while.
Let’s be clear: if you experience any physical or emotional abuse, you should immediately seek help. But if you are just frustrated and feel like ranting to your friends and family about petty problems, reconsider your approach. Why bad-mouth the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? Instead, write it down. You can vent without damaging the relationship you’ve built up.
Slacking off? Don’t let the careful beauty/exercise regimen you did before the wedding vanish! Start your marriage off right by being your best, healthiest self. Join a gym or keep a schedule to avoid burnout. You can even mix it up by doing some workouts alone and some with your partner! Both of you will feel better with regular activity.
Maybe at this point of your life, you’ve decided you want to save up for a house or a child. With two of you contributing, you hopefully will have more resources to pay off debts, build your savings, and further your educations. Prepare for the future. Figure out where you want to go and what tools you’ll need to get there.
Adopt a Pet
If you both love animals and are ready for another commitment, adopting a pet adds fun to your life and gives you practice caretaking. You’ll be amazed at how much a dog or cat will transform your daily routine! Not your style? Try out fish, birds, or other animals. If you already have pets, you can take hikes/walks or sign up for training classes.
Talk a Lot
You’ll both need time alone. But the whole point of being married is that you get to be together, so take advantage of it! Get help and talk to your partner if you’re feeling anxious. While you can’t expect him/her to fix all your issues, you can have a conversation and work together to improve the situation. Communication is your biggest ally.
Still struggling? Sometimes seeing a counselor or neutral third party is the best way to figure out what is bothering you and how to move forward. Remember that you are responsible for your own happiness, so use your resources. Treat yourself the way you’d treat someone you love.