Monday, March 17, 2014

Married Life Monday: How Things Change

Hello lovely readers and welcome to a new segment of PCW!  I have been married to my darling husband for over two and a half years now, though it feels like our wedding was just yesterday.  Sometimes in the wedding planning process, it is easy to forget that the whole point of a wedding is to get married.  And while celebrations are obviously awesome, a marriage (hopefully) lasts a whole lot longer than a wedding.  I do not proclaim to be an expert on marriage in any way, shape or form, but I do know what has worked for my hubby and me and I want to share some of those experiences with you.

For this first installment, I want to focus on how things change once you get married.  These changes will obviously vary depending on your pre-marriage living arrangements, but some of the changes are pretty basic.

How do things change when you go from Miss to Mrs.?

1.  Your name (assuming it will change in some manner):  Being a teacher, I am referred to by my last name on a regular basis and it took some time for my new name to feel like me.  I went from a super hard to pronounce and spell maiden name to a relatively common married name, so for me I felt like it was a good change.  Depending on how attached you are to your maiden name, it can feel like a bit of a loss if you do decide to take your partner's name.  If you decide to hyphenate or combine names, that can be an adjustment as well.  It probably took me a full year before I really felt like my new name was really and truly mine.

2.  Your finances:  Mr. B and I still have completely separate bank accounts, but our finances still changed after we got married.  We now file taxes as a married couple and own a home as a couple and thus have shared financial responsibilities.  As a chick who was raised to be seriously financially independent, it was a hard adjustment for me to realize I now had to communicate with someone else before spending and making big purchases.  Given our separate accounts, I still have a lot of financial freedom, but I need to take his opinion into consideration before spending hundreds on a designer bag.  The flip side of this is having someone there to help you in times of financial struggle.  A couple of months after we got married, my old car kicked the bucket and could not be revived.  Having someone there to help me out with a new down payment was a huge relief for me, especially around the holidays and shortly after paying for a wedding.  It was actually hard for me to take money from him (a downside to being so financially independent), but as he reminded me, we are a team, and what's his is mine.

3.Your living situation:  These days most couples live together before tying the knot, and we were no exception.  It is a choice I highly recommend to any couple that is considering marriage, but I understand that it is not the right choice for everyone.  If you are moving in together after the wedding, this will probably be the biggest adjustment you have to make as you get used to living with someone new and dealing with all those quirks that don't come to light until you cohabitate.

4.  Your will and life insurance:  This is one of those pain in the butt things that you may forget about in the midst of so many life changes, but it is important to make sure all of your paperwork reflects your new married status.  Make sure you change your will and update your life insurance policies.  If you don't have either of these things, it is probably time to start looking into it.

5.  Your sense of security:  Maybe one of the best changes about being married is a new-found sense of security.  I know that no matter what problems I am facing in my life, I am not facing them alone.  My problems become his problems, my stresses become his stresses, and vice versa.  Having a partner, sounding board, open ear, and shoulder to cry on every single time I need it is an incomparable gift.  This is the kind of change that makes you want to get married in the first place.

 In our next installment, we'll take a look at buying your first house!  If you have any marriage questions or want to see a specific topic covered in Married Life Mondays, shoot me an email here!

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