Before you get married, they tell you all the good things:
You get to live and have fun sleepovers with your best friend for life. You never have to be alone again. You forever have a partner in all things. You get to go on all sorts of fun adventures. You get to have lots of fun babies. You get to have all the endless cuddle sessions and movie parties you’d ever want. You get to call someone your ‘husband’ or ‘wife.’ You have someone who will support you in all things. You have all sorts of inside jokes and someone to always make you laugh when you come home. Someone who understands you and loves you unconditionally.
They tell you some not so good things:
You will probably have some arguments. Your first year will be fun, but then it might start to get hard. Marriage isn’t easy, it takes work everyday. When kids come you’ll never sleep. Your in-laws could be hard. (I lucked out and got some good ones.)
All of the good things sound wonderful and the not so good things don’t sound so daunting. But no one ever tells you that some of your arguments will lead to tears and questions of how much you actually like this person. No one ever tells you that once kids do come all the stresses on your marriage can become magnified now that a little one is there to add to that stress. But the biggest one no one ever tells you to discuss before you enter into your vows is your finances.
Before Chaz and I got married we really didn’t discuss our spending habits much. He was always a pretty good saver, I knew that, but he didn’t know that when I got my paychecks I had things on a list I wanted to buy, and I did. I used up my paychecks almost every month, and when we got married I didn’t change my ways for awhile. In the beginning Chaz didn’t say much about it because I was pregnant and I think he felt bad for me… (haha) Eventually, it started weighing on him that I was spending our cash on things that were unnecessary instead of saving our money and buying the things we needed. One day, we had a pretty explosive argument because he had been holding in his feelings for too long. During that argument he even mentioned, “man, I wish we would have discussed our spending/finances BEFORE we got married.”
In every relationship there is always a “spender” and a “saver,” which are you?
It can be a very touchy subject when you are just starting out dating, but we can’t advise enough to have a discussion on where your priorities are before you start to get too serious. Once feelings are involved it can be easy to throw some amounts of spending under the rug, but eventually it could end in a blow out fight because one person has had enough. If you discuss some of your saving/spending goals/habits in the beginning you could avoid some of these arguments!
For us, almost two years into our marriage, Chaz and I are finally on the same page and we have almost no problems/arguments with our money and spending. Let me tell you how amazing it feels to not stress about money. We take the time at the beginning of each month to go over our budgets and our spending from the previous month and make sure our goals were met, then we communicate to each other if there are any big purchases that need to be made over the next month.
When I was single I was constantly checking on my checking account balance before I would buy anything because I knew I was always getting low, but now, I hardly ever have to check it because I know that Chaz and I are on the same page and don’t have crazy wish lists or spending habits that we can’t contain. Our goals are aligned with each other and the constant stress of not having enough money for bills has gone away for me, and when you can eliminate stress, DO IT!
When it comes to breakups and divorce, over 50% are caused by financial issues. I know, we aren’t experts when it comes to marriage or finances, we haven’t been in it long enough to know everything. But for all those who are also just starting out like us or are considering getting married, communicating about your finances will help your relationship in so many ways just like it has for us.
The good things about marriage are all true, and unfortunately the bad things are too. That’s life, that’s marriage. But the BEST part about all of it? You have found love, you have found your person, and through all the good AND the bad things they will always, ALWAYS be worth it.
Now you can’t say that no one ever told you this before you got married…
Thanks for being here,