The time to move in with your spouse has finally come and you are nothing but excited, however, there are many things you need to discuss before taking this large step! You have committed yourselves to each other “for richer for poorer” and “for better of for worse” but that does not mean living together is going to be easy. It is imperative to stay positive and look to God for answers when you are feeling lost.
To help avoid any potential issues once you finally move in together, take some of these steps BEFORE you sign any paperwork:
- Have a discussion regarding what type of “home” you wish to live in! So often, a couple, separately, begins looking for a place and then once you come together you realize that you are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. To some it does not matter if you are in an apartment or traditional house, but some take this very seriously. If you desire to live in an apartment with a doorman and 24/7 security and your spouse desires to live in a stand alone house in the country with little to no neighbors in sight you are both going to be caught very off guard when you initially sit down to show each other what you found. In order to avoid a disagreement later on, have this conversation first!
- Start looking early! When it comes to finding the “perfect” place to rent or your “dream” house to buy it takes time, as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” To avoid extra headaches when the home you are looking is unavailable, start early and discuss the option of signing for your new apartment or house before you plan to move in. A lot of couples, who chose to live apart until after marriage, end up finding a place to live before the wedding and make a joint decision to rent the apartment or buy the house and slowly take time to move in. If you do find your home before the big day, you can move everything in ahead of time and “go home” for the first time upon return for your honeymoon.
- Make a financial plan! Even though you make a vow to stay true to each other for “richer or for poorer,” the number one reason couples fight is because of money. Before moving in together, and definitely before joining as one soul through Holy matrimony, you need to take the time to talk about your finances. Not only will you need to do this to figure out how you will pay for rent and utilities, you also want to make sure any debt you have is transparent with your spouse. If you determine your responsibilities when it comes to making new purchases and/or paying odd debt before making such a serious commitment you will be in a better place for it.
- Understand Expectations! This is another big one! You need to have a candid discussion about what you expect out of your spouse. Are you going to both contribute to household cleaning? Is one person going to be responsible for grocery shopping? Will you put attending Church before any other activity that comes up? Do you have a backup plan if one of you becomes unable to work or contribute to the house? You want to make sure you have a general understanding of your expectations of one another.
- Be Patient! If you take away anything from this post, it should be the need for patience in any relationship. As cliché people find 1 Corinthians it is so important to a relationship: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). We must put our trust in the Lord that all will work out and live in the moment as patient followers.