Paul and I have been married a little over a month and it’s been pure bliss let me tell ya! He was living about 45 minutes away before we got married and we were just tired of the back and forth. We wanted to live together and enjoy all of those moments of arguing over how to properly make the bed and who needs to take the trash out. 😉 Kidding. It’s always him. He ALWAYS needs to take the trash out. haha!
But in all seriousness, I’m still a completely humble and ignorant wife that has much to learn. However, there are a few shockers you get when living with a boy and I wanted to share the 4 things I’ve adapted to and what to maybe expect if you’re getting married soon, too! I also asked Paul what the 4 biggest changes were he noticed in me and these surprisingly lined up, so at least you have a male perspective backing these up!
1.Functionality in Our Home
Paul truly isn’t bothered by my girly decor. In his mind, decor isn’t something that is important to him, and because it is to me he’d rather let me do whatever I want. And it let’s me know how much he does care about what matters to me, so I like to let him do things the way he likes in other areas that matter more to him. If you saw my old bachelorette pad here you know I wasn’t a minimalist by any sense of the word. I loved my colorful little apartment, but it wasn’t super functional. There were 75 picture frames on the kitchen counter and 14 candles on the coffee table. I started to pick up on Paul always moving things around to set his coffee down or constantly fumble over finding his keys on the entryway table because he was scared something would break! I decided to make our home a little more functional and a lot less “dressed up.” I’ve started to hate clutter clutter, but I do love a good trip to Homegoods which can make things seem congested. So I have started to really go through what we need vs. what we don’t. I try to keep things a little more simple and clean. I used to have 6 pillows on the sofa, now I just have four. The kitchen counter is for kitchen tools and a candle, but not picture frames. I put a little bowl out for his keys on the entryway table. I kept his nightstand super functional and minimal. I cleaned out the bathroom because I didn’t honestly “need” 17 different products to give my hair volume. He always needed more light around the sofa because he works late and so I decided to rearrange and get to end tables with lamps. I didn’t get rid of anything I loved, in fact I just made the pieces I love more prevalent and allowed our home to be more clean. This has been so nice because now his best friend always pops over and I’m not like, “Oh wait let me move all the picture frames so you can put your pizza down!” Girls can live in a home that isn’t functional, but I’ve learned boys can’t. 😉
2. Proverbs 21:9
“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.”
This one is for all my Type A brides [ahem, me!], I’ve learned to let go, but just a little bit! 😉 When we got back from the honeymoon, unpacked Paul, our wedding gifts and had piles of laundry I felt really overwhelmed. I just wanted everything cleaned and organized, which can be a little bit difficult in a small, older home. I was staying up all night trying to get the home perfect because I thought providing Paul with that “perfect” environment would mean I was being a good wife. And this isn’t to say just let your wedding gifts sit in in a room for 4 months [that would have driven Paul insane!], but I had to learn to prioritize. Instead of immediately cleaning the kitchen after dinner I’ve learned to just finish a movie with him. Investing in him as opposed to investing in our home is something that makes so much sense, but can be easy to not back up by action. Proverbs 21:9 really reminded me that if I’m stressed out and the home is perfect, it’s still not better for Paul than if he were living in an attic. It’s still really important to me that I keep my home clean and organized [I was raised in the south, that’s almost as important as the golden rule!] but I’m learning how to prioritize my time better. If that means get up an hour before him to finish laundry or let him take a nap while I clean the kitchen, I’m happy to do that because he isn’t just watching me vacuum all afternoon. It can be hard because on Instagram I see all these wives with perfect homes that never look like they are a wreck, but I just have to remind myself all my mess is hidden in photos too, so their’s has to be somewhere! 😉 But if you value a clean home and explain to him you’re lightening up on yourself I’ve noticed he wants to help you clean! #winwin
3. Chit Chats
I’m a girl’s girl through and through! I had 10 bridesmaids if that tells you anything [and I almost cried I couldn’t have 13]. I love my girlfriends and still talk daily to my friends I have known since I was 3. Some of my best friends own their own business or work for themselves so we have the luxury of being able to chat while we work or drive to meetings during the day. Before I lived with Paul, I’d get home from spin at 6, cook dinner and pick up the phone to call my mom or a girlfriend. When he moved in that changed a lot. I was so worried about learning to balance my girlfriend time before we got married. Paul and I both have bible studies during the week and church community groups, so a lot of our weeknights are tied up, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to see girlfriends on other nights because I’d need to be home for him. I remember texting every married girlfriend I have asking them, “So how often do you do dinner with your girlfriends?!” I thought it would be so taboo for him to come home from work to me gone. However, on our honeymoon I asked him if that would bother him and how he would like me to balance it. He completely surprised me. He told me that didn’t bother him at all, but what did bother him were phone calls. To Paul, he cares more if he is home and I’m on the phone than if I’m gone. He knew about my 2 hour phone calls that happened a lot during the week, and so now I just minimize those and make more plans with my girlfriends in person! We also put our phones up at night. It’s a no brainer you don’t want to be texting when your significant other is talking to you, but when you live together that’s something you can forget! So I just put my phone on my nightstand around 6 and then don’t pick it up unless I need to talk to someone about something important.
Paul and I both work and thankfully we were both raised with the same ideas on money. But it’s always a bit strange when you get married and all of a sudden you share everything. I had lived by myself for 2 years before getting married and my bank account was mine. I’m so grateful both of our parents had the same viewpoints and so we really agree on how to spend our money and what we want to tithe/save/give/invest. But, I decided to start our marriage asking. I own my own business and he has an amazing career he works his rear end off for. However, out of respect I just ask him before I buy anything over a certain dollar limit and he does the same. It may be groceries. It may be a bag. It may be work pants for him. It isn’t that I’m not independent, but once your married everything you have is each other’s and I truly wanted our financial decisions to be shared as well. It may seem silly, but I just will shoot him a text and say, “Hey, I’m going to get these for us. Do you think that’s a good idea?” He’s always so shocked I ask and maybe even humbled by it. But he is a CPA and I really value his opinion on finances, so I like to be open and honest about everything. And in turn, I love it when he asks me! It makes you feel valued and I’m thankful this process works for us because we were raised with such similar viewpoints. So while that isn’t advice for everyone, I will say just talking purchases through can be so healthy! I think it allows you to have a level of respect for what the other person values.
I have much to learn and I’m excited to see what changes come in a year, but I thought I’d share the biggest differences to me in case you are interested about what to expect. I know every relationship is different and these are just little transitions that fit us and our personalities, but I’d love to know any transition tips you have and noticed your first few months of marriage!