Have you ever heard someone say that the first year of marriage is the hardest? Why do you think this is? Does it have to do with the fact that it could be the first time you're living with someone that you love outside of your blood relatives? Is it the pressure of sharing finances which is probably new to most newlyweds? Is it saying goodbye to your singledom? It's probably a combination of all of these elements and more, but it is very important that as these issues surface, the couple takes a serious look at the ins and outs and discusses options.
I fell in love with my fiance very early on in our relationship. We had been dating, and I had to go away for the summer to a job in New Jersey. Having traveled a lot before and having never felt the pangs of homesickness ever, it came as a great shock to me that I was miserable and wanted nothing more for the summer to end and to get home. That fall, my then boyfriend and I made the decision to move in together.
I can tell you that the next year was a battlefield. I am extremely independent and a terrible cook. He had never touched the kitchen, and sharing was not his forte. We went through an entire 12 months of our relationship on a see-saw! We had to end up discussing things that we both had taken for granted and were both surprised to find that our opinions differed on many topics. It was the first time in either of our lives that we had to seriously change the way we lived. And we did it. All of a sudden one day, I realized that living together had become so easy and so enjoyable and the petty arguments had disappeared. I couldn't tell you when exactly this happened, but that's probably because it was a growing process that took an entire year.
Recently, we have taken another big step towards being completely joined. We opened our first bank account together. I've gotten better at not only living for myself, and my fiance is better at sharing, but we were both a little timid to do this. It made sense, though, for us to join financial forces as we are saving for the wedding, honeymoon, and a new roof. We researched our options, and shopped around for a bank that fit our needs. And then...we jumped in with both feet. Or all four feet...whichever. :)
We are in month one of a joint checking account, and it's an adjustment period again. Neither of us is used to being accountable down to the dollar for what we spend. Purchases that took no thought process before are now making us think twice. (Maybe that's a good thing for two people who are saving!) Even though we are in uncharted waters, we feel really good about this move for our relationship.
What events in your relationship with your fiance made you grow as a couple? Please tell us about them!