According to statistics, there are over 60 million married couples in the United States. Although the average age of individuals saying “I do,” is increasing, marital rates are still as high as ever. Many young couples spend a significant amount of time preparing for their wedding day, and often get caught up in the minutia of the party planning and anticipating their honeymoon. After the wedding festivities come to a close, couples settle into their lives as newlyweds and often they experience some difficulties transitioning into their new roles.
Marital Roles & Expectations
Prior to getting married, many couples do not explicitly discuss their roles and their expectations for financial decisions, time spent with family and friends, or the best way to communicate. Many couples naively assume that things will fall into place as they acclimate to married life, but we often find that difficulties arise when minimal communication has taken place surrounding these topics. Women in particular can struggle with this adjustment as they try to balance their own expectations of what it means to be a wife, how they would like to adopt this new role, and how to balance these expectations with the other responsibilities they have.
How do we adjust more successfully?
Adjusting to any new life circumstance can be difficult, but there are numerous ways to improve the chances that adjusting to married life will be easier and more successful for you. Below are the top three most common issues that arise in marriages and how to think about them as you transition into marriage.
- Communication: According to many different research studies, we know that women use more words than men, and women have an easier time being empathic. Think about how to best meet your partner’s needs, and adjust your communication accordingly.
- Financial decisions: How will you divide your financial responsibilities? Will you have one joint bank account and maintain separates one as well? What did your parents do and how does that shape your perspective? Many of these questions are still left unanswered prior to tying the knot, so it is best to proactively work on a plan at the beginning of your marriage, instead of waiting for your first fight to address it.
- Intimacy: According to healthplace.com, women focus on intimacy (talking, touching, sharing their emotions) more than they do sex. If this rings true in your relationship, how do you come up with a way to stay connected intimately and meet each other’s needs?
As a therapist who specializes in anxiety, relationships, and adjusting to life’s transitions, I am here to help you work on managing your adjustment to some of the biggest changes in your life. If you would like to more information about how I can help, please feel free to call me at 312-729-5089 for a free 15-minute consultation.