Girlfriend to wife and boyfriend to husband – with the change in titles comes a change in duties and tasks. Responsibilities and expectations change as well. For each household it is different. Your mate will not have the same expectation of you or you of them, as your neighbor has of their mate. It’s personal. However, it’s personal between the two of you. It’s something that needs conversation and communication. If not, the expectation will go unmet and you will end up with two unhappy people. Tell the truth, you do not expect the same thing of a boyfriend as you do of a husband or vice versa. When you say, “I do” things change, they increase for the better.
In her house growing up, her dad did all of the cooking. Living on her own she has been cooking for herself, but looks forward to the day she gets married and her husband takes over this responsibility. Sure she will help out, she is not selfish, but it sure will be nice when her man is doing the cooking and dinner is ready in the evenings when she gets home from work. Humm……
When he grew up, his mom did all the laundry; just toss it in the hamper and at the end of the week bam! Clean clothes, folded and neatly stacked on his bed. He doesn’t mind doing laundry but man, when he gets married – that’s one thing that he sure won’t mind letting go of.
Neither the new bride or groom have had a positive example of a marriage but they each have their ideas of how that want things to go once they are married. She has been out on her own for a while. She has her own job, her own car, and a nice home. He has some “things” too and a decent job. He wants them to put all of their finances together and he manage the family budget. Wow!
These are all real life situations that need to be talked about. Open dialogue versus assumption is key. A family division of labor conversation is necessary. A family financial meeting is needed. When you have the conversations here are three things to keep in mind.
1. Talk about how chores inside the home will be divided and when they are to be accomplished. Who will cook, who will clean what room, who will grocery shop, what do we do together?
2. Have conversations about the duties outside the house. Who will oversee the maintenance of the family cars? How does yard work get done? Do we do it together or hire someone?
3. Lay financial concerns on the table. Create a family budget. Decide how monies will be spent. How many bank accounts will you have? Is everything that is mine, yours? How do you hold each other accountable so that the financial health of the family is kept in tack and both husband and wife are aware of what is going on?
When you take the leap of faith from girlfriend to wife and boyfriend to husband, things do change. It should be changing for the better. However, don’t assume it will happen naturally. Refrain from thinking your mate should already know. Take the time to create a safe space to have open dialogue about your desires and expectations. You may be surprised at how much each of you are willing to give to make your house a happy home.