One of the most annoying things that will happen to you upon becoming a newlywed is receiving unwanted, unsolicited advice from other people (both single and married)! They will bombard you with all of the ‘Newlywed Rules’ and tell you how to live your life the ‘right way’ in order to be happy. My question is: How do they know what makes you and/or your spouse happy? And what’s with the cookie-cutter way of living life, anyway?! Some of the most common rules are as follows along with reasons why you don’t have to follow them:
Rule #1: Spend All Free Time Together
We are hoping that you already realize that this is not possible and could be quite boring! If you DO end up spending ALL your free time together you’re not only going to run out of interesting things to talk about, but you will also lose touch with your family and friends. You may also find yourselves fighting more because you are sick of each other! So, get out once in awhile and enjoy catching up with friends or having time to yourself!
Rule #2: Stop Hanging Out with your Single Friends
Wait, what?! The idea that you and your spouse are a married couple and should work on replacing your single friends with other married couples is just ridiculous. It’s a great idea to have a mix of married and single friends so that when you decide to host a dinner or Super Bowl party there’s more than just one ‘type’ of person in your crowd. It will make for more interesting and dynamic conversation and an overall better time!
Rule #3: You Must go Out on Dates to be Happy
While my husband and I stick to having at least one Date Night per week (we don’t have children yet—and realize that it gets trickier when you add them to the mix), it is not necessary that you and your spouse go OUT on a date each week. Date Night doesn’t always have to mean dinner at your favorite restaurant and a movie at your local theater (that could seriously put a strain on your budget)! Your date could consist of a night at home cuddled up on the couch with your spouse. Do what works for the two of you and don’t worry about what the definition of a date is to other couples.
Rule #4: You should both Share a Last Name/Bank Account/Gym or Country Club Membership/Etc.
Nowadays 86.6% of women change their name in some way due to marriage, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Many women are opting to have 2 last names (with or without a hyphen) or to replace their middle name with their maiden name. Now men are even changing their last name to their wife’s last name upon marriage and some couples are changing both their last names to a new last name! With all these choices out there, why would you worry about what someone else wants you to do?
It’s okay if you and your spouse decide to keep your own last names or separate bank accounts and just split the bills in half. Believe me, companies are going to accept your payment whether it comes from one check or a combination of two checks—they just want the bill paid on-time! As for your gym membership–if you attend a private Yoga or Pilates class and your spouse has a membership at a different gym, don’t feel obligated to make changes to your fitness routine. Sometimes you can save money by combining your memberships, but if there’s not that big of a difference in price or you’re not worried about losing the money than keep attending your own classes (and consider it ME time)!
Rule #5: Make a 5-Year Plan
If you are the type of person who sets goals and has a better chance of achieving them by writing them down on paper, than do it! Some people tend to stress out if they don’t reach their goals in the time they allotted to do so and end up dwelling on the idea of failure when this happens. If you are more-likely to freak out if you miss a deadline, then making a 5-year plan could be a bad idea for you. You will drive your spouse crazy with your what ifs, should have, could have, would haves! Why not just enjoy the first few years of marriage without having to worry about your deadlines to: buy a house, start a new career, start a family, go on a 2-week European vacation, etc.?
We spend so much time worrying about someone else’s idea and vision of the perfect life that we forget to just LIVE ours! Remember, it doesn’t matter what other people are doing to make their marriages work because they aren’t a part of yours. No two marriages are exactly alike and what works your grandparents, parents, in-laws and friends may not work for you. So, focus on making sure you and your spouse are happy. Keep communicating, laughing, loving, and enjoying your fabulous life together!
We’d love hear what crazy ‘Newlywed Rules’ you’ve heard since your nuptials. Leave us a comment below and start a discussion with other Newlyweds!