After you get engaged, there’s a period of combined bliss and stress while in the midst of planning for your wedding day.
However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that those emotions are followed by the romance and relaxation of your honeymoon.
During this time, when you’re freshly married and enjoying each other’s company, whether on a vacation or not, it’s easy to be lost in the happy bubble of a honeymoon phase or honeymoon period.
Thus, you’re unable to see past it to your reality together.
It’s called a “honeymoon phase” for a reason.
Like all good things, this time frame will come to an end eventually, as real-world stressors and day-to-day tedium set in.
But, there’s a way you can keep the spirit of your honeymoon period alive while you work through the monotony and challenges.
There will be some specific situations and conversations that you’ll need to work through together as a couple.
To avoid them becoming huge disagreements that damage your marriage, there are some ways to work through those situations and still keep the honeymoon feeling alive well after it’s over.
Here are 8 issues you need to work through before marriage so you can prolong the honeymoon phase.
1. Work through frustrations and anger.
It’s important to realize that your life together isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. People disagree and get into arguments.
The important thing is to not let your disagreements or arguments infiltrate your day-to-day life. You should also learn to understand one another’s pain points so you can know why your spouse is so angry on a personal level.
Once you have that deeper understanding, you can work through those issues and come to an actual resolution. This will also help to prevent anger from persisting so you can work toward that honeymoon-level happiness.
2. Decide upon a mutual budget.
Nothing puts a damper on the honeymoon vibe quite like discussing your finances. This is a true pain point for many relationships because, let’s face it, combining two different backgrounds is hard enough.
However, adding money into the mix makes things even harder. If you and your spouse have two different views on your personal finances and how you budget, you must reach a resolution that you can both live with.
Decide what your mutual monetary goals are, how much you need to spend on essentials, what you want to put aside, and for what reason.
Once you have this conversation and a plan is mapped out, you can both breathe easier and work toward those goals together.
3. Discuss responsibilities.
To avoid ruining the honeymoon period after the end of your honeymoon, a conversation needs to take place about domestic expectations.
Unfortunately, there are still societal expectations about a vast majority of the domestic responsibilities falling upon the wife.
You need to know what each of you expects out of the other when it comes to these responsibilities and have an honest conversation about splitting chores without it becoming a fight.
After having this talk, you can hold each other accountable for what was discussed. The important part is that you do so without hostility, as that can lead to resentment that will keep you from that honeymoon-like feeling.
4. Continue to learn about each other
A marriage is a lifelong journey that adapts as time goes on. Who you are, individually, will change throughout that journey — and that’s not a bad thing.
While you may think that you and your spouse know everything about each other, you’re both still growing as people — the experiences you’ll continue to have will cause changes that your spouse will learn about and vice versa.
Again, this is not a bad thing. It means that you’ll be continually surprising one another and keeping that feeling of dating alive, which is extremely important in extending the honeymoon period.
5. Decide on if you want to buy a home.
One of the life events that will mirror the bliss and stress you felt while planning your wedding is when you decide it’s time to become homeowners.
This is also why it’s important to talk about finances. You’ll want to take the time to formulate a budget.
This will help you to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the home buying process, like finding out you’re below the minimum credit score to buy a house.
Being rejected in this process will put any marriage through the wringer. Remember: there are good surprises and bad surprises in marriage. Don’t let your decision to buy a home reveal one of the bad ones.
6. Discuss kids.
Deciding that you want to have kids is a bigger deal than many people realize. There will be a shift in your relationship when it happens, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible.
Much like many other areas, you and your spouse may have different opinions here that need to be worked through before moving forward.
Among the questions you might want to address include:
When would this ideally happen for us?
Can we, realistically, afford to have kids?
How many kids do we each want?
What would this mean for our relationship?
What options should we consider if there are issues conceiving?
Are there family names you would like our child to have?
What type of childcare would we have?
Do we have a support system?
Will one of us stay home? How will we make up for that loss of income?
7. Talk about life balance.
You and your spouse aren’t meant to be together 100 percent of the time. It’s essential to both of your sanity that you each create some life balance early on in your marriage.
By having both of you do this, one person won’t be waiting on the other and you’ll each have your own activities to occupy your time.
This can be as simple as sticking to one night a week where you go out with your friends alone or taking up a hobby that you can have all to yourself.
By having your own things, you’re giving yourselves something to talk about when you are together and cherishing that time even more.
8. Make time for one another.
While it’s a good idea to have your own activities and interests, you don’t want to live completely separate lives and have no time for each other.
If you have to, schedule out your time together with dedicated date nights or times where you both stay in, together.
Having this time for just the two of you allows you to reconnect in all possible ways and keeps your passion for one another, and thus the honeymoon period, alive and well.
Don’t lose that loving feeling of the honeymoon phase!
Many couples come to Relationship Therapy because they’ve lost “that loving feeling.”
Taking on some of these conversations and remaining aware of your relationship needs will help you, moving forward, and have a stronger marriage so you can keep that honeymoon feeling alive!
Mary Kay Cocharo is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit her website.
This article was originally published at mkcocharo.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.