Home From the Honeymoon...Now What?
List of Things to Do:
Change marital status
Change social security card
Get new I.D. card
Change driver's license
Change credit cards
Update car insurance
Change employee records
Update medical and life insurance
Get checks issued in your new name
Change your voter registration
Have bridal gown cleaned for storage
Strive to endure the kinks of your first year without complaint. Most people experience their toughest times as they adjust to the initial turbulence of starting their life together. Be patient with one another, going from "Me" to "We" is a major adjustment! Learn to compromise, learn to sacrifice your wants and needs for someone else's. Serve one another. Whenever you hit a rough patch, stop worrying about what the other person is doing wrong and try to become the very best spouse for them. When you shift your focus from the mote in his eye to the beam in your own, you'll count your blessings that he'll still have you!
Preparing for the Marriage, Not Just the Wedding
The whole point of all the preparations for your wedding, is to get you past the altar and into a life together as a couple. Love is not enough; if it were, half of all marriages in the United States wouldn't break up within the first five years. For a marriage to work, there has to be more than just "love." Working together on your wedding plans will help you create a bond and will teach you how to compromise. It's not about you anymore. You will be a couple and you should each be trying to please the other in every way possible.
Expect the unexpected. You won't always agree on things. The groom will discover he can't always be the boss or vice versa.
As Latter-day Saints, we believe that marriage is something God ordained and not something you can walk away from. If something's wrong, you need to fix it. How you settle differences of opinions needs to be worked out in the beginning of your relationship. Shouting, name-calling, slamming doors, and walking out are not acceptable behaviors at any time. Vow never to resort to these tactics. Remember, you will be bringing children into this relationship and your children will learn how to behave in our society from you. Don't send them the wrong messages. If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, you have to be careful where you put your feet.
There are lots of books on the market to help you create the marriage of your dreams. Here is a short list of new books available at Deseret Books (When searching for books, it is a good idea to check the copyright dates as well as how many printings - the most current are usually the best - as are the ones who have gone into multiple printings - the following were the best as of 2009)
Note: There is also a fun game (similar to the old "Newlywed Game" on TV) you can play with your fiance. It is called "The Celestial Companions Game" and is also available at Deseret Book.
What to Expect the First Year
Don't expect the warm fuzzy feelings you have right now to carry over indefinitely.
There is a reason for the expression, "the honeymoon is over." In the gospel context, it makes perfect sense! Satan understands the divine importance of the family in God's plan, so it makes sense that he would try to dissolve that unit. Thus, expect the first year to be extremely difficult.
Life is no longer all about you. There are someone else's feelings to consider. You will both have different ways of communicating, different ways of dealing with stress, and different ideas of what a happy family should look like. Because you both come from unique backgrounds and experiences, you each come to the table with differing perspectives and expectations.
One of the biggest problems in a new marriage usually starts with something small. For instance, your hubby leaves the toilet seat up. You keep reminding him. Then you get angry because it is no longer about the toilet seat, now it's about him not caring that something bothers you.
The first year is riddled with exasperating problems usually stemming from the differences arising because of the way you were each raised. Often things get so blown out of proportion that one or both parties are ready to throw in the towel. My grandmother had the most perfect marriage of anyone I could imagine, but she confided to me once that if she had had a mother to run home to she would have - and it would have been the biggest mistake of her life.
Don't think that just because you made it through the first year that you are exempt from marital problems. They can happen at any time. As difficult as things will get, once you work your way through them, your marriage will be stronger and happier then it was before. You achieve a kind of bond that you couldn't have imagined before. It will be worth the effort.