Monday, December 3, 2012

Living with my man

Recently, Sam and I have had several of our close friends become engaged or are thinking of becoming engaged. One of those friends asked me in a phone convo this weekend what my tips were in regards to living with my man.

Please note  that the info in this post is purely based on my relationship with Sam, I'm not trying to persuade anyone to live a certain way or to tell you that we're right. We're still learning, always learning, and creating a relationship that works for us.

We've only been married for 5 months, so I thought it would make for an interesting post, hopefully something that others can contribute to as well - what works for you and what doesn't as a married couple or a couple living together. And as a side note, before we got married, our Pastor recommended this book to us. We took the information and applied it to our lives as we saw fit, but it gave us a great basis for our relationship, and forced us to ask questions of each other that we might not have thought of on our own.

Preparing for Marriage: Discover God's Plan for a Lifetime of Love

#1. The thing that Sam and I talked most about before getting married was finances. I could probably do a whole post on our views of combining finances, but here's the gist of what we believe and what has been working well for us so far. 
  • Being open and honest - knowing how much we each made, when we got paid, and the things we didn't want to sacrifice (designer jeans! ) was an important topic . 
  • Combining our accounts - before the wedding we decided to have accounts for the following categories which has been awesome:  Leah's, Sam's, Expenses  (groceries, gas,  etc), Bills, Savings, Emergency Savings, and Vacation.  I think those are pretty self-explanatory. 
  • Planning our expenses. Knowing when one of us wants to buy something pricey is something that we share with each other. That way we know when we need to save a little extra or plan ahead for a big purchase, like a TV, or new windows for the house.
#2. Cleanliness. I'm a neat freak. More than being organized though, I like things to be clean. Toilet seat down, wiping counter tops, sweeping the floor, and going to bed every night with a picked up house are important things to me. Sam and my brother both understand this and are constantly helping to make sure the house stays cleaned to the pickiest person's standards. This is great for us because we never have to argue about doing dishes, or who spilled coffee etc. But it was a conversation that we had agreed upon before moving in together.  Living with someone you constantly have to clean up after was something I didn't want to have to deal with.

#3.    Sharing a calendar.  This has been a life saver. Sam and I use Google Calendar because we can both update it and look at it throughout the day. We always know ahead of time when someone has something going on, working late,  etc. We also make sure to do things for each other - for example, if Sam wants to go hunting for a weekend with the boys, then the next weekend, we'll do something together or something that I really wanted to do. It's give and take, always.
#4. Laundry. We combine laundry. And when the basket's full, someone starts it. Sam knows where my clothes go and how I like them folded, to wash colors cold, and whites hot with bleach and to put clothes away ASAP. But  these were all things that we went over the first week of living together. I know he was never a separator of colors, or a temperature changer haha, but sometimes the girl has to crack the whip ;) 
#5.  Cooking. Many of you who know me also know that I don't really enjoy cooking. Sam's an excellent cook, but he gets home later than I do, so I try to have something going before he gets home. We both came into the relationship with different ideas of cooking - Sam's mom is an amazing chef, and my mom is like me (or I'm like my mom...) in that we like things that are EASY. More than 5 ingredients, not happening on a work night ;)  But that being said, cooking is a team thing in our house.  It also helps that we do our best to meal plan for the week, and take those leftovers for lunch.

Pinterest - source not found 
#6. Lastly, the biggest thing that I think makes our relationship work so well is plain ol' communication. Expressing when we're happy, upset, or somewhere in between. Being able to say, "Hunny, I don't feel like cooking tonight, can you make something?" and talking openly and freely about our finances, having a plan to pay off debts, and being aware of each other's feelings are things that we strive for. Yes, we're new at this, and yes, things don't always go as planned, arguments happen, and misunderstandings occur, but in the end, we talk about it. And we move on.

What about you, is there something that you find works really well for your relationship?   


  1. Something that works for me in particular is focusing on what I do appreciate in my spouse rather than dwelling on what he does that bugs me. Every person in this world is going to have habits that will drive you nuts and it takes effort to get over those and focus on the good habits that you do like. I'm definitely not saying I'm perfect in this; it takes work to let go. It is not my spouse's fault that (Insert annoyance here) bugs me. However, I have also acknowledged that there are certain things I won't ever get over and my spouse is willing to work this out together to lessen any tension. Of course there is nothing I do that bugs him though...I'm perfect! ;) lol

    1. Hey Mrs. Farley! I totally agree with everything you said. And I think that's something that I try to apply to lots of other aspects in my life too - like my job and coworkers. Most things in life aren't perfect, except for us, obviously ;) but if we are always dwelling on the imperfections, we'll never get to appreciate the things we DO like. Thanks for the comment!