Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

August 2012

7 Common Mistakes Every Newlywed Makes and Ways to Overcome Them

With both the wedding and honeymoon over, it is time to begin your life as newlyweds in your new home. While you may be new to married life and are unaware of the possible problems that await you, you’re certain that you and your spouse know each other well enough. Then one day reality bites and you haven’t the slightest idea how to solve it.

Every married couple encounters disagreements every once in a while and an argument ensues. No couple is an exception. Being newlyweds, you’re actually more likely to make mistakes and find yourself face to face with problems in your marriage. If you do, don’t be too hard on yourself, your spouse or your marriage; it is only normal. Your journey as newlyweds will be filled with many hurdles and it is up to you and your spouse to overcome and solve them. Don’t expect your marriage to have sunny days and rainbows every day; accept that some days, you’ll have dark clouds and thunderstorms. SingaporeBrides has listed seven common mistakes newlyweds are most likely to commit and their respective solutions so you can watch out for them.

Mistake #1: I Have No Plans After My Wedding/Honeymoon

Dreamy-Intimate-Wedding-Food-For-Thought-Singapore-Botanic-Gardens-8-optimisedAnnabel and Weijie’s Dreamy Intimate Wedding at Food For Thought, Singapore Botanic Gardens by Bloc Memoire Photography

It is understandable if wedding and honeymoon planning is all you can think about during that few months preceding your big day so it’ll be perfect right down to the last detail. But not sparing any thought to how you want your marriage to develop years from now, or what goals you aim to achieve in your marriage or for your relationship, is a common but fatal mistake all newlyweds should aim to avoid.

The Solution

The goal of marriage is not to plan a perfect wedding or a romantic honeymoon, but to build a life together with the one you love and strive to better your relationship. But it’s easy for couples to lose sight of that when the excitement of planning a wedding or honeymoon overwhelms them and that is all they can think about.

Remind yourself that marriage is about life after the wedding, and that is what you should be spending more time planning. Planning for the future involves envisioning what’s going to happen in the next year or five down the road. This is by no means restricted to plans for your marriage; it also applies to your personal development in your careers and what you’d like to achieve for yourselves a few years down the road. Sit down with your spouse and communicate what you want for your marriage and yourself five or ten years down the road. It is better to voice out your expectations and visions so that both of you are clear on where you differ on important issues such as family planning, career development and saving goals sooner rather than later.

Mistake #2: I Have Too Many Plans

Shihui and Yen's Glittery Vintage Wedding at Raffles Hotel38Shihui and Yen’s Glittery Vintage Wedding at Raffles Hotel Singapore by Expressively JoHo

Not making any plans for the future is a common mistake newlyweds make, but making too many plans may not necessarily be a good thing either. Eager for their marriage to develop and mature, they set many goals and are bent on attaining them within the first year of their marriage. But when they look back on these goals and realise that many of them are left unfulfilled, they end up feeling demotivated and disappointed.

The Solution

Having a long list of goals you want to achieve for your marriage and yourself is perfectly fine. But pace yourself properly and don’t rush into achieving them in a short amount of time. Some goals, like building a family or advancing your career, will take more time to accomplish. Don’t be too hard on yourselves if you have unfulfilled goals at the end of the first year of your marriage. Reflect on why they were not fulfilled and discuss how you can both achieve these goals together in the next few years in your marriage.

Mistake #3: He/She Will Change After Marriage

MAAD About You 38Maad About You by The Peeping Thom Photography

You hate the fact that he leaves his clothes strewn all over the floor once he gets home and he hates the fact that you spend hours getting ready whenever you need to step out of the house. Despite that, you still exchanged “I do’s” with the secret hope that after marriage, he will learn to be neater and that you’ll take a shorter time to get ready to go out. Sorry to burst your bubbles, but the chances of that happening is pretty low. Thinking that your spouse will change after marriage, or that you can make them change, is a common mistake most newlyweds make.

The Solution

Going into marriage with the hope that your spouse will change their little habits or the desire to make them change is to start your marriage on the wrong foot. Marriage is about acceptance, not change. If you knew of each other’s annoying little habits early in your relationship, and loved them enough to tie the knot in spite of how you felt towards those habits, why do you want to change them after the wedding? Attempts you make to change their habits will not only lead to tension and arguments but might also end up damaging your marriage.

So learn to accept your spouse for who they are and discard expectations of him changing into your version of a better person or husband.

Mistake #4: Avoiding the Money Talk

Gardens by the Bay Wedding 033Yvonne and Joyce’s Vintage Glam Flower Field Hall Wedding at Gardens by the Bay by Daniel Beh Photography

You’re well aware that you and your spouse harbour completely different opinions towards money and savings, so you refrain from talking about it to avoid an argument that will risk your relationship. That is where newlyweds go wrong early in their marriage. Not talking about how both of you want to handle money in your marriage will result in an even bigger argument later in your married life.

The Solution

Start off on the right foot by having the money talk early in your relationship. Ideally, this discussion should be done before you exchange your “I do’s”. Otherwise, it’s best to have it once you’ve settled down from the excitement of your wedding day and honeymoon.

Begin by being completely honest about how much of your finances you want to disclose. If you have agreed to be open with each other about how much you have in your personal accounts, never ever keep a secret stash of money in another account your spouse has no idea of. Doing so implies a lack of trust in your spouse and may damage your marriage if it ever gets found out. You should also go into the discussion with an open mind and willingness to compromise. Whatever decisions you make, ensure that both of you have to be agreeable in order for it to work.

Here are some grounds you should cover in your discussion:

  • Are both of you agreeable to retaining separate personal accounts in addition to a joint account?
  • Are you going to disclose your personal accounts to each other?
  • What should your joint account be used for?
  • How much of your salaries should you contribute to the joint account?

Mistake #5: Having a Baby Before You’re Ready

Prewedding photography in Morocco by AndroidsinBoots 57Sophia and Darren’s Breathtaking Pre-Wedding Photoshoot in Morocco by AndroidsinBoots

Before the wedding, it was always “When is your big day?” or “When is it your turn to get married?” whenever you had a family gathering. Now that you’re married, the questions have morphed into “So, when are you going to give your parents some grandchildren?” And the questions don’t only come from concerned family members; your friends – single, married or married with children – all ask the same thing. But you and your spouse have stood strong against them and are determined to wait before you start a family. But as you attend one baby shower after another, you find your determination slowly waning with every baby gurgle, and you are struck by the desire to have one now.

The Solution

If your determination does get swayed, refrain from being too harsh on yourself. Those little ones are too cute and are very persuasive without having to utter a single word. But having one when you’re not ready is a bad idea. Don’t rush into it, don’t let anyone rush you and most importantly, don’t decide to have one on the spur of the moment. At times when you feel your determination waning, remind yourself with the many reasons why you are waiting to have a baby. And if you want your relatives and friends to stop asking you when a baby’s on the way, politely but firmly let them know that both you and your spouse are not ready for one or would like to further develop your careers and be financially stable before you have a baby.

Mistake #6 – Splurging Too Much

Dawn and Ming's Sweet Wedding at The Singapore Thomson Road Baptist Church 15Dawn and Ming’s Bright and Modern Church Wedding by Smittenpixels Photography

Another common mistake newlyweds make is splurging on their new home. A house is hardly a home until you turn it into one, with decorations and furnishings you like to create a lived-in and cosy feeling. So in all your eagerness, you spend most of whatever you have on renovations and furniture just to get the home you’ve always imagined you’d have. That seemed like a good investment, until an emergency happens and you barely have enough in the bank to cover it.

The Solution

You don’t need an expensive renovation or luxurious furnishings to transform your house into a cozy home. Make it both you and your spouse’s philosophy to save every and any cent you can right from the start of your marriage. If that means scrimping on renovations and having no parquet flooring, then so be it. The money you saved from having an extravagant but unnecessary renovation could be put to better use.

Ensure that you’re saving as much money as you can from renovation by following this checklist:

  • Begin by having a budget. Be clear about whether this budget is negotiable or not.
  • Proceed to list down the things that you think needs fixing in your house.
  • Go through the list with your spouse and determine if all the items listed are absolutely necessary. Cross out those that you can live without or do later.
  • Research on home contractors or ask family and friends for recommendations before you commit to one.
  • Select a handful and make a trip down personally to speak with the contractor and get a rough quote on the list of things you require. Enquire if there are cheaper alternatives for the items you have on your list.
  • Remember not to spend all your budget on the renovation alone; put aside a sum of money from your budget for buying furniture.

Mistake #7 – Gender Stereotypes

Forest Pre Wedding Photography Singapore 20Joey and Travis’s Hidden Forest Outdoor Pre-Wedding Shoot by Juxtapose Pix

Do you have arguments about who should be responsible for washing the dishes and changing the light bulbs because gender stereotypes suggest that it’s a woman’s duty to do the former and a man’s to do the latter? If you are, then you’re only setting yourselves up for failure by subscribing to those stereotypes. Using gender roles to determine responsibilities within a relationship creates nothing but imbalance and pent-up frustration as time goes by, and have no place in a modern society like ours.

The Solution

Start by assigning responsibilities based on your strengths instead of gender. If you are better at handling finances but make a terrible cook, then offer to handle the family finances while he makes the meals. Distributing responsibilities based on strengths allows both of you to share the burdens of life equally in your marriage. Most importantly, newlyweds should bear in mind that marriage requires teamwork.

So, take some time to talk about each of your strengths and determine what responsibilities suit each of you best.

Cannas and Jim Perth Pre-wedding 51Cannas and Jim’s Beautiful Pre-Wedding in Perth by Mocco Photography

These will not be the only mistakes you’ll encounter in your marriage; there will be others and even ones that are unique to your relationship only. Even then, there is no need to be crippled by fear of these mistakes. Believe that whatever hurdles you’re faced with, there will always be a solution – all you need to do is to work towards it together with your spouse.

Credits: Feature Image from Cannas and Jim’s Beautiful Pre-Wedding in Perth by Mocco Photography.