Nothing can really stop two people in love already wanting to take things to the next level—pandemic weddings are a testament to that! If you’re ready and excited to build the life of your dreams with your significant other, we’re here to remind you that you don’t really need to be stressed over the so-called “should be’s” of married life often insinuated by older generations. It’s 2021, and what worked for our parents and grandparents may no longer work for us. If you often feel like you’re not living up to their standards, don’t be! Here are some married life decisions you and your spouse can make without defending them to anyone:
1. Not signing up for a house right away even if budget permits it
It may make no sense to others if they know you can afford to pay a mortgage but choose not to at the moment. After all, a house is one of the most significant investments for couples. Having your own also gives a sense of achievement for the two of you. Many say this should be a priority. However, it’s also wise to choose to let your money grow more first. Paying a mortgage for years is no joke. Renting for some time allows you to think of where you really want to spend the rest of your lives together, create your own opportunities there, and make money work for you, instead of being tied to work where you are now just to keep up with mortgage payments.
2. Not taking your husband’s last name
Did you know that in our country, a married woman may choose to keep her maiden name? You read it right, and that’s as legal and feminist as it can be. In public and government forms and documents, you can just change your marital status from single to married, and keep your maiden name as is. This may raise some eyebrows and you’ll likely receive unsolicited comments and discouragements. Be the one to educate them how it’s okay to be normalized and if they refuse to be educated, ignore. You’re happily married. Don’t let their pettiness ruin it even for a second.
3. Going to a marriage counselor
Married life isn’t rainbows and unicorns. There will always be tough times. You’re still two completely different people after all. Even if you’ve been boyfriend-girlfriend for long, you’ll still discover more of your partner’s traits and habits that can bring out the worst in you. It’s unfortunate that there’s still stigma attached to counseling. The need for marriage counseling, in particular, doesn’t necessarily mean there’s insanity, addiction, infidelity, or abuse involved. With marriage counseling, tired and busy couples can sit down together with a mediator and facilitator of effective communication. Behavioral patterns that bring conflict can be analyzed professionally. This way, underlying issues can be confronted, and dealing with misunderstandings can be modified for a healthier relationship. We all want that, don’t we?
4. Choosing to not have kids right away
There will always be people who can’t shut up about our biological clocks. Don’t be pressured! Now that you’re married and under one roof, you have all the time in the world to enjoy each other’s company, travel, talk about future plans, and dreams, and achieve more together. Build memories and just enjoy the honeymoon phase. It’s you who absolutely know when you’re emotionally and financially ready for a “plus 1”.
If you already have a kid, others’ question is “When will be the next one?” Some may insist that “the more, the merrier”. Most of the time, it’s just a conversation starter or a way to avoid dead air, though not a good one. Just be the bigger person and don’t take it too seriously!
4. Choosing to not have kids at all
As long as you’ve talked about it and agreed on it, no problem at all! Being a parent isn’t for everyone, and it’s a good thing to be self-aware that it’s not for you. Some will always elaborate how fulfilling it is to have your own kid. Chances are you already know why it’s fulfilling and why it won’t equate to anything in the world. However, just like being a doctor, teacher, or any other “dream job”, it’s gives fulfillment to others but you know deep inside when your soul craves something else. Also, with crises everywhere, it does make sense not to bring a child into this reality, so never ever be guilty or ashamed of it, plus you’re saving a lot of the planet’s resources. As being child-free may also mean physical, emotional, and financial freedom, go ahead and live your best life with your SO!