When you get married something happens…two people suddenly realize they have different normals. It can range from the littlest of things to the biggest. Hopefully most of these things can be talked about and ironed out pre-marriage. But some things you find out as time progresses. Seth and I still come across things.
When we first got married…like literally our first night home from our honeymoon, I went to start laundry. He was helping me sort through our clothes and started a pile for underwear only. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I wash underwear separately.” I replied, “okay.. but I don’t”. We hadn’t discussed “roles” per-say but I knew I was home more than him (and he hates doing laundry) so I would be doing most of the laundry. Which I was completely fine with..until he just upped my work of laundry loads! It didn’t stop there though…he then created a pile for colors. So now I had four piles of laundry sitting on the floor in front of me. Whites, darks, colors, and underwear. I was a two loads kinda girl…lights, darks, and let’s call it a day! Seth began to insist why we needed to do the loads this way. “Underwear can not be washed with clothes” he told me, “that is gross.” “Ummm okay…but they are coming out clean, right? So…….what’s the problem?” I was so annoyed with him. I said, “so, when we have kids I will have 5-6 loads of laundry with all of the separation we have happening here?!” At which point I informed him that doing the laundry could be his duty then. Fast forward two years and I do the laundry, two loads for us..and call it a day! And Seth’s underwear and clothes seem to be just perfect 😉 lol
Obviously this example is a silly one that isn’t really a deep issue. But like I said, they can range. I have come into our marriage with all of my normals. How I grew up doing holidays, the way I saw my parents interact, the way my parents parented, the types of family vacations, what I placed value for spending money on..ect. And Seth came into our marriage with all of those same normals that weren’t all the same as mine. So what do you do when your normals don’t match? Well, you create new normals.
Sounds easier then it really is. Some are super easy to adapt to. Some of my normals Seth really liked and so he just adapted to them and now that’s our normal, and some of his I did the same for. But some require meeting in the middle or compromise. Ugh. Sometimes that just isn’t that fun. When you get two strong people together like Seth and I, it can have its difficulties when it comes to these areas. I think sometimes we must sound like we are lawyers trying to convince each other why our norm is the right one, haha.
No relationship will be exempt from this. Unless you or your spouse, are just a yes person and will go along with whatever the other one wants. Otherwise, you will have to create a life of your “normals” together. The key word there is “together”. It is now you and your spouse. You have to talk through and come up with your NEW life. Is a sit down dinner together as a family every night something you both want, or is it dinner in front of the TV? Holidays with both sides of the family, alternating , or home in your own house? Church every Sunday, or every few weeks? The trash can in your kitchen may be overflowing because you always saw your dad take out the trash so you are expecting your husband to take it out, but in his home the trash would overflow until his mom would finally take it out. Sounds so silly, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, but these are the things married couples can end up arguing over. Instead of assuming that your way of doing things is the way your spouse will do it, or is the right way, talk things out. Communicate by saying something simple that will allow for conversation, not a sense of confrontation. Example: “hey babe, are you going to take out the trash out to the curb for pickup, or is that something that you would like me to keep up with?” This way you aren’t kicking the trash cans and mumbling under your breathe as you drag them to the street annoyed that your spouse didn’t take care of this for you like your dad always did.
I think the biggest problem when figuring out how things will be done in your marriage and family is assumption. As soon as you assume that your spouse does things the way you do you are in for a lot of disappointment, haha. As you notice things that they do differently talk about it. Communication is your best friend in any relationship. Your decision for a specific thing might end up being nothing like what your childhood home was like, you might both need to start on a clean slate in that area making a decision together.
As you adapt into these new normals you will find a sense of “home”. You are now creating a life with someone. And you have found your new normal. 🙂
All photos by: Sarah Schweyer Photography