Now that you have a ring on your finger, you are suddenly faced with a list of a thousand things to do to prepare for your big wedding day. Among the hustle and bustle of the wedding plans, preparing for life after the wedding day is often thrown to the side while colors, dresses, and decorations take the lead. Though planning for your big day is important, you must not fail to prepare for the transition to your new lifestyle after the wedding day. It may seem overwhelming at first, but preparing ahead of time for life with your spouse after the wedding can help you start your marriage off on the right foot.

Discuss expectations

Before you get married, discuss with your fiancé what each of your expectations for marriage are in various categories. For example, who is expected to do the housework? Will it be divided up among you or will one individual be expected to do all the work? Discussing expectations such as housework can help you both come to an agreement on various issues. Discussing your expectations will help you both to be on the same page and to have a plan of action for your future. It is much better to discuss expectations before the marriage, instead of getting major surprises after you say "I do."

Don't expect your spouse to be a mind reader

When you are engaged, and later married, it is easy to feel that you and your fiancé know each other very well. Though you may have a good relationship and know a lot about each other, you can't expect your fiancé to always know what you are thinking or what you need. When there is something on your mind, whether it is an emotion you are experiencing or an expectation for your spouse, that particular task won't be accomplished or that emotion handled properly unless you open your mouth. Though it would be nice to have a spouse who always knows exactly what we need, that is not a realistic expectation. Understanding this concept during engagement will relieve a lot of extra stress that both you and your fiancé don't need to experience.

Practice healthy communication

Communication is the key to a strong, healthy relationship. If you and your fiancé can learn to have open communication and be active listeners, then many of the problems that arise once you're married won't threaten your marriage. Adjusting to marriage is no easy task, but if you and your fiancé can talk about the transition and your feelings associated with the various adjustments, then you will be able to get through the rough patches easier. Being able to openly share your feelings about the changes you are experiencing can be comforting, but don't forget to talk about the positive things you are experiencing as well. Preparing for your wedding and life after the wedding can be a hectic time, but learning to communicate with your fiancé can help strengthen your relationship and trust in each other.

Set your social priorities

Before the wedding day would be a great time to start setting your social priorities. When you get married, no other relationship in your life should be more important than your relationship between you and your spouse. However, getting married doesn't mean you have to drop all of your other relationships. It is still great to go grab a bite to eat with the girls or watch a game with the guys occasionally, as long as it isn't taking away from valuable bonding time with your spouse.

Create a distraction-free time each day

In our fast-paced world, it's hard to have one-on-one time with those closest to us. Setting aside a specific time each day where electronics are turned off and you can be alone together can help you and your fiancé strengthen your relationship and truly get to know each other better. Examples include turning all electronics off during dinner time or setting a "technology bedtime" where you turn off all electronics after a certain time each night. Having a distraction-free time each day can help you and your fiancé practice good communication and listening skills.

Exercise patience

When you seal the deal on your wedding day, it becomes easier to notice the flaws in your spouse that you didn't notice before. The perfect picture you had of him or her suddenly doesn't seem so perfect anymore. Though you will notice faults and annoying habits in your spouse, it is important to recognize that you also have faults or annoying habits that may be bothering your spouse. Instead of being nit-picky and pointing out your spouse's faults all the time, practice exercising patience. Take time to focus on all the positive characteristics that your spouse has and don't get bogged down by seemingly small faults. Don't let one annoying habit blind you to all the good habits he or she has.

Adjusting to marriage will not be a perfect experience, but taking time to prepare for possible adjustments ahead of time will help you feel better prepared to handle whatever comes your way. Making the transition to marriage may seem like a rollercoaster with ups and downs at times, but if you stay close to your spouse and constantly nourish that relationship, the ride will be fun and enjoyable.

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