Many brides, myself included, ecstatic over the prospect of getting married, float along in a happy fog, caught up in the whirlwind of wedding planning. As a bride, I remember being extremely excited to start a new life, a new journey with my soulmate. I simply couldn't wait! Only after stepping into married life did I realise on hindsight that actually there are many aspects of married life that newlyweds commonly overlook or neglect, resulting in misunderstandings and confusions that could have been avoided if both parties were on the same page from the start. Finances
Money is often at the root of many quarrels. With the fundamental changes that come with marriage, you are no longer spending only on or for yourself. Conversations on spending habits, opening joint accounts and saving for big-ticket items together are a necessary topic to bring up and discuss with one another. You don’t want to be shocked over his massive handphone bill nor does he need to cause a scene over the $3000 handbag you plan to buy with your annual bonus.
From paying the bills to cleaning the toilets to getting the weekly groceries, some might assume that the husband would pay the bills and the wife would clean the house. But with most couples being dual-income nowadays, roles are often shared, if not reversed. Before you blithely assume that he has the electricity bills settled, have a chat to make sure that between the two of you, you've got all the bases covered. Otherwise you both just might find yourselves sitting in the dark, with no dinner! Concerning the Parents
Sensitive topics involving his parents and yours should be laid out for discussion. Are you going to stay with his parents after the wedding? Will your allowance to your parents reduce now that you have bigger financial responsibilities such as the house and children and other joint-expenses? A Roof over Your Head
Unless you had signed up for an HDB together before you applied for your ROM certification, you will need to have a big talk on where to live after the wedding. In my case, I had an even more momentous one, trying to decide which country to relocate to. This will lead to the first big financial decision (other than the wedding and honeymoon) that you'll make as a married couple--the question about housing--, and both your opinions matter. HDB or Condo? 3-room, 4-room or 5-room? BTO or resale? Will you be living near your parents or his? Kids or No Kids
...Or maybe "not yet." It's much better to have an agreed response ready than to be caught off-guard by nosy relatives or overly-concerned parents. Your better half might have dreams that he wants fulfil together as a couple before having children, or you might want a more established career before going on maternity leave. Having and raising a child isn't easy, with all the impacts it will have on your lives financially, emotionally and physically.
There are plenty of other topics you'll need to talk through with your partner, but the above five serve to set you on the right path for a happy, healthy marriage.
Written by Kally Tay Edited by Priscilla Lai
* Kally Tay is a writer who used to be a bride from Annabel Law Productions and a friendship blossomed with Bel after her wedding. She loves to share her knowledge of being a mum and her corporate experiences though her blog at Middle Me.