Friday, January 18, 2008

Upon Entering Married Life

One friend who got married years ahead of me told me that married life and dating life were two very different things. Before getting married, I also read some books on the topic and most of them warned the couples NOT to expect differences in the spouse's habits after they get married.

When I began to live together with my hubby, I wasn't surprised about his habits since I had known already his daily habits. What made me confused was knowing what he expected from me. I didn't know what kind of a wife he expected. Had he been an Indonesian guy, I would have probably known more or less what type of wife he had expected, but he's not an Indonesian guy.

So the first few weeks I was struggling to find out whether what I had done would be enough for him. I wanted to make sure I was okay in every aspect of our married life. I asked him directly after some time whether he had any complaints about me and I still keep this habit until now. I want to be the first to know if there's "trouble in paradise". I don't want to hear about this from someone else. My Brit friend MC told me that many men had complained to her about their wives and I DO NOT want my hubby to do such a thing. If there's "trouble in paradise", I want us to talk about it and solve it right away.

Another test for us upon entering married life was trust in our financial affairs. You see, hubby has two kinds of savings account: the regular one and the one with a higher interest. The one with the higher interest is the type of savings that can only be withdrawn maximum twice a year. If you have to withdraw more than twice a year from that account, then you'll be penalized by the bank.

Well, since I brought some savings from Indonesia, I wanted to keep them in two separate accounts. I told hubby that it'd be better if I keep a large amount of my savings in his account with a higher interest so that both of us can get bigger interest since we'll be putting a larger amount of money there. Then I also wanted to open my own account in which I put a small amount of money for practical uses.

At first hubby was a bit worried he he he he he...but in the end he decided that my idea was better. So we both have access to the account with a higher interest, whereas each of us has our own savings account for practical uses.

Another bit of trouble upon entering married life was that I wanted hubby to commit himself to save a certain amount of money per month (after he got a steady job, not beforehand). It didn't matter how much or how little it was as long as he could keep on saving every month. I asked him to think about it and choose the amount himself. I told him that I didn't care how he spent the rest of his salary, but I just wanted him to save some money per month. At first he kept on saying, "We'll see, we'll see."

At first I was a bit annoyed when hearing that since I wanted a straight answer. But now I've learnt that it meant that I should let him do it on his own terms and pace. It didn't mean that he wasn't listening to me or that he didn't like my idea or that he didn't want to commit himself.

In a way, it was also a trust test for me. I had to learn to trust him to do everything on his own terms and pace and not nag, nag, nag. I seriously had to control myself so that I wouldn't keep on asking him whether he had saved money that month or not. These days I don't need to remind him anymore (I only reminded him for the first month after he got a job), since I can check it up myself in the joined account. And I'm pleased to say that he's still saving money to that joined account almost every month.

Marriage is definitely a test of character. I'm more of a planner, whereas he's more of a "carpe diem" sort of guy. Whenever I try to make plans that are too far away in the future, he'll say, "We'll see" or even "I can't plan that far ahead". It's also good for me 'coz he's helped me learn to enjoy the moment more than before and his character balances out that planner side in me. After all, no matter how many plans you have and how wonderful your plans are, there's always a possibility of their not working out as you hope. Life is totally unpredictable anyway and balance is the key!

Well, this is just my ramblings upon entering married life he he he...It just occured to me the other day that I hadn't really talked about this in my blog he he he...OK, I'm going to blog-hop now!!!


  1. I like this - "balance is the key!"

    This one was really good, Amel. I think it is a better balance when the two in a relatrionship are different as two the same might get to be too much, but when you are different it takes constant balancing and lots of good communication and trust.

    Our marriage is similar to yours, I'm the saver and planner - hubby is the one who leaps into life to see where it will take him.

    When we met online he joked that these symbols are us
    \ and /
    I'm \ because I'm always leaning back, slowing down to think etc etc.
    He's / because he's always wanting to go, rush in, do...
    so together we're \/ and I slow him down when he's too impulsive and he makes me trust and take chances more.


  2. Hi, M!!!

    I always love reading your comments and your stories he he...Yeah, when two people are different in dealing with urgent/important matters, then it takes lots of effective communication and trust indeed. :-)))'s funny what your hubby said, but it's a good thing. And V = Victory HE HE HE HE HE HE...

    You're right, as well about doing versus slowing down. My hubby also helps me become more flexible and not too rigid in my plans he he he...;-D

  3. It is not easy to married with someone who diffirent culture than us. BUT, as long as we can adaptation each other than it is oke.

    Is it easy to open own account with your own name?? In here, sooooo difficult. To open account in bank with own name, must have WORK. In the end i can open my own account with my own name, because coincidence i got job even only couple weeks hi hi hi...because of that i can have account in bank with my own name ^______^

  4. Jul: I can't believe it's THAT hard to open an account in Holland. As long as I brought money, even I didn't have a job, I could open an account easily, Jul!!! But the only thing I can't have is a credit card HA HA HA...which is GOOD!!! ;-D

  5. It's great that he's saving money. My husband and I also have to balance each other out because our personalities are so opposite in some ways.

  6. Kathy: Yeah, I'm REALLY happy about that. :-)))

    Cheers to balancing each other out!!! ;-D

  7. What an insightful post. This post certainly revealed some nice things for me in the future huh :P

    On the area of trust, I was talking to an old guy selling lucky charms the other day and he was telling me alot of stuff about relationships especially how trust is important. What a coincidence lol...

    Unfortunately since I'm not married, I have no valuable comments to add :P Just that it was interesting. Maybe you should think less about satisfying your husband and get him to do something similar?

    You might wear yourself out...

  8. Shan: LOL!!! Yeah, what a coincidence! ;-D

    Hey, in a marriage you can't think of yourself too'd ruin everything!!! :-)))

    The truth is, when you go all out on love for your spouse...well, (hopefully) she/he'll give back more to it's like a never-ending positive cycle. It's a win-win situation. But of course if you're unlucky and you've got an ungrateful spouse, then...I don't know what to say...

  9. You're a planner and your hubby is not. So, it's balance. My hubby loves to cook and I love to eat, so, it's balance, right?! He he he he he... just kidding!! ;D

    Seriously speaking, I always stress on consistency and communication before hubby and I got married. However, sometimes, these two things are neglected, so, it's a challenge. I expect him to do this and that and vice versa. Yeah, it's not easy, but I'm not complaining. We are learning to compromise and all. :)

  10. Choc Mint Girl: HE HE HE HE...your hubby loves to cook? That's WONDERFUL! ;-D

    You're right, though...effective communication can be a challenge. :-))) But we live, we learn he he he...hopefully we get better and better as we grow together with our spouses. *wink*