33 Mistakes All Rookie Husbands Make
Don't let these errors cause a rift in your relationship.
Getting married is one of the most exhilarating times of your life: You're totally in love, and you have an entire lifetime together to look forward to. But while the honeymoon phase of your marriage is bound to be exciting, it can also be tricky to navigate—a reality that leads many new husbands to make some major errors once they've said "I do." In fact, research from the American Sociological Association reveals that more women are initiating divorces than men these days—and it might just have something to do with how their husbands behave after that walk down the aisle.
We're not just talking about leaving dirty socks on the floor or being more focused on the big game than your spouse, either. These are some serious blunders that can make your marriage splinter. So, before you start making the kind of fumbles you can't easily rebound from, read up on these mistakes rookie husbands make. And if you want to make sure your partnership goes the distance, read up on the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.
1. Not splitting the household chores.
Want to keep your relationship strong and healthy? Then it's time to do your part around the house.
"New husbands may falsely assume that both partners will gladly or willingly adopt household chores and duties according to traditional gender roles," says certified life coach and relationship expert Michelle Fraley, founder and owner of Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, women who were stuck doing the bulk of the family dishwashing were less happy in their relationships than those whose husbands were doing their fair share.
And even if you're in a same-sex relationship, this still holds true: Split the household responsibilities, or it might be you and your spouse splitting in the future. And to know which household duties you need to tackle, discover the 15 Chores Every Dad Should Do.
2. Only offering affection in a romantic context.
Sure, you may be excited to get intimate with your new spouse, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be providing affection outside of a romantic context, too.
"Offer physical affection outside of the bedroom," says Fraley. "Massages, a hand on [their] leg in the car, kissing, hugging, and holding hands are important ways to maintain a strong level of intimacy."
3. Expecting your partner to handle most of the childcare.
Expecting your partner to handle all the child-rearing responsibilities, whether it's because of their gender, their income, or how your own parents did things, is a mistake too many husbands make. According to a study from Ohio State University, when children enter the picture, men help less with childcare than their female partners—even when both have similar workloads outside of the home.
"Our expectations of what constitutes a 'man's role' versus a 'woman's role' are shaped by many things, including our own family and life experiences," says Fraley. "This is a topic that must be discussed, not simply assumed." And if you're on the fence about parenthood, check out these 20 Subtle Signs You're Not Ready to Have Kids.
4. Spending without considering your partner.
When you get married, you're suddenly part of a team—and that means spending money without consulting your spouse may be a much bigger issue than it was in the past. This is especially true if you're a couple filing your taxes together—if you're spending a ton of money your spouse doesn't know about, that becomes your joint responsibility when it's time to write that check to Uncle Sam.
5. Expecting that sex will be the same as when you were dating.
Sex is still important to your relationship once you're married, but that doesn't mean you'll always have the rip-each-other's-clothes-off passion you had when you were dating. When in doubt, ask your partner what they want—and don't expect that just because you're in the mood, they will be too. And if you and your partner aren't connecting in the bedroom, check out these 12 Ways to Repair a Sexless Marriage, According to Marriage Counselors.
6. Assuming you know what your partner wants in bed.
Similarly, that bedroom song and dance you and your spouse enjoyed early in your relationship won't necessarily be what he or she is into a few years down the line.
"New husbands may feel overconfident and believe that their bedroom skills are working for their partner when perhaps they aren't," says Fraley. "Sexual satisfaction, including specific expectations and desires, is a discussion that needs to happen early on in the marriage to make sure both partners are getting their needs met."
7. Making your partner take responsibility for everything.
Hopefully, your decision to get married came about from a passionate love for your partner, not a need to be taken care of. But some new husbands do more than just lean on their partner for support—they want their spouse to be responsible for everything from cooking to scheduling, a burden that can quickly become overwhelming.
8. Getting too comfortable.
Sure, living together can make a couple more comfortable, but that doesn't mean all mystery needs to fly out the window the second you tie the knot. If you've decided that getting married gives you license to leave your dirty clothes wherever you please, take showers once a week, and leave the bathroom door open, don't be surprised to find your partner less-than-thrilled with your behavior. And if you want to spice up your romance, start with The 50 Best Bonding Activities for Married Couples.
9. Voluntarily keeping different schedules.
While a few late nights at work or a third-shift job won't necessarily make or break your relationship, having completely different schedules certainly can. In fact, one study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that when a couple went to bed together at the same time, the female partner had more positive views of their relationships the following day. And for indicators that your relationship is on its last legs, discover these 27 Subtle Signs That Will Predict the End of Your Relationship.
10. Making major plans without consulting your partner.
It's not just surprise spending that can get new husbands in trouble. Sweeping your spouse off their feet with a last-minute trip or throwing them a weeknight surprise party may seem romantic to you, but it doesn't take into account your partner's schedule—or feelings.
11. Forgoing date nights.
Just because you've decided to stick things out for the long haul doesn't mean you don't need to work at your relationship anymore. Marriage may provide some consistency and comfort, but date nights are still just as important as they were before you said "I do."
12. Assuming you'll spend every second together.
Acting like getting married guarantees you companionship 24/7 is a mistake many rookie husbands make. Sure, you may live together, pay bills together, and file your taxes together, but that doesn't mean your partner's former life and commitments have faded away. "It is important that both men and women maintain friendships and enjoy social time both as a couple and as individuals," says Fraley.
13. Not including your partner in your plans.
On the flip side of that coin, completely ignoring your partner when you make plans is no better. Can you still spend time with your friends without your spouse? Of course. Is it still nice to ask if they want to come sometimes? Definitely.
14. Always prioritizing work over your relationship.
Your work may be important to you, but it's not something you can come home to at night. When you're married, your work can't come first 100 percent of the time. If you want to keep your relationship on solid ground, then your spouse, their time, and your desire to spend time with one another need to be priorities, too.
15. Assuming the financial responsibility without asking.
Being a husband doesn't make you the automatic breadwinner in your family—nor should it. Assuming that you'll take over all financial responsibility after you tie the knot can be just as upsetting to your partner as deciding that you won't shoulder any of the financial burden.
16. Being too critical of your partner.
Even if your new marital status has made you acutely aware of how your partner chews, hums along to music, or sloppily folds laundry, engaging in a constant stream of criticism isn't going to make anyone happy.
17. Engaging in emotional infidelity.
Even if you're not actually sleeping with someone else, that doesn't mean you're being entirely faithful to your spouse. While it's healthy and normal to maintain relationships with people you cared about prior to getting married, if your relationship with certain friends is overly flirtatious—or if you find yourself confiding in them instead of your spouse—you're entering dangerous territory.
18. Getting between your spouse and their friends.
Of course you should be your spouse's friend—but that doesn't mean you should be their only friend.
"Now that they're married, a new husband may think that his wife no longer needs her squad. They are strong, confident men and think they can be everything to their wife: a lover, a confidant, a playmate, and a partner," says Fraley. "New husbands need to understand that, no matter how much his wife loves him, he'll never be her girlfriend!"
19. Rushing into big decisions right after the wedding.
The honeymoon period can be an exciting one for couples, but that doesn't always mean it's an ideal time to make big choices about the future of your relationship. While it may seem like a great time to decide to have kids, move to a new country, or buy a house, you're still getting your sea legs as a married couple, so it's often a better bet to wait.
20. Trying to change your partner.
While couples should grow together in their marriage, trying to change your spouse the second that ring is on his or her finger is never a good choice. You may be legally bound, but they're not your property.
21. Bottling up your feelings.
Being emotionally explosive is certainly no way to maintain a healthy relationship, but that doesn't mean bottling up those feelings is any better. We know you want to keep your relationship stable, but you don't have to suppress your own wants and needs to do so.
22. Treating your partner like a roommate.
Whether you're refusing to share space in the fridge or leaving your spouse's dishes in the sink and only washing your own, treating your spouse like it's every person for themselves is hardly a recipe for relationship success. Not everything is going to be a 50/50 split in a relationship, and that's okay—but acting as though your spouse is way out of line for finishing the toothpaste isn't.
23. Letting every disagreement become a fight.
If your partner didn't empty the dishwasher or forgot to take out the trash, don't let that turn into a marital war. While it can be frustrating to pick up someone else's slack, letting what should be minor disagreements turn into full-blown arguments will only lead to disaster in the long run.
24. Forgetting to be polite.
Just because you're married doesn't mean you shouldn't still try to be polite. Even if your spouse simply brings you a cup of coffee in the morning, "please" and "thank you" still go a long way toward making someone feel appreciated.
25. Shutting down when you're mad.
Letting your anger boil over isn't healthy, but shutting out your spouse when you're upset about something isn't any better. Even when it feels like a near-impossible task, it's important to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse. You've made a commitment to one another, so don't assume that they'll leave you in the cold if you speak your mind.
26. Not making intimacy a priority.
Sex isn't everything in a marriage—but it isn't nothing either. Assuming that you can put sex on the back burner because you and your partner have a legal commitment to one another is just a recipe for unhappiness.
27. Getting a pet without asking.
You love dogs and so does your spouse, so it only makes sense that you'd get one as a sweet surprise for them, right? Well, not quite. Adding any responsibilities to your spouse's already-full plate without consulting them can be a major overstep—and a hard one to bounce back from, too.
28. Refusing to take initiative in decision-making.
While being domineering in a relationship isn't helpful, expecting your significant other to always take the lead in the decision-making process is no better. If you want your relationship to be both happy and healthy in the long term, it pays to work together when it comes to making major choices.
29. Expecting your spouse to parent the same way you do.
Just because you always saw yourselves sending your kids to private school or having one parent stay at home doesn't mean your spouse necessarily feels the same way—and this kind of miscommunication can cause a major disconnect.
30. Bringing your family into all of your decisions.
While your family may be a big part of your life, it's important to realize that, as a married person, you've got a brand-new family to consider. And while it's certainly not that your parents, siblings, or extended family can't be a major part of your life and choices, weighing their opinions as heavily as those of your spouse won't serve you well in the long run.
31. Trying to win every argument.
If you're going to be with your significant other for a lifetime, then you're bound to have to more disagreements than you can count. So pick your battles. At the end of the day, when it comes to making things work, it's more important to be kind than it is to be right.
32. Forgetting to be your spouse's friend.
Being married doesn't mean you should forgo the most essential part of your relationship: your friendship. In fact, it's more important than ever to remember you're on the same team.
33. Looking out for only yourself.
Is it really that much work to pour your partner a glass of wine if you're pouring one for yourself? Is filling up your spouse's tank when they're running low on gas that much of an imposition? When you're married, acting as though you're the only person who needs looking out for can cause a serious—possibly irreparable—rift. So, when in doubt, go the extra mile and make a little effort to ensure your spouse feels taken care of, even if the gesture is small. And to prepare for some of those inevitable marital hiccups, discover these 30 Ways Your Life Changes After Marriage That No One Tells You About.
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