Southeast Texas Couples Plan Their New Year

 

Every Southeast Texan has heard it before, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In terms of our Southeast Texas marriages this translates to something like, “Fifteen hours of planning prevents fifteen hours of arguing”.

While you have a little downtime over the holidays, sit down with your fiancee (or spouse) over a cup of coffee or mug of hot chocolate and plan some things each of you would like to see accomplished in the New Year.

Goals Setting for Southeast Texas married couples on SETXweddings

Some things you’ll already be on the same page about. Others will be surprises. Either way, the sooner they are on both of your radars the easier it will be to prioritize and make the important ones happen – and the sooner one of you can start letting go of the ones that just won’t happen this year.

Lots of factors will impact your collective decisions – money (though keep in mind the long-term picture. Money for a house may be scary today, but it will make the rest of your life easier than renting which may seem comfortable today), time (you’ll never have enough – being married divides your time, it does not multiply it), shared goals versus individual goals, merging your individual values and beliefs into something that the family can move forward on (are you merging faiths or exploring your faith? Spend some time together on SetxChurchGuide.com – there are lots of valuable tips as well as detailed information about Southeast Texas churches of all denominations).

Some decisions will be easy to compromise on. Others will be difficult. Some will be down right hard.

The earlier you deal with them though, the better chance you’ll have of moving past them with your love and relationship intact.

Here are some of the most common issues on Southeast Texas married couples list for planning the coming year:

  • Buying a House. Being married is for grown ups. So is owning a home. If you’re going to be in Southeast Texas for the next five years, buy a house. You’re paying a mortgage either way – if you’re renting, you are just paying a relative stranger’s mortgage.
  • Tackling Debt. Nothing will cripple a marriage like the stress that comes from debt. The best gift you can give your spouse is going into a marriage debt free. If you have debt, knock it down as quickly as possible. You can do it a number of ways. In our area, the Dave Ramsey plan is very popular. One Southeast Texas bride shares her Southeast Texas version of the Dave Ramsey plan on SetxChurchGuide.com. Whatever method you choose, just stick to it. In simplest terms, buying on credit is paying for shoes months after you’re already tired of them. 
  • Take a Vacation. All work and no play makes marriage boring. Get away together. Whether it is a quick weekend getaway to the Victorian in Galveston or a Disney Cruise with the kids or a trip of a lifetime to Paris or the Greek Isles, get away together. A weekend trip generates more positive lifetime memories for Southeast Texas married couples than three months of hard work.
  • Evaluate Your Careers. Is one of you working and resenting the fact that the other is at home? Are both of you working but you never get to see eachother? Is your spouse making big money offshore or in Afghanistan but you’re starting to forget what he looks like? Would you be happier running a business together (after the first 2-3 years of stress while you get up and running)? Whatever the perfect balance is for your Southest Texas marriage, you won’t achieve it if you never talk about it. Get on the same page this year.
  • Talk about your Extended Family. What is your responsibility to each set of in-laws? Should you expect to see each other three times a week or three times a year? The earlier you have the discussion, the more hard feelings and misunderstandings you’ll avoid. Your husband may be used to eating dinner with his family every Friday night (or vice versa). That may be way to often for you. Have the discussion early, before it divides a wall. The same goes for holiday visitation- do you alternate holidays or alternate years? Do you do an early Christmas with one and a late Christmas with the other? No Southeast Texas couple has the same ideal balance, but a conversation or two will help you find yours.
  • Talk Abut Merging Your Faiths. Whatever your beliefs, talking about them can help you find common ground. You’re Baptist and he’s Methodist? Visit both churches and talk about your experience. Visit a non-denominational Southeast Texas church together and talk again. You’ll find something that works. Are you Catholic and he’s Jewish? Maybe a few more conversations and some more difficult compromises – the earlier you talk about the issue the easier it will be to find common ground. Need help? Spend some time on SetxChurchGuide.com. They have information about Southeast Texas churches across denominations and a lot of Southeast Texas Christian bloggers from different denominations, backgrounds, and viewpoints that share their stories – many about finding balance in their own Southeast Texas marriages.
  • Talk about Kids. If you don’t already have kids, talk about your expectations – how many would you like? When? Where do you want to raise them? More and more often, Southeast Texas marriages come with starter families. One or both of you will already have kids. This makes starting a family easy, but still involves lots of discussions. Is your spouse adopting your child important to you? Do you say, “My son”, “My son from my husband’s previous marriage”, or “My stepson”. I always prefer, “My son”, but every family situation is different. Always keep in mind the long haul – after three , five, or ten years your bond with the child will continually grow and strengthen. If you have kids, start planning for their futures immediately. Put aside money for their future needs that is “off limits” to you and your spouse. You can have an account for their education (gone are the days that college education is the only way to ensure their entry into a comfortable lifestyle, but that money can be just as valuable for a trade school (we all know plumbers who own their business and that make more than engineers and roofers that make more than dentists) or going into business for themselves (trends will be different in eighteen years, but the equivalent of being able to set them up in a Chick-fil-A or Subway franchise for the right young adult would be unbelievable). Every MONTH you delay, will make it harder to meet the financial goals you have for assisting your child in their education/transition to the adult world. While you’re having the discussion, talk about cutoff dates – when your child needs to be moved out of the home, when you quit paying for school (after a failed year? After two years? After four years? After six years?), and when you stop paying for things like rent and car insurance. Again, you have time, but having the discussion sets everyone’s expectations.
  • Date Night? It may seem like something you’ll never need, but married life is very busy. Your career is a lot of work. Grocery shopping is more time consuming. Next time you’re at the grocery store, look at the basket a of a woman (or man – in our home the man is responsible for most grocery shopping) with three kids. Meal preparation is time consuming. The more people are in the house, the harder it is to keep clean – ditto with the yard. At some point, you’ll probably need to carve out something like a “date night” to ensure you and your spouse have some quality time together – to talk, hold hands, and have fun rather than “working hard to keep it all together”. If you find you’re out of touch with your date night options, visit EatDrinkSETX.com. From burgers to barbecue, they have detailed reviews, information, and recommendations. From live jazz brunches to buffalo tenderloin, EatDrinkSETX.com can recommend a restaurant, nightclub, or special event that will help you keep the home fires burning.

Our final tip for setting your goals for your marriage in the new year is our “big tip” that we offer all of our married couples and SETX married couples to be.

Never talk about separation or divorce. Some words you can never take back – and some solutions are the same way.

Once divorce, or separation, are on the table they are really never off the table again- years and decades go by with you knowing, “We talked about getting divorced- it can happen”.

Instead, try hard to say things like, “I can’t believe how upset I am right now, but together we’re going to have to find a way to move past this and get back where we need to be.”

Hopefully you’ll never need that last tip – but in many ways it is the most important one.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year to all of our Southeast Texas couples.

May the coming year be your best yet.

Looking for information on merging your faiths or finding a Southeast Texas home church?

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Are you looking for a perfect option for your Southeast Texas date night?

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In the New Year, are you looking for places to take your children?

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Each month, the Southeast Texas Kids Directory offers an extensive family friendly calendar with special events and happenings from all over Southeast Texas – Jefferson County, Orange County, Hardin County, Tyler County, and into Crystal Beach and Galveston. The Kids Directory is available for free pickup at over 400 Southeast Texas locations including Central Mall, Chic-fil-A Mid County and Beaumont, Baptist Hospital Orange, Christus Hospital Beaumont, pediatricians, kids and family dentists, salons, boutiques, furniture stores, and resale shops. Where there are lots of Southeast Texas moms, you can find the Kids Directory – the secret weapon of SETX Moms.

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