View Full Version : How difficult was it when you first got married?

07-18-2008, 12:32 AM
A question for you married folks (and unmarried folks might learn something here).

What was it like for you when you first got married? Was money tight? Was a baby coming (or already there?)? Did you have to live with in-laws?

I'll start.

I got a new job right after graduation in 1996 that paid $9.50 an hour. No overtime yet. We got married (it was planned for a long time) two months later. We got an apartment at around $400 a month. She didn't have a job yet. So, for the first few months, money was really tight until I went on the road for my job, then we had enough money to live comfortably. Not extravagently, though.

After coming off the road, it was back to 40-50 hour weeks. We had to stick to an absolute grocery budget and carry a calculator. We had to pay bills days before they were due. Most of our furniture was donated.

Eventually she got a part-time job, while I worked full time. Then she started going to school and I got a new job in late 1997. Then things got a lot easier.

We bought our house in 2000 and have lived there ever since.

The baby is scheduled to be born March 1.


07-18-2008, 12:36 AM
My ex-wife was an hier to oil money. After eighteen years of marriage, I got tired of waiting for the inheritance.

07-18-2008, 12:38 AM
My ex-wife was an hier to oil money. After eighteen years of marriage, I got tired of waiting for the inheritance.
:eek: You killed 'em?

07-18-2008, 12:40 AM
My first marriage back in 83' was out of pure lust.:D I dated the guy for a year and should have known better. Let's see.....I was working, money was tight, I was 1 month pregnant but didn't know it, a month later he turned into a crack addict, lost his job and my marriage went to hell in a hand basket!

When my current husband and I got together life was much better. My daughter was 6, money was still tight, he owned a home which was very good but we were both on the same value and life track. It's been 19 years and the kid is 24, money is still tight, we've still got the house, we are older but still crazy................life is good.:)

07-18-2008, 12:43 AM
:eek: You killed 'em?I didn't eat them if that's what you mean.

07-18-2008, 12:44 AM
A question for you married folks (and unmarried folks might learn something here).

What was it like for you when you first got married? Was money tight? Was a baby coming (or already there?)? Did you have to live with in-laws?

1. It's hard to remember what it was like that far back. I mostly remember that at the time he hated his job. He said to me, "Don't ask me how my day was (each day) because I don't want to talk about my job." Gee. That sure made it hard to have a conversation at dinner. I, on the other hand, liked my job.

2. Was money tight? Yes, and it still is.

3. Yes. Baby was on the way. (And I would not recommend getting married after only knowing someone for 3 months)

4. Nope. But I had relatives living on the first floor. (We were on the third floor)

07-18-2008, 01:11 AM
Compared to the engagement period, being married was seriously awesome for me.

I came back from China 9 months before we got married, basically with nothing, and I spent those months working long hours at a crappy minimum wage job, living in a room in a friend's house and barely being able to make rent, and shuttling myself to my fiance's apartment every evening. I was tired all the time, had no money (he had to give me money to get by and paid for all the food we ate), and all I wanted to do was get married so we could move on with our lives.

Shortly before we got married I walked out on my crappy job and got a new awesome job for twice the pay. My husband had and still has an awesome job. Both of us were making more than we ever had. Okay, we weren't rolling in money, but it sure as heck beat scrounging to make my rent every month!

So when we got married, it was great. I no longer had to worry about money, I got to furnish our apartment, etc. etc.

Also, EVERYONE warned us that there would be this huge "adjustment" period after marriage, where we both realized we weren't perfect, fought a lot, etc. etc. This never happened. Still hasn't. I think it's because we were very down to earth and realistic when we were dating. We were aware of each others' faults and dealt with them before the wedding. Plus, for us dating wasn't about going on a series of romantic adventures that ended when we got married. Our dating life primarily consisted of snuggling on the couch watching a movie, making dinner together, etc. Which is basically what our married life is like.

The one downside (TMI warning) was that on our wedding night we discovered I had a medical issue that made sex EXCRUCIATING for me. A couple of bad GYNs told me the only way to "cure" it was to keep having sex, so it continued to be a nightly ordeal for about 6 months. Essentially sex was like having a hot knife shoved into my gut. I cried every time, which wasn't exactly a turnon for him! And then of course doing that gave me really bad associations with sex, so neither of us really enjoyed it for about the first year. We're ok now though. :)

BUT there was also a good side to that horrific experience, and that was both of us realizing how much we loved each other. That it wasn't just about sex or lust for us - that if we could never have sex again, for whatever reason, we would still want to be together forever. And I am never, ever insecure about "does he love me?" "does he find me attractive?" Because I KNOW.

Jersey Chick
07-18-2008, 01:19 AM
Whew... this is 11 years ago -

I was working days, my husband was working nights. We got married in June and for the rest of the summer, only saw each other about an hour a day. We'd just bought a townhouse, but had no furniture except for a bedroom set and a desk and chair. The desk went in the living room to hold the 19" tv we owned. Our kitchen set was a small folding table and two chairs that scratched the hell out of the floor tiles.

Actually, the whole day/night thing worked out, because we didn't argue over who got to sit in the chair to watch tv. :)

We ordered living room furniture after our honeymoon, and it arrived after Labor Day. I still have the set.

Money was always tight. He switched jobs the fall after our wedding and worked as a greenskeeper. They don't make a lot of money, btw.

We were married 3 years when I got pregnant with our daughter was born. I finished college, but didn't walk because I was three months pregnant and felt too lousy. Her birth is what pushed my husband into joining a union, so he began a 5 year apprenticeship and I was able to stay home with the baby.

We stayed in that townhouse for ten years - with my son and daughter sharing a room - until it just got too crowded. Last August, after ten years of marriage, we were able to buy a house. And we were able to furnish it as well. A far cry from the one chair and 19" tv (which finally died about 2 months ago, at the ripe old age of 18 years old)

We were fortunate that we never had to live with either set of in-laws. We were very careful with money - and have made some pretty wise investment choices, which helps us out in times like now - when my husband sits on the bench for a long spell (that's what they call it when union guys are unemployed). We try to make sure to save whatever we can, because those stretches can be looooooong and we live on unemployment.

07-18-2008, 01:38 AM
We lived in NYC while he got his PhD in Education, and times were tight. I supported us as a creative consultant. We were inventive with entertainment because we didn't have any money. We'd walk the streets of the West Village during the holidays singing Christmas carols. I'd take the subway to Columbia University where he studied, and we'd walk the 6 miles home, checking out the different people and neighborhoods. We ate a lot of pizza, but we were incredibly close. When we moved to LA for a big job for me, we made money. Sometimes I miss the creative days, when we enjoyed simple things and wished for more and celebrated.

Money doesn't equate to happiness. Joy does.

Don Allen
07-18-2008, 01:48 AM
We've been on our honeymoon now for 5 years, seriously, Don't have a ton of money but what we do is pay the bills then take whats left and blow it on fun...
Why??? because my wife and I our 21 years apart and we agreed that we can't really wait for financial security for fear of death, most notably mine. So we just live day to day and quite frankly, are having the times of ourlives, between playing Tennis, taking trips and did I mention sex, whoops can't forget that one...

Alpha Echo
07-18-2008, 01:48 AM
Oh man. We moved into our house a month after our wedding. We are now trying to dump the house. Money is tight. He hates his job. He travels and is gone more than he's home. In general, life is really difficult right now. I hope it gets easier or at least more happy and enjoyable. Soon.

At least the sex is still AMAZING and OFTEN!!! (when he's home anyway) ;)

07-18-2008, 01:51 AM
I was laid off a month after we got married (and I had just purchased us a house around 6 months before), so money was definitely tight. I changed jobs again later that year, and shortly after, my MIL moved in with us for about 2 years (because she was getting laid off). That wasn't as bad as it sounds, though, because she and I get along great. My wife couldn't stand having someone around who constantly harasses her for not cleaning and cooking 24/7. :)

07-18-2008, 02:01 AM
Mr. Moon and I met two months before I graduated from college and he had a year to go so we split up and wrote love letters back and forth because it was BE (before email) and we were too cheap to phone. We'd meet on the odd weekends I wasn't working as a librarian and I became pregnant seven months later. We moved in together later that fall and married a year later, when our daughter was seven months old.

Money was always an issue but never a sore spot, it was what it was and we measured entertainment against how many gallons of milk that money would buy (still do). Now, fifteen years later money is better, the kids have grown to a brood of five and we're still crazy about each other. Were the early years hard? Yes. We had a lot of growing up to do but we went into this knowing being together is a choice and not a fairy tale.

Would I do it again with the same man? Hell yes. :D

07-18-2008, 02:12 AM
We got our first apartment right after I turned 20. He was 27. We both had crappy jobs and combined we probably made $12.00 per hour(maybe less). We had dated about a year when we got our apartment. It was a one bedroom apartment and all we had was a bedroom suit, a giant pillow to put in the living room floor, a T.V and a T.V. Stand. We had a tiny bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and that's it. That was the best apartment we ever had because there was a little fenced in back yard where we could have cook outs. I remember taking our paychecks and making envelopes labled : laundry money, bus money, gas and cigarette money :) I put a $20 bill in each of those envelopes and it had to last probably the whole month.Our rent was $365.00 per month.

He had a beat up old car and I rode public transportation. Soon we had a daughter on the way, we got married, and moved to a bigger apartment. I quit smoking when I was pregnant and soon we got rid of the beat up old car and traded it in for another beat up car which I got to drive-then he took the bus.

We never lived with anyone's in-laws. One of the reasons I moved out of my dad's is it was cheaper for me to get my own place than what I was paying my dad to live there and I vowed I'd work 3 jobs before I'd ever move back in with my mother.

We bought our first house when I was 26 and we're still in it now.

We will be married 17 years on August 1. We still don't make tons of money, but we aren't struggling quite as much as we were then. We always joke that we started with nothin and we still got most of it left :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-18-2008, 02:42 AM
Ol' Boy and I celebrate 30 years this September 9. We started out with nothing, too - a borrowed bed and his bachelor sofa (blace and bug-green stripes! on a white background! GAG!) and a 14" TV I'd gotten for HS graduation. We've got a house now (will pay it off in two years!) and I've been through more sofas in those 30 years than my mom had in her whole lifetime. We've got some savings and too many bills... we've lost so many loved ones, so many friends, to everything from old age to cancer to heart disease... but between us, it's always been easy. When I couldn't finish a sentence during my brother's eulegy, he was there to finish it for me. When he couldn't get his warring aunts to make peace at the death of his grandfather, I became the diplomat. All our difficulties have been caused by outside forces and we've stepped right into the ox harness and pulled together each and every time. Life is hard... he's made it easier.

07-18-2008, 03:01 AM
Mr. Tex and I got married 18 years ago. He was finishing law school in NYC and I had just received my master's at BC in special ed. I taught in the village and he suffered through third year law. It was awesome. Money, tight? Yes. But we lived in NYC. There was free entertainment everywhere and the food, awesome. Was a blast starting out...still ooodles of fun...9 kids later...

07-18-2008, 03:12 AM
Okay, when I was a freshman in college I met a 25 year old who waited tables at the place where I worked- but only for the lunch rush- at night he was in a band. He had no car and no furniture- in his room in his apartment there was a sleeping bag, a chair, and a bunch of musical equipment.

A year later we got married. We moved into a cheap apartment down the road from the University. 5 years later after my first year teaching we went to Europe and realized we had grown, and not together and that we didn't even know each other anymore, so we cried in this bathroom in Germany for like two hours, and then we came home, bought a house and adopted a greyhound. No idea why. A year later we had kid #1 and then #2 less than two years later.

Um, I can't really say why this has worked. Or how.

07-18-2008, 04:52 AM
Lol, I'm like Rhymegirl (why didn't you ask this before I starting losing my memory??). Mr.~ and I got married after only knowing each other a year (had a 4-month engagement). But we were 26 and 27, so at this point we pretty much had a handle on what we were looking for. Since we'd both been working since college, we didn't start out totally from scratch, (at this point I think I may have started earning more than 4 figures at my teaching job ;)); he had a stable position at a young architecture firm, and I decided to quit teaching the following year. We got a puppy (our only 'child' for the next seven years), but after one year off, I decided I was too young to retire and went back and taught until I quit to attend grad school (he'd already gotten his MA). We'd been married about 7 years and I was 5 mos. pregnant with our firstborn when I got my MS degree, so I haven't officially used it, though I've had plenty of opportunity to apply it in the raising of our kids. (And I've gone on to doing other things part-time over the years for side income.)

One thing we did from the start that was helpful was to always have my (humble) income auto-deposited into a savings account. That way, it wouldn't be such an adjustment financially when I became a stay-at-home-mom. While he had a job, money was tight, but manageable. The second or third year of our marriage he walked out of his job, completely fed up with the office politics; the firm split up a year later. (One split fizzled, the other remained, but barely.) So now we were living on minimal savings and my *ahem* lucrative teaching salary. That summer, I wasn't working, and neither was he; though he did build a greenhouse in our backyard, I think for therapeutic reasons. ;) At this point we resorted to the 'envelope' system of budgeting each month. (When the money runs out for that particular category, you stop spending, eating, etc.) He finally got a job later that year with a firm he originally had hesitations about. It turned out to be the perfect match; he is still with them today.

We both come from good German blood. ;) All our marriage--even today--we both cringe at the idea of throwing away money in things like rent or interest payments, so early on we'd buy second-hand whenever possible, including cars (paying cash), and try to pay the credit card bill in full each month (though there were a few exceptions, for sure). We've always owned our home rather than renting (though we started in a small condo that I'd bought my second year out of college with a tiny down payment). And I loved and shopped at garage sales, Goodwill, and second-hand stores.

We learned from that condo experience that buying property is one of the easiest ways you can make your money 'earn' money for you. I'd only owned it 5 years when we sold it, but the surprising double-your-money profit on that $3K investment was my first real estate lesson; if at all possible, always try to buy your home not just as a home, but as an investment. Look at the growth patterns of a region, and try to buy where the market is going to be going up.

We didn't live with in-laws, fortunately, though we had plenty of in-law stress early on in the marriage. Seriously. (My hubby was an only child and adored son of parents who lived 10 minutes and a phone call away--until we finally moved closer to downtown.) I could write a book, but you wouldn't believe it. Even after the kids came, I still remember the Christmas where the grandkid's gifts were discovered on the front porch in a trash bag because we weren't being 'spoken to.' :o But things are not just fine, but actually good now.

Life's a journey, and marriage is, too. Just want to put in a plug for it, though. As you grow and learn to live out your priorities, letting the stresses toughen you even as you try to learn better what it means to love someone, you will find yourself one day really thankful for the gift of sharing an intimate 27-year life-history with a very special person (and persons, if you're blessed with kids).

07-18-2008, 05:20 AM
For me the most difficult part of marriage was that about 2 weeks after the wedding, my wife made it clear to me that she didn't want to be a real wife to me; she wanted to be just a friend and a roommate.

She decided unilaterally that our marriage should be celibate.

That has been difficult.

07-18-2008, 05:22 AM
We kinda breezed right into marriage. I can't remember anything changing except my last name. We had already lived together for 5 years so there were no surprises there, and we both already worked to support the household. It was like we had already been married for 5 years and just waited a looong time to have a ceremony!

It's gotten much better over the past 5 years, but it's not like I was waiting for something to change and get better. We just do get better at being together every day. After 10 years, we're still sweethearts.

We've never had much money, but it does gradually better all the time. In the beginning, we were extremely foolish with money and would blow every dime we had on ridiculous things like $160 Doc Martens and concert tickets and then scrape to make rent. We're not perfect with money now, but we are steadily getting better. At least we're on the same timeframe with it.

We're always experiencing new "firsts" together and I think that is important, even if it's something as simple as being together the first time the Jeep makes it up some insane hill or if it's walking through my garden together and seeing a new pepper or cantaloupe that wasn't there the last time. We haven't lost our wonder and fascination with the world. After all this time, I still don't know everything about him and he still doesn't know everything about me and I hope that is always the case. I love learning something new about him.

Last weekend, he amazed me like he often does. Mom was with friends in Pigeon Forge so we drove down for the day on Saturday. He was so gentle and kind with her. He took her hand as they crossed the parking lot, he hung out with her and her girlfriends and laughed and made jokes. He made everyone feel like he appreciated their company, even if we were just a bunch of women. In short, he was the perfect husband and son-in-law. On the drive home, we were holding hands in the truck and I got all choked up and teary eyed. He asked what was wrong, and I said, "Nothing. I'm just happy." He understood. I told him that I couldn't imagine my life without him. I said that if I hadn't met him, I believe that I would have lived the rest of my life...and he finished my sentence with the word "unfulfilled". I nodded, he smiled and he said, "I know. I feel exactly the same way."

So yeah - it started out good and gets better every single day. I really did marry my soulmate.

07-18-2008, 05:31 AM
We dated for six years before we got married. In fact, we wed on our six year anniversary. We lived together about two years before we got married. I was still in college when we married, but it had several advantages for us at the time, and we knew we were going to do it anyway.

Moving in together was a transition time for us, and we still experienced some expectation issues when we married. I think I was supposed to magically transform into a carbon copy of his grandmother. Then we had our first child, that created some more transitions for us.

Even on days when I want to beat him with a frying pan, I still remember the times like right now, where I am totally dependent on him because I can't function by myself and he's been my hero. I look forward to seeing him every day when we get home. And I know it's been hard on him to suddenly have the burden placed on his shoulders, but there's no one else I'd rather have to do it.

07-18-2008, 06:54 AM
I was 43 and my husband was 34 when we got married. It was the first time for both of us. Both of us agreed that marriage was forever, so we waited until we found the right person.

It was kind of stressful the first year as David was in his last year of art school, pulling all-nighters and freaking out when he didn't get an 'A'. I worked writing and working two retail jobs.

We lived in a tiny apartment in the top half of a duplex in the bad part of town. After about a year, we had enough money to buy a home about 20 blocks south, a very cute home. We got a bulldog soon after.

We agree on a lot of things; politics, money, dogs, gardening, etc. I think we're pretty happy. We don't have huge amounts of money, but we have enough for now. Plus, he's very sweet. We've been married 12 years.

07-18-2008, 07:20 AM
We were married in 1984 after living together for two years. We both worked and things were okay.

I wanted to have kids right away but we 'couldn't afford it'. Not my words.

Things were up and down. Job, no job, working, not working, car, no car. At one point we sold our Troy ounce of gold to make rent.

With no money, we moved in with Mom and after putting my foot down, we finally had two kids. After all, my clock was ticking and the alarm was gonna be real loud. Mom then got sick of taking care of the house and moved to New Brunswick and we bought the house with the help of Dad.

We subsisted on two incomes, then one income, back to two and then for the last four years just my income, with two teenagers ready to go to college. We didn't save for college.

Two weeks ago, my hubby finally got full time status after four years of temp work. My daughter will be starting college this fall. With a loan from the government.

We've been married... twenty-four years this August. We still have the house, thank goodness, even if it's a dump at the moment.

This too shall pass.

07-18-2008, 08:21 AM
He moved in with me 4 months after we met. Three months after that we got engaged. Everything was so easy then. We weren't rich but we had enough money to do whatever we wanted. Our life was so much fun. We got married the following year - still fun. Had baby number one the following year - still fun, but a bit tighter financially. Second baby two years later - still fun, but changing.

Now we've been married for 8 years, together for 10 and it's the greatest thing. There are more challenges now, but I think that's because we have more things that we're involved in now. Financially now, it's harder than ever, but we're making some small adjustments for that.

So I guess, back then it was all just fun. Now it's more what I would call ...... interesting and challenging.

Oh yeah, but still loads of fun.

07-18-2008, 08:42 AM
We got married eight years after moving in together, so life wasn't any different to being unmarried. For the first two months, anyway, which is the time it took my wife to get pregnant. That changed things a little....

07-18-2008, 06:44 PM
No need to remember what it was like when we first got married. Kthrok is still my best friend, money is still tight and we still always manage- to have a good time with each other, to have our "interesting" many topiced conversations, to have dates that cost nothing (or next to), to always want to be together. 3 kids, 14 cats (not all at once!), 7 fish, a mouse (don't ask!) and 9 years later (come the end of next month). And to think our families were dumb enough to say it wouldn't last.

07-18-2008, 08:29 PM
We got married in Dec '02. I was working a reasonably decent-paying job (mid $20's), he was an E4 in the Navy. We found a cool little house right outside the base and rented it for a song. He needed to live close to the base because he didn't drive, so I ended up with an 80 mile commute.

Less than a month after we got married, the ship left for what was supposed to be a 3 week training exercise. 2 weeks into it, when they were supposed to be heading home, I got a call from DH saying, and I quote: "I don't want you to panic, but the sun is setting on the wrong end of the ship..." 8 rough months later, the deployment finally ended and he came home.

We moved to Norfolk from Seattle just after our first anniversary. Things got a little rough out here: took me a while to find a job, but found one that paid about the same as my previous job. We lived in a crappy townhome complex, still only had one car, didn't have a lot of friends. We were having problems trying to have a baby, which was stressing us both out. Our marriage was blissfully happy, but life was a bit difficult.

Things started getting better: We bought a house. He got his driver's license. We got another car. We made friends. He got promoted. The only real problems we were having were that we were both miserable at our jobs and we still couldn't have a baby.

This year, everything changed. We said, "you know, we don't really want kids after all", and stopped trying. Now we're blissfully childfree by choice. My husband changed rates within the military, and is now thrilled with his new job. I changed jobs a few weeks ago, finding myself no longer chained to a desk, working outdoors, getting a 20% raise and a company car. Life. Is. Good.

6 days into my new job, he calls me and tells me that his re-enlistment has finally gone through (long story), and he has orders...to Okinawa. *HEADDESK* I'm thrilled about going, but damn, I really liked this job! LOL

So here we are, creeping up on our 6 year wedding anniversary, and things are still great. Here's hoping it continues to get better. :)

07-18-2008, 09:15 PM
I've been married for almost two years. We lived together in a very tiny apartment for almost two years before that, though, so we already knew we were about as compatible as compatible can get. We're pretty much the same now only with more jewelry and more space.

Money's fine, we're renting a condo now and planning on moving to a larger rental next year and renting for a few more years while we think about maybe buying someplace eventually. We're not having kids but we do have two cats and someday we might get a puppy.

Really, in our case the wedding planning was more difficult. The marriage is cake in comparison.