If you thought your days of living with a roommate were over, think again. After all, what is a spouse if not a roommate for life? Our experts are taking it back to your college days with four pieces of marriage advice in the form of roommate etiquette that are just as important for newlyweds as they are for college freshmen.
Respect Personal Space
The most important part of having a roommate is acknowledging that you are sharing a confined space. Sure, it's probably bigger than your freshman-year dorm room, but you'll still be living in the same space 24/7, which can be a lot of time with another person. Be aware of when you need a little time for yourself, and respect your partner's same needs. If he or she has the door closed, knock. At the same time, if you're in the living room, know that your partner has every right to be there, so seek personal space somewhere else.
Pick Up After Yourself
You'll want to have a deeper conversation about how chores and responsibilities in your home are divided, but as a general rule, try to tidy up after yourself. If you neaten up as you go, you won't be faced with a huge mess when cleaning day rolls around—and you and your partner won't stress each other out with unnecessary clutter.
Be Courteous of Each Other's Schedules
It won't take long for each of you to know your schedules by heart, but that doesn't mean you don't have to be courteous about it. If you're the early riser, try to be quiet so your partner can keep sleeping. If your partner needs to be in the office earlier than usual, let him or her take the first shower. Are you a total night owl? Keep the volume down on the TV or invest in a headlamp so you can finish the last chapter of your book without leaving all the lights on in the bedroom. Do what you can to help make each other's days a little better.
Don't let a small issue build into a huge problem. Instead, keep the dialogue open and encourage clear and prompt communication so you can address any challenges head-on. This will make sure you both feel comfortable in your home and will help keep you on the same page. We've all had that passive-aggressive roommate who insists everything is fine until it isn't and dirty dishes end up in your bed (amirite?). The most important piece of marriage advice we'll give today: Don't be that person.