You got engaged? Congratulations! Maybe you’re yet to say the big YES or even still single as a pringle?
Preparing for marriage isn’t a task reserved for engaged couples alone, the earlier you get to it, the better for you. Many people who intend to get married at some point have an overall idea of the kind of wedding they want.
Some women can picture their dress, bridesmaids, catering, location, down to the colors and decorations at their wedding. Yet, give very little thought in comparison to the actual marriage.
Can you prepare for every single challenge marriage will pose? Probably not.
Notwithstanding, entering matrimony unprepared can quickly make it overwhelming, even if it’s exciting at first. This post aims not to scare you, but to equip you for when reality hits even as your dreams get closer and closer to fruition.
When it comes to preparing for marriage, marrying someone you love is already half the work as that makes you want to put in the necessary effort. But what exactly does that mean? What does marriage preparation entail? Keep reading to find out.
There is no crime in holding on to your childhood fantasies of what marriage is like; some of them may just end up becoming a reality. However, as you draw closer to marriage, consider accepting the fact that real life isn’t always as smooth as our imaginations.
How realistic are your expectations? Does it leave room for the inevitable mistakes you and your future spouse will make? Coming to terms with the truth that your marriage won’t always be perfect will help you prepare better and manage challenges.
If being selfless doesn’t come naturally to you, now would be a good time to start as you get ready for marriage. There will always be occasions that will require you to put your spouse’s needs before yours for the good of your marriage. Sometimes, both of you will agree to delay your satisfaction for the greater benefit of your union.
If you’re already in a committed and healthy relationship, chances are you are already practicing this. And if you aren’t, you shouldn’t wait till you start dating. Try to make a habit of doing something kind for someone who needs it even when it’s not totally convenient, and you’ll find that your marriage will be better for it.
Remember that episode in Friends when Phoebe was so excited about her new guy, and Monica suddenly realized she might never get that feeling again? She had been so busy planning her wedding that she hadn’t stopped to think about what she’d be missing out on.
Is this perhaps you? Sometimes, preparing for marriage means accepting the fact that you may never share a first kiss or get super-nervous over a first date again. But it also means being fine with that because you get to share a deep and meaningful relationship with someone you love and who loves you back.
That brings me to this point. What does commitment mean in a marriage? Researchers say it means being willing to do what it takes to make your marriage work even if it means not getting your way. Though they also note that it only goes so far for some couples (everyone has their limit and deal-breakers), there’s a lesson to be learned there.
Sacrificing and making compromises for peace and love to reign in your family should be a priority in matrimony. Learn to let things slide more than you take offense and make forgiveness one of your top qualities.
I’d be lying if I told you there’s a secret one-off cure for conflicts in marriage; there isn’t. Fights will inevitably come up, but if you play your cards right, your family will only become stronger with each one. Learn to properly hash things out when the need arises instead of bottling your frustrations up – it won’t help the relationship.
Even in anger, learn to communicate effectively and respectfully with your spouse, both verbally and with your body language. Be honest about your feelings and listen when your partner shares theirs. This will help improve every aspect of your marriage, from emotional intimacy to sexual satisfaction and everything in between.
Preparing for marriage means nurturing a team mentality because that’s what will help you take on challenges together. From that point on, your choices no longer affect just you. Before you make a decision, you’d have to consider how it affects your family.
This doesn’t mean you no longer get a say in how you run your life. It just means you have one more person to factor in now. And for the most part, it’s a good thing because it’ll no longer be just you against the world; you’ll always have back up. So if you aren’t much of a team player, please find a way to work on that before saying “I do.”
Our friends don’t always share our values, and that’s okay. However, as you prepare for married life, it would help to have some people in your circle who you can rely on for support. This includes those who have been there, hope to be someday, or at least believe in marriage.
Some people recommend mentoring. If that works for you, find couples whose marriages are worth emulating and learn from them.
Notwithstanding, you shouldn’t limit your knowledge consumption to people around you alone, as no marriage is perfect, and everyone is prone to mistakes. Find and read books whose message aligns with the kind of marital life and family you hope to build.
Attending seminars, conferences, and counseling for engaged couples should help. Thankfully, there are several provisions for these online.
You can use Facebook and other social media platforms you’re active on to your advantage. Here’s the thing, not all the information you find on Facebook and other platforms will help you, that’s why it’s good to have an idea of the kind of marriage you want in the first place.
Cultivating an “us” mentality has to extend to your attitude towards saving and spending when you marry because, like I said, you’d have a family to think of then. Details like who makes and drops more, account types, and other related topics will have to be discussed by you and your spouse.
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But for now, you can prepare by saving and investing more towards your future and becoming frugal in your spending. Also, avoid incurring debts as much as possible, that won’t help if you’re going to start a family soon.
You’ll need a lot of help adjusting to your new life after you’re married. However, a lot of couples find that they covered other areas, and failed to work on themselves. Anger, selfishness, excessive jealousy, problems sharing, and the likes. None of these things will help any marriage grow.
No, sleeping over at your partner’s every other weekend doesn’t count as enough practice for living together permanently. If you intend to live with your spouse when you start your family, make your future marital life easier for both of you by working on what you can from now.
Finally, and most importantly, learn to ask the right questions. When you’re preparing to start a life with another person, no topics should be off-limits. Starting with yours and their primary love language to where you both stand on having (and raising) children, ask questions.
Discuss finances, discuss family (extended), and how much influence they’re allowed to have on your marriage. Bring up topics about sex, work, boundaries, and everything in between.
Ask your parents questions about what they think they could have done better, engage your Facebook friends on marriage tips. Most importantly, ask your future life partner questions about anything and everything, and answer their questions honestly as well.
When preparing for marriage, gain as much knowledge as you possibly can on the subject. Surround yourself with reliable support systems with similar goals, and make your expectations practical to avoid getting disillusioned after the wedding. Then, improve your communication skills, financial habits, and learn to compromise.
Some experts say the three most important things in healthy relationships are trust, commitment, and vulnerability. These are all true and will be incredibly beneficial in a marriage, and so will effective communication, honesty, and forgiveness.
To each their own. Some couples date for a few months and decide to settle down together while others stay engaged for years without making things official. That said, several stats put the average time couples wait to marry at around five years.
In addition to learning as much as they can about each other, couples should learn to base their expectations of marriage on reality, not fantasy. They should practice transparency in their finances and other areas. They should also know they won’t always be crazy about each other, but remaining committed nonetheless will lead them to happiness.
People who intend to marry each other shouldn’t hide essential details like their thoughts on children, severe health conditions, core beliefs, or financial obligations from each other. It is also not advisable to have a joint account before their marriage is official. Generally speaking, they should avoid lying to one another.
When all is said and done, preparing for marriage isn’t all that different from what you do in healthy committed relationships, just be intentional, committed, disciplined, and open to learning every day. If you found these tips helpful or have some to share, kindly leave a comment and share the post with your Facebook friends and others who stand to gain from it.
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