30 Jan
  • By Cosette Bowles
  • Cause in

Marriage Tips: BEFORE You Walk Down the Aisle

Deciding to marry is one of the most important decisions of our lives.  Are you ready?  Are you ready to merge your life with another human being?  Are you ready to give yourself to another human being selflessly?  Are you willing to be up late at night nursing someone else to health?  According to psychologist the top three reasons for divorce are finances, communications, lack of intimacy and abuse.  Taking precautions and being willing to do the work before you say, “I DO,” is critical to a successful union.  Here are 4 helpful discussions to have with your partner before you say, “I DO.”

  1. Discuss the Fine Print.

When purchasing a new product many times details of how the product operates is in the fine print.  The same applies to your relationship.  Marriage is a lifetime commitment and knowing who you are marrying is extremely important to a successful union and can help alleviate future tensions and disagreements.  Take time to ask each other tough questions.  Make a list of issues that concern you and discuss those issues.  When we are dating, we present our best selves.  Long romantic talks on the phone.  Endless discussions about little of nothing.  What is it about you that you’d rather not reveal to anyone?   Talk about that.  What brings you fear?  What makes you nervous? Ask yourself honestly if there are any deal breaking concerns and address them immediately.

  1. Assess Your Values.

There are large concerns that could be deal breakers in relationships for instance politics, finances, religion, race, or how you deal with your ex if you’ve been in a previous marriage. These are hot buttons that can cause extreme tension in the best of relationships but in marriage these issues can lead to a separation or divorce.  It is helpful to understand fully what your future spouse’s value system is and how it may affect you.  What are your non-negotiables?  Identify them.  Discuss them. Being world’s apart on crucial issues can have disastrous results.

  1. Are You Emotionally Healthy?

Your emotional health is key to how you view the world around you, how you solve problems and how you show up to stress.  No matter how healthy we are, life has a way of tossing us through storms.  Marriage is full of emotional ups and downs. How you deal with mistakes and setbacks says a lot about who you are. It’s important to discuss with your future spouse what’s important to you about navigating life effectively and how you plan on doing it.

  1. How Do You Handle Anger?

Many relationships end because of abuse or violence.  Other relationships get in trouble because of one’s inability to handle anger and the collateral damage can be far reaching creating feelings of fear, resentment, and hostility. One thing is for sure, couples do get angry and it’s only a matter of time before the normal challenges of life will surface.  Handling anger is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Talk about how you will resolve issues once you get angry and what your expectations are of your future spouse.

  1. Do You Have a Plan for When Things Go Awry?

Sometimes we reach a place whereby our challenges are unsolvable.  It’s not an issue of having the desire for resolution.  Couples can often reach an impasse.  At this time counseling or talking to a pastor or friend can help us to reach breakthroughs in areas of concern.  Discussing what your options are when we arrive at stagnation or impasse is a good conversation to have.

TAGS:
Cosette Bowles
M.A., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.

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