Thinking ahead – marriage preparation
What are your expectations of marriage? Or haven’t you thought that far? It may be that you are caught up with the mechanics of your actual wedding day, and it may be difficult to look beyond that to your marriage itself. But remember that your wedding day should only be the start; it is the marriage itself that will take the time, the effort, the planning. You are two very different people coming together to live permanently under the same roof, and it is unrealistic to expect that everything will fall perfectly into place immediately the register is signed.
It is well worth taking the time now, during your engagement, to look ahead to your marriage and to try and sidestep some of the common pitfalls. Obviously at the moment everything is rosy and full of promise, but with the best will in the world it won’t always be like that. Even the very happiest marriages have their times of stress, of illness, of feeling low, of wondering whether you actually are the right partners for each other. Use your engagement to talk through as many issues as you can think of that might crop up during your marriage; try and imagine difficult situations, and how you would cope in them.
Communication is the key to a successful and happy marriage – but don’t expect it to arrive out of thin air as soon as the knot is tied! Good communication is built up slowly, and your engagement is the ideal time to start building, while you are involved but before the full pressures of marriage are upon you. Learn to talk to one another honestly, without anger or recriminations; learn to talk things through if you have a problem, rather than hoping that it will go away. Look together at your attitudes to the various aspects of your marriage and see whether you agree or disagree.
If you are getting married in church, the minister might suggest that you attend a course of marriage preparation classes. Do attend if you are offered that chance – thinking through some of the issues involved before the wedding can help keep marriages out of the divorce courts. The classes will also help you to understand the vows that you will be taking in church, and the way that the church sees the marriage bond.
Talking it through
Take the opportunity of your engagement to talk and think through some of the issues surrounding marriage. The points mentioned here may well be important at some stage or another in your married life and it is worth sorting out your views while you are not under pressure. Talk them through together
your partner’s strengths and failings.
FAQ about your marriage!
What do I expect from my marriage?
Are my expectations of my partner realistic?
What will I be able to give to this marriage?
Am i willing to work at the relationship?
What are my strong points?
How can these be used in our marriage’
What are my weak points?
How might these be a danger to the relationship?
What can l do about them?
Does my partner realise them?
What are my partner’s strong and weak points’?
How do i feel about them in relation to our marriage?
Do i have any reservations about our marriage? if so, what are they? Are they serious?
How can these reservations be overcome?
How will I feel if my partner seems to stop trying in the relationship?
Is the strength of my love as strong as my partner as?
If not, will this be a problem?
Do i really mean ’for better, for worse ?
How would 1 feel if my partner became ill?
Would my partner support me if I became ill?
Do we communicate well?
Do we argue?
How do we handle disagreements?
Do we find it hard to make up after disagreements?
How can we improve our communication?
Is there anything about my partner that could become irritating?
If so, what can I do about it?
Am i expecting to change my partner s character or habits?
Am i expecting to change my own character or habits?
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