Save Your Marriage Before It Starts
Aww, the freshness of spring.The newness of flowers.In Thumper’s words from the movie, Bambi, love has everyone twitter-pated.It’s that time of year when the ladies have bought their wedding gowns, the bakeries are setting up their best wedding cakes in the showcases.Everyone is getting ready for their most expensive event of the year:the summer wedding.But amidst all the excitement, do not forget to continue learning about your fiancé’s goals, dreams, and character.
Though the divorce rate has been declining, there are still only 63% of marriages staying together “til death do you part”.It is extremely important to invest time, money, and energy into pre-marital counseling.We, at Total Life Counseling, take your plans of getting married seriously.At Total Life Counseling, we want to see you continue to grow together and have the tools to learn to love each other all over again for the rest of your lives.When looking for a pre-marital course or counselor, make sure he/she is willing to look at every aspect of a marriage and relationship.The following topics are helpful guidelines:
- Communication: It is often said that men are clams, and women are like crow bars trying to pry information from their spouse or partner.Or men come from Mars, women are from Venus.Learning how each other communicates is a key to a successful marriage.Learning the tools of how to listen, how to understand different perceptions, knowing how to speak for yourself, and how to let your partner know you understand what they are saying are important keys to learn before entering into a marriage.
- Attitudes & Expectations: Most couples have discussed their major goals in life, their dreams and aspirations.But during pre-marital counseling, you will want to discuss each other’s attitudes and expectations concerning work, play, and daily household chores.How do you handle the individual steps to getting to the end result?
- Conflict Resolution: All marriages have problems and conflicts.No two people think or feel exactly the same way.Learn how to handle conflicts, be pro-active in handling your anger, and learn techniques that have been successful in fighting fair.
- Religious Beliefs: Whether or not you see yourself as religious, it is important to work though your beliefs as individuals and as a couple.How do you see God?Which church will you attend?Will you practice the same beliefs as your extended families?
- Finances: It is widely known that the #1 reason for divorce is money issues.Make sure that finances and managing money is part of your pre-marital counseling.Work out a budget and have clear expectations before you enter into marriage.Be aware of any previous debts that each other have accrued.
- Sexuality: Be willing and ready to express yourself openly and honestly in counseling.Sexual intimacy is more than just intercourse.Each couple should have the freedom to share, to enjoy, to love, and to learn about their sexual needs and desires prior to beginning their marriage relationship.Any prior abuse or traumas need to be discussed in counseling within a safe environment.
- Family Planning & Children: Though children may not be in your near future, it is necessary to discuss your plans and thoughts about starting a family.Communicating your thoughts and attitudes towards children now, before marriage, spares you many problems, misunderstandings, and heartaches after marriage.
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Author: Sandi Burchfield