My friends and i were discussing over lunch, the pros and cons of pre-marital counseling . So you can imagine my “OMG” moment! when i stumbled upon this post on: wwcouplesandco.blogspot.com
Happy reading and please share your thoughts
1. You can’t play what you don’t practice
The first tip is for couples that haven’t yet said “I do”. Whether seriously dating or engaged, the courtship phase is a great opportunity to begin preparing for marriage, assuming that’s what both people desire. It allows each person
to answer two very important questions before getting hitched
: “who am I?” and “what do I want in a relationship
?”. Marriage doesn’t create character; it reveals it. That’s why a person needs to have a good understanding of themself and their future spouse before
getting married. This is why premarital counseling/education is so important. It provides a great opportunity to learn more about yourself, your partner, and how the two of you function as a unit. It’s also a great way to prepare a couple for their lives as husband and wife. Every couple needs a set of relationship tools, whether for loving communication, managing money, or resolving conflict. Get familiar with these tools now so that you can find them when you actually need them.
The specific issue might be unique, but everyone goes through issues in their relationship.
2. You’re not alone
One of the most important things to remember when going through difficult times in the first year, or years, of marriage
is that you are not alone. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your issues around finances, intimacy
, quality time, household responsibilities, and conflict are unique to you and your spouse. They’re not. The specific issue might be unique, but everyone goes through issues in their relationship. The reason this can be such a shock is because many of the people closest to us never open up about the struggles they go through in marriage. Whether because of pride, shame or some other reason, they keep their difficulties secret and attempt to paint a picture of marital bliss. In addition to our loved ones, much of the media we consume doesn’t provide a balanced perspective on relationships. Reality shows
often focus on the most explosive types of conflict to improve ratings. But it’s likely that minor annoyances and disagreements are the more frequent source of frustration in your marriage. Regardless of what others want to admit or what we see or read, always remember that everyone has issues in their relationship.
In marriage, as in life, all problems are not created equal. It’s good to remember this fact when you find yourself focusing so much on little things
that it makes you complain about your spouse. There are some issues in marriage that will stop a couple dead in their tracks. Adultery, physical
and emotional abuse
, and abandonment
are just a few of the things that will surely cause a rift in any relationship. Most of the day to day things that cause conflict, however, tend to be “first world” relationship problems. You’d be amazed by how much energy couples can waste and how many disagreements are started over how one person folds the towels or some other minor matter of preference.
Oftentimes it is easy to focus so much on the flavor
we’re not getting that we lose sight of the necessities we are getting.
It’s also easy to lose perspective on the person you chose, if they don’t exhibit all of the personality traits you desire. A husband might not be the most exciting man in the world, but his wife might never have to worry about whether he’s telling the truth when he says he’s out with the boys. The stability he brings to the relationship might not be appreciated but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. There’s a difference between relationship staples and relationship seasonings. The former (e.g., honesty) are absolutely necessary for a successful relationship while the latter (e.g., spontaneity) give a relationship flavor. Oftentimes it is easy to focus so much on the flavor we’re not getting that we lose sight of the necessities we are getting.
One of the primary foes of teamwork is selfishness. It rears its ugly head whenever one person is determined to get his or her own way, even if comes at the expense of the relationship.
Marriage is the ultimate exercise in teamwork. It is especially important to remember that unity is necessary for a successful marriage when you and your spouse are at odds. My wife and I have to periodically remind ourselves that we are not the enemy. Even when we disagree on a particular issue, our goal should be to attack our problems, not each other. One of the primary foes of teamwork is selfishness. It rears its ugly head whenever one person is determined to get his or her own way, even if comes at the expense of the relationship. If two people are on the same team, it is impossible for one to lose and the other win. Either both win or both lose. This is how conflict works in marriage. Either both people win or both lose. If it feels like one person is winning and the other losing, it’s because a couple is no longer functioning as a team. One of the things that can bring a couple closer is consistently speaking your spouse’s love language. This means looking to serve their needs—whether for words of affirmation or quality time—before you seek to serve our own.
A wedding is like a sprint, but marriage is a marathon.
5. You need to run the right race
A couple’s wedding day is typically one of the most memorable days they will ever experience, but just because you started off on a high doesn’t mean your relationship has to take a nosedive. The early days of marriage can be a gentle reminder that the process of becoming one takes time. Most of us have developed a series of habits and attitudes during our single days that can make this process a challenge. Too much focus on getting to the day can distract couples from doing the work required to be successful in marriage. A wedding is like a sprint, but marriage is a marathon. That’s why the preparation needed for both is different. Keeping focused on the right race is also important because there’s often a temptation to think that the only thing standing between you and happiness is a different spouse. Don’t be fooled—you’d have issues regardless of who you married. Most of us aren’t even in perfect alignment with ourselves. Each of us can look back on our lives and find times when our words and ways were not totally in sync. It should come as no surprise that we occasionally get out of step with the one we pledged to love for a lifetime. Let those moments serve as a motivation to keep pushing forward and a reminder that while having a great wedding takes a day, creating a great marriage takes a lifetime.
Peace and Cupcakes xoxo