Getting married is about more than just the wedding. There is so much more to this incredible journey than picking out a beautiful dress and inviting everyone you know and love to witness the exchanging of vows. Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and it involves the decision to do life with somebody forever. This is a lifetime commitment and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
So, my question is, are you spending more time preparing for the wedding than you are for your marriage? Your wedding will last a day, but your marriage is meant to last forever. So, here are 10 things that you can do to begin preparing for marriage.
1. Meet a more experienced married couple
If you had to train for a running event with no prior running experience, would you be satisfied just buying a pair of running shoes and hitting the road alone? You’d probably follow conventional wisdom and join a running club or find a running partner, because there is so much value in accountability.
The same goes for marriage. You’ve probably never been married before, and while you will definitely learn a lot “on the job”, you could learn from couples who have already made the mistakes you’ll probably make. Hear there stories, follow their good example, and ask for advice.
A seasoned married couple will help you to “catch the foxes” that could cause more serious problems down the line.
“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” – Song of Solomon 2:15
2. Learn to cultivate a social life that doesn’t revolve around your marriage
Make new friends! Make the effort to reconnect with old friends! Just don’t spend all your time alone together, when you could be investing in a social life with others.
The build up to your wedding will probably become stressful and full of wedding admin tasks. Use this time to include your family, bridal party and close friends in your life. Sure, these tasks might be wedding related, but this is a great opportunity to show the people you love that you value their contribution. It’s also a wonderful way to bond.
3. Discuss your financial expectations
Many arguments can be avoided by simply discussing expectations when it comes to money.
Should you have a joint bank account? Who will pay the bills? How much money will you spend on what? What happens if you disagree on a big financial decision? Will you save money? If so, what will you use it for?
As you can imagine, differing opinions on these matters have the potential to cause conflict. Make a point of sitting down to discuss these things before you get married.
4. Get to know each other’s families
Spend time with each other’s families and make an effort to get to know them. Ask to see photos of your partner as a child and to hear childhood stories.
This is a good time to discuss expectations with your partner. How often would you like to see your families? How involved do you think your families should be in your lives? How close would you like to live from your families? How will you celebrate Christmas?
Having these discussions before getting married will help you and your partner to get onto the same page.
5. Find shared hobbies
You and your partner might have different taste in movies, or perhaps you have no interest in supporting his favourite football team. Find a shared hobby that will help you to spend quality time together.
Start collecting board games. Join the gym and work out together. Take a cooking course. Buy a camera and learn to take great photos together.
There are plenty of ways you can enjoy each other’s company, so start thinking of creative things you can do that don’t involve sitting on the couch and watching Netflix.
6. Talk about children
This could be a deal-breaker for one or both of you, so it’s really important that you discuss this before getting married.
Do you both want to have children? How many children do you want to have, and when do you imagine starting a family? How do you envision disciplining your children, and who will do this?
7. Discuss your core values
Even if you and your partner are of the same faith, you might find that your core values differ slightly. Have conversations about your beliefs, values and morals, and talk about specific instances in which these come into play.
Discuss how you can spur one another onto being a better version of yourselves.
8. Talk about your deal-breakers
You might not realize this, but there are things that you would consider to be deal-breakers. Wanting or not wanting children might be one of them.
Some other examples include: porn (do you consider this to be cheating?), drinking (would you be upset if your partner went out and got drunk?), or relationships with the opposite sex (are you OK with your partner hanging out one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex?).
Talk about these very real, yet very practical things and make sure you’re on the same page.
If your partner doesn’t know what your deal-breakers are, you might find yourself disappointed and heartbroken a few months or years down the line.
9. Learn to communicate openly
“It is something that we really have to work on — for most of us it doesn’t come naturally. I suggest you read books, listen to podcasts, go to conferences — anything you can do to improve yourself on both sides of the communication process, better listening and better speaking, so your mate will understand you.” – Your Tango
Good communication involves being open with one another. It means having no secrets and holding nothing back.
10. Learn to fight fair
Conflict will happen.
If you are prepared and you know how to fight fair, you can avoid many long and unnecessary arguments. Find out how your partner responds to conflict and learn to fight in a way that shows love and brings you closer together.
Most couples spend hours and hours planning their wedding and often forget to prepare for the most important journey they are about to begin: marriage. This marriage preparation event is designed to provide you with important tools that will build a strong, loving and fulfilling marriage.
Guest speakers, Phil and Dale Hartmann, have been happily married for over 37 years and have been running a marriage preparation course from their home. These two experts will teach you how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict in a way that brings you closer together.
In addition, you’ll be receiving some helpful and practical advice on marriage contracts from our friends at Gunstons.
Monday 28 August
17:30 for 18:00
Three course meal and beverages included.
For more information, please fill in the form below: