How many people do you know actually prepare for marriage before they say “I Do?” I mean really prepare for what is to come after the wedding day? I do not know many people who prepare before the wedding. Many people focus on the wedding itself and never go to premarital counseling, never have in depth talks about the life they want to create with their spouse nor how they will handle conflicts. Most people just jump and hope for the best.
I unfortunately fell into this same trap. I had no idea that I should prepare for my marriage before I got married. I, like many of you, knew I wanted to be married and live happily ever after. Although I grew up with relationships all around me, I never had any talks about how to show up in a marriage, how to be my spouse’s best friend, how to ask for what I wanted, how to handle situations that plagued our marriage nor how to become one, where I cleave to my spouse and leave my parents side. The seriousness of being a wife never crossed my mind. I just thought things would fall into place. My husband and I would get along swimmingly and we would build a life together that was unbreakable from outsiders. Little did I know that was far from the truth.
What if there was a way to prepare for marriage BEFORE you get married? Well, that is what we are here to discuss for the next several weeks: How to prepare for marriage BEFORE you get married.
The first way to prepare for marriage is: Knowing What You Want.
In order to know what you want for your future marriage you must put yourself out there and gain as many dating experiences as possible. This is how you are going to know what you want in your future mate as well as the types of experiences you want to relive. Next, think about the kind of person you want to be, while you are in the marriage. Who do you want to show up as? What do you want your legacy to be for your family? Who do you want to be?
Another thing to think about is, how do you want to be treated? Also are you willing to give the exact type of treatment to your future spouse? Ask yourself what love means to you. How do you want to be loved in your marriage? Ask yourself what respect means to you. How will you show respect to your mate? Ask yourself if you are willing to make your partner a priority. Have you thought about what quality time means to you and how you will express this to your partner? These types of questions are just the tip of the iceberg and are a great start to receiving and creating the type of marriage you want. They are also just the beginning of such conversations that should be occurring while you are dating.
Another thing to think about is, what kind of career does he or she have? The reason for this question is for you to have an idea of the type of person you want to bring into your life. Some people call it the law of attraction but you have to know what you want.
Before I started dating I knew I wanted a man to have a career where he was not required to travel for a living. I wanted my husband to be at home with me and the family at night. I also knew I wanted children so any man that did not fit these two requirements were not on my radar for long and I moved on from those deadend relationships, well relationships that I considered to be deadends.
Next, are you a religious person and does it matter if your partner is religious or not? Some people believe this does not matter. There is no right or wrong answer here. This really is about you, who you are and what you want not anyone else. You want to be intentional about the type of person you are attracting into your world. You have the power to create any type of relationship you want.
What are your top characteristics or must haves that your potential mate needs to have?
The last thing to think about is how soon would you like to be married? One year, 5 years or much sooner after you meet a qualified partner? This is important to make sure that you and your partner will have an idea of how long your dating phase will be and/or see if he/she is not a match in this area at all.
Giving yourself the permission and space to ask these questions of yourself first and then being able to articulate these questions to your partner, you both can see how much of a match you are with one another. You have to know what you want in order to attract it and believe it, in order to receive it.
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All the best,
Life & Relationship Strategist