10 Things To Consider Before Getting Married - How To Win a Man's Heart

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August 10, 2014

10 Things To Consider Before Getting Married

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. It is a time of hope, new beginnings and youthful passion. When two people get engaged, the future seems bright, anything is possible and you are filled with overwhelming joy.

The unfortunate reality is that so many people get swept up in the idea and feelings of being engaged that they forget the next part- getting married. Focus turns to creating the perfect wedding that the concept of being married is often forgotten.

Make no mistake, being married means you go from being a me to a we. You are now 1 couple and decisions have to be made together. It takes hard work to make a marriage successful and being in love is simply not enough.

There are some important areas you need to consider before getting married and some important questions that you and your partner must answer.

1. Children

Children are possibly the most important factor to consider before getting married. Children will be an important part of your marriage for life, even if the marriage ends, the commitment from both parents won’t.  Questions to answer include how many children will we have? How will we raise them? Do we believe in physical discipline? What behaviours do we want to model? What morals will we instil?

2. Religion

For many people, religion is one of the most important aspects of life. In the past, people have been killed for believing in a different religion and sadly, acceptance of different beliefs is still impossible for some people. Questions to answer include Do we share the same beliefs? Are we willing to respect and accept different ideologies?  How do we handle holidays and other religious events and rituals? What will our extended families think?

3. Extended Families

As much as we like to think that outside influences won’t have an effect on our relationships, the fact is they can. Extended families are an important influence as they have been a lifelong support network and their opinion matters to us. Many relationships have been destroyed by interfering family members. Questions to ask are Does my family like my partner? Is the way my family treats my partner acceptable? In a conflict situation, who do I support? What can I do to make a bad situation better? What boundaries do I need to enforce and how?

4. Finances

Money is one of the main topics couples argue about. Having different beliefs and habits about money is one of the quickest ways to divorce.  Questions to answer include how are we going to budget our money? How much do we want in savings? Who is going to make the income? Does my partner have any hidden debts? Is all the money going to be in a joint account? What will we spend our money on? How much are we going to spend on our wedding?

5. Careers

Our careers are important to us. They give us meaning and purpose. The problem is the balance between work and home. Get this balance wrong and you could find yourself either without a job or without a family. Questions to answer include is it acceptable to bring my work home? What time do I set aside for family and what time for work? What will happen when one of us needs to move interstate for work?

6. Sex

The role of sex in a relationship is more than just creating children.  Sex creates an intimate bond between couples and regular sex is healthy in a relationship. When couples stop being intimate in a relationship, people often assume that they are undesirable or unattractive which can lead to self-esteem issues and can also lead to affairs. Some questions to answer are what sex practices am I comfortable with? What are my expectations regarding sex? Do we need to spice up our sex life and if so how? What will we do when we stop having sex?

7. Fighting/ Disagreements

Disagreements are in every relationship. No matter how in love you are, how close you are and how much you respect each other, eventually, you will find something you disagree on. Being assertive can be healthy, what is unhealthy is letting a disagreement turn into a fight. Fighting has devastating consequences for your relationship.  The good news is, disagreements don’t have to turn into fights. Questions to answer include how will we resolve conflict? Which topics are worth fighting about? Do we need to learn better communication skills? Who else is going to know what disagreements we are having?

8. Culture

Culture is all about how someone lives life. Culture dictates what we wear, how we speak, what we do what we believe….. You get the idea. So when a couple from 2 different cultures is formed, problems can arise. Questions to answer include are we from differing cultures? Are our cultures likely to clash? What rituals, beliefs and events do we acknowledge? Is our community going to accept my partner’s different culture?

9. Role Expectation

A lot of you are probably are thinking this may not be as important as the rest of the topics I’ve mentioned, but you’d be surprised how often one person’s expectations of their partner can cause major conflict.  We all have expectations of how a husband and a wife should act, what chores each partner does, who earns the income, who makes what decisions. If these matters are not resolved, conflicts arise when our partner doesn’t match our expectations. Questions to answer include what do I expect of my partner? What do I expect of myself? How are going to resolve the differences in expectations?

10. Bad Times

Despite what the fairy tales say, marriage doesn’t lead to everybody living “happily ever after”. There will be bad times, they cannot be avoided. Even though no one is to blame for the bad times, I’ve seen couples fall apart due to inability to cope. Awareness and prior planning can help couples stay together when times get tough. Questions to answer include what’s the worst that can happen? How do I believe I would react to these situations? How have I reacted in the past? What resources will we utilise? These by no means represent all the topics or all the questions to consider before getting married. It is a good idea to seek premarital counselling before getting married so that you can uncover potential problems and resolve them beforehand. This will give you the best chance of having a happy, successful and fulfilling life together.

About the author

Rodney Owen

Rodney Owen is a Counsellor living Sydney, Australia. He has experience in crisis telephone counselling and mental. He is currently the Director of Bloke Support, an organisation dedicated to helping men and their families overcome emotional difficulties and creating an awareness of men’s issues.

For more information on Rodney and Bloke Support or to download the free eBook “10 Keys to a Successful Relationship” visit www.blokesupport.com.au.




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