So many people have different view on what marriage is or is not. So, what is marriage? Each person has a different take on how to answer this question. However, one thing we can all agree upon, in terms of definition, is that marriage is a legally recognized contract between two people, which implies a permanence of their union.
Preserving a long-term relationship is usually considered a source of joy, but it is also a known fact that a handful of challenges are a part of the deal when it comes to marriage. No married couple is picture-perfect even if they have a white picket fence, two kids, and a jolly-looking dog. However, there are people among us who live a significantly more successful life after their marriage than several others, even if they get into an occasionally heated discussion with their partners like every other couple.
So, what’s the key to their happy and wholesome marital life? What strategies must be implemented to solve problems that don’t end up wreaking havoc?
The strategy is relatively simple yet complicated at the same time. People who recognize the challenges they would face after their marriage before they get married lessens the chances of upsetting their lives or ending up being divorced. That’s primarily because they are self-aware about their fantasies and imagination. In real life, you have to make mutual contributions and efforts to maintain a relationship that works for both partners. Once you know what you are up against, you effectively have a better chance of surviving anything that comes your way, be it good or bad.
Here are 15 things you should know about marriage if you are about to tie the knot with your fiancé or have already said your vows; but are struggling in your marriage currently:
1- Tune In to Yourself
Whether you are married or about to get married, either way, it is crucial to know your inner workings before you start analyzing other aspects of your life. You need to tune in to yourself and acknowledge your insecurities before projecting them onto someone else.
Many times, what we think of something as another person’s mistake is actually what our mind conceives to defend itself. You owe it to yourself and your partner to present your best, authentic version to the world and be proud of what you offer to the marriage.
2- Start Off Being Friends First
If you think you have finally found the perfect partner you had been looking for your whole life based on a few days of interaction and excellent chemistry, you’re not the first one to make a potential mistake. You may think that’s enough to have a fulfilling life, but we implore you to think again!
Many couples hit right off the bat when they start dating, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for each other. To be perfect partners, you need to be friends first. Because until you’ve not spent a fair amount of quality time with your partner, you can’t possibly have the opportunity to learn things about them that you would not have known otherwise.
3- Know Your Deal-Breakers
There could be several deal-breakers between you and your partner that you might not be aware of yet. It could be that you want children as soon as you get married, but your partner might not want that right now, or maybe even in the future. If that is a deal-breaker for you, then you would have to make some tough decisions.
Settling for less often works terribly for most married couples in the long run, which is why parting ways is always considered the right option even if it takes you a lot of time to get over the relationship. Sadness is temporary. However, expressing anger over your decisions at a later time can lead to much more damaging results.
On the other hand, if you’re already married, the circumstances are a bit more than complicated. You may not want to change your decision, but you won’t want to leave your partner as well. In that case, we suggest getting help from a marriage coach and get in-depth professional advice.
4- Treat Your Wedding Day as Just That – “A Day”
People love spending tons of money on their wedding day. While everyone wants a fairy tale wedding, it is essential to understand that your wedding is just a day and not the rest of your life. Instead, you should be focusing on a lifelong plan that guarantees a happy ending and not a half strategic plan that only starts with one.
You don’t need to put money but thoughts behind your special day to make it more memorable. Understand that the daily planning you’ll do for making your partnership work in your married life is the most important part of your wedding, and not the day itself.
5- Get Rid of the ‘What Ifs’
No matter how happy you are in your married life, there is a hidden fear that consumes us all till the day we get rid of the ‘what ifs.’ Once your marriage leaves the honeymoon phase, reality creeps in and makes you fear for the number of ways everything can go wrong. However, it is impossible for you or for anyone else to know what life has in the package for you tomorrow.
For living your life to the fullest, you need to let go of the inhibitions and free your mind of the negativities. Not only will it bring you the peace that you deserve, but it will also enhance the element of trust in your relationship both ways.
6- Skip the Angry Bedtime Routine
No, it doesn’t mean you need to let go of a situation that needs to be talked through. It simply means to clear your mind by talking to your partner before going to bed so you can begin your next day with a fresh viewpoint. Keep in mind that healthy conflicts only make a marriage stronger.
However, if things are getting out of hand and you keep finding yourself in a tight spot, it is time to seek help from a professional who can help you and your partner work out an effective plan.
7- Money Is Not the Name of the Game
Although it is a small five-letter word – money, the impact it can leave on marriage is no less than a raging storm. You should never let your household’s financial issues make their way between you and your partner, as it tends to wreck a marriage before you even realize what just happened.
The best way to handle your money matters is by splitting the bills evenly so that there is no back-and-forth blame game or accusing fingers. Through the years, the trust will build itself. Soon, you will realize you have not been splitting anything financially for some time, and yet nobody is overburdened with the responsibilities.
8- Maintain the Passion & Intimacy
It is not always easy to maintain intimacy in a relationship, especially when your schedule and your partner’s schedule don’t match. However, the lack of emotional interaction can often cause everyday fights while you drift apart from your partner.
Whether you are at that phase yet or not, it is crucial to understand this lesson before poor intimacy can become more damaging to your relationship than you think it could.
9- Do not Make Rash Decisions
Making irrational decisions is not a slip of the tongue you can afford once you are married. How you lived your life before marrying your partner impacted you. However, now you need to think about your partner as well, as your decisions will be impacting two lives instead of one.
Another lengthy discussion to have with your partner is about the parenting style before deciding on having children. It explicitly needs to be discussed if both partners are ready to support each other once the baby is born. The late-night feedings are only the start of a lifelong journey of different stages of childhood. Having a detailed conversation about this matter and ensuring your partner is on board with each decision is something you need to master and implement throughout your marriage life.
10- Take Adult Time Outs
Whether you have children or not, you should always have the right to say ‘no’ when things get too overwhelming. Taking an adult time out means you are aware that things could escalate so you request an adult time out (ATO). You have a job, household chores, and a social life to attend to. It makes sense to need a timeout for spending some time giving yourself the royal treatment as well. Moreover, the main reason for creating a home with your partner is to have a safe place that shelters you from the bizarre world you live in. If that’s not enough of a reason to stop and take a break, what is?
11- You Only “THINK” You Know Your Partner
If you haven’t lived with your partner yet, you should know for certain that things are not as peachy as you had imagined. Maybe your partner is not as organized as you thought. Perhaps they spend their leisure time engaging in activities you are far from interested in. Or, maybe they drink more than you think they do. Even married couples don’t know everything about each other, and somethings get disclosed much later during their relationship.
Understand that it is alright for your partner to be different from your expectations, just if they share their authentic side with you, and it is not damaging for you or them.
12- And the Fight Continues
Marriage is not a magic potion that will suddenly resolve the issues that were a point of conflict before you and your partner before marriage. As a matter of fact, you may find yourself fighting about things you never even cared about before.
Couples undergo major transitions after their marriage, which usually upsets their resilience to things exponentially. It is essential to communicate openly at such times to acknowledge your partners rather than letting your temper get the best of you, ultimately disheveling your relationship.
13- Do not Let Your Parents’ Marriage Affect Your Marriage
Your past affects your relationship when there is a lack of acceptance – period. Regardless of how couples from broken families always say that their marriage is nothing like their parent’s, they are usually pressured from the expectations they had already derived from their parent’s marriages.
The only way to get yourself out of that dark tunnel is through communicating with your partner and be open about your insecurities. Until you do not talk with your partner about things that upset you, there will be no way of finding a solution.
14- Your Priorities Change
One of the biggest changes after marriage is the switch in your life priorities. The way you manage your money, maintain your social role, hopes, dreams, and sometimes, even what you think shifts significantly. And that’s perfectly alright.
However, it is important to remember that while things are changing, you should always steer them in a zone that isn’t considered unhealthy for you or your partner.
15- Keep It Simple
Marriage is one of the most beautiful things to experience in life. If you’ve chosen the partner to share this journey with, then it’s time to find happiness together in the simplest of things. Live in the moment and make every second of it memorable for you and your partner.
We offer free consultation and a variety of resources to those facing challenges in their marriage and who wish to speak with an experienced marriage coach about their concerns. Furthermore, we provide pre-marriage coaching for couples, so they know how to lay the right foundation for their marriage!