They don’t teach us how to be truly ready for marriage.
It isn’t easy, and it isn’t what you think it is.
There should be a class that’s taught by divorced people or couples who have survived the ups and downs. These are the people who can define what marriage is to them.
Marriage is a commitment, a compromise, and an understanding of the other’s mind, thoughts, needs, feelings, and desires.
It’s not a party, a white dress, a band, a photographer, and gifts. It’s not a fantasy life with constant joy and togetherness. And it’s definitely not good sex.
Marriage is work—lots and lots of work.
Are you ready to do it?
The questions should be endless. Be bold enough to ask the hard ones and don’t assume that marrying someone will “fix them” or “change their minds.”
Once lust ends, the magic fades (because it will), and you see the person for who they are after you take your tainted glasses off, real things matter.
>> You must be compatible. Start with the foundation—the basics—and what you want from life. Do you both want kids and a house? Do you want to travel, save money, or maybe spend money? Do you want to invest?
>> Know your partner, make sure they want the same things and they mean what they say, and they aren’t just saying it to please you.
>> Trust them when they tell you they don’t want to have kids—don’t go into this marriage as if they will change their minds.
>> If they don’t like to travel now, they definitely won’t as they age.
>> Is your partner an introvert who enjoys downtime and quiet nights while you love entertainment and get your energy from people? Know that this is a clash to consider.
>> Are you great with money while they are horrible at saving? This will matter later; I promise you.
>> “Little challenges” that you overlook will be crystal clear as time goes on—trust me.
>> The things you think are cute, little annoyances become incredibly irritating later—and you might not be able to live with them.
>> Are you a neat freak, and they are a dirty slob? This is huge because little things become gigantic over time.
>> Do you share the same moral compass? What are their views on cheating, lying, stealing, and general betrayal?
>> Can you trust them?
We can totally lower our divorce rate if we discover these things before we say “I do” and before we bring children into this situation. Before we merge our lives and our entire being with our partner, we should know what we are agreeing to.
Discover what marriage means to you and what you hope to get from it. Are you getting married because it’s the right thing to do? Is it so you can wear a pretty dress and have a cool three-day party? Or are you doing it for your mom because she has lived for this day?
Define marriage and what it means to you and then have your partner do the same.
To avoid so much pain later, know yourself, know what you want inside out, do not waiver, do not put something on a shelf, do not bury it, and most of all, do not settle.
Know your partner, and know what they want—their desires, cravings, and needs. Do they match? Be honest, do they? Can you meet their needs, and can they meet yours? They have to match or else there will be an end.
The foundation of who you are should be the same foundation as your partner’s. You can build upon that over time, celebrate your differences, and add to each other’s lives. However, if the foundation is cracked, whatever you build on it will crumble.
It’s simple, really.
Take the time to know yourself and your partner, and ask yourselves and each other the tough questions—this will increase the odds that your marriage will sustain.