How to prepare yourself for marriage?
WhatToGetMy Instructional Article
“A person can never be prepared for marriage because no one knows what to expect.”
We’ve often heard people say a person can never know what to expect in marriage, and we agree. However, this statement is often made in ways that derogate people’s attempts to prepare for marriage.
To help you understand the need for preparation, we will dive in by saying; Marriage is like an examination. You never know what questions you’ll be expected to answer. But you’ll increase your chances of failing if you never prepare.
At the end of the day, whether you know the events of your marriage or not, if you prepare yourself before getting married, you’ll increase your chances of scaling through those events.
Here are a few articles we highly recommend for you from our archives;
- How do married people handle finances?
- Eight financial things to do after getting married
- Why some mothers-in-law don’t love their daughter-in-laws
We’ve divided this topic into the two subtopics;
- Getting married.
- 11 ways to prepare yourself for marriage.
Did you know that marriages in the U.S. have a shorter life span than in many other countries worldwide?
You’ve probably envisioned getting married and what you want your marriage to be. You might have also imagined the cuddles, kisses, sex, travelings, pamperings, date nights, children, pets, etcetera, and you’re thrilled about everything. In all honesty, your imaginations or desires are valid. Everyone should enjoy marriage as blissful as they imagine it to be. However, what matters is preparation.
A person that does not prepare for marital bliss will only enjoy it momentarily. Lack of preparation is why many marriages crash within the first few months or years of being instituted. Isn’t it sad that the average length of marriage in the United States of America is 8.2 years? What’s the fun in getting married if the probability of it crashing is high?
It is possible to be happily married to your lover till death do you part. But preparation differentiates those who see marriage as a big blessing or their worst nightmare. Gary Chapman said, “people do not get married planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in a relationship.” We completely agree with him.
Some of the reasons why people fail to prepare before for marriage are;
- They overestimate their ability to scale through future marital challenges.
- They find it overwhelming to think and plan for their future because they’re generally lazy about preparation.
- They over-rely on others (husbands or wives) to prepare for them.
- They mainly focus on secondary things like intimacy, physical attractiveness, wedding, spending a partner’s money, e.t.c. People in this category often forget that getting married is not the main goal of a union; rather, staying happily married is the goal.
Preparing yourself for marriage includes; planning for foreseeable and unforeseeable outcomes and taking key decisions early to mitigate or encourage certain outcomes. For example, plan and prepare for breadwinnership, medically induced conception and birthing, medical emergencies, relocation, family car, children’s education, e.t.c.
The great thing about preparation is that it breeds maturity. It helps you to refine your plans and decisions and learn a lot in the process. You’ll become more realistic in your choices and begin to make better resolutions. Don’t be surprised when the person you thought was good for you becomes less the person you want as a partner.
The next section will provide 11 key areas you should prepare for before getting married. Meanwhile, you might be interested in our article How to know you’re marrying the right one.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
- Alexander Graham Bell
11 ways to prepare yourself for marriage.
Don’t prepare solely for your wedding when there are many areas you need to start paying attention to.
1. Work on your finances.
Monetary issues are among the top reasons why people leave their marriages. People often prioritize love over money and forget that money lubricates love. It is impossible to build a healthy and happy marriage without money.
When you prepare yourself financially, here are a few things to keep in mind;
- Never convince yourself that it is ok to run your marriage or home solely on your spouse’s finances. It is important to participate in meeting the family’s needs financially, even if your spouse can afford to single-handedly finance the marriage.
- Work on your money flaws and stop expecting your partners to accept them. For example, impulsive or compulsive buying or stinginess.
- Before getting married, have money discussions with your partner, no matter how uncomfortable they are. Talk about debts, savings, bill splitting, money ideals, and the types of accounts you and your partner should settle for in marriage.
- Start learning how to communicate your financial needs, expectations, and grievances in a respectful manner or tone.
2. Prepare yourself for teamwork.
Marriage is all about teamwork. Many marriages fail because couples don’t confront issues in their marriage as a team. They tend to be selfish, passive, and competitive with their spouse because they’ve not learned to have common goals in their marriage. When you prepare yourself for marriage, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding teamwork;
- If you are not ready to share the spoils of marriage, both good and bad, you’re not ready to build a long and lasting relationship with your spouse. Be ready to share blames and compliments with your spouse in many situations.
- Getting married means you’ve agreed to be accountable for each other’s actions. Get married to who you can be accountable to and who can be accountable to you.
- Be intentional about performing your role in any teamwork, be it finances, intimacy, parenting, chores, or power-sharing. If you tend to allow another person to perform the bulk of work in teamwork, you are not ready for a long-term marriage.
3. Look for mentors and mentorship.
One of the best decisions you can make when you prepare for marriage is to have mentors willing to guide you in your preparation and eventual marriage. Take your time to pick mentors because they influence the mindset that prepares you for marriage. Great mentors will provide insight on issues of commitments, fidelity, finances, spirituality, respect, teamwork, forgiveness, and other behavioral virtues you need for a long-lasting marriage.
4. Have key medical tests ready.
Many people do not medically prepare themselves enough before getting married, which is wrong. They underestimated the effect of their medical history on their marriage. They fail to understand that some people are not medically compatible, and being married to them could affect the quality of their children’s health or marriage in the long run.
A list of tests you should prepare before marriage are;
- HIV and STD tests
- Genotype test
- Fertility test
- Chronic health history or genetic tests
- Blood group
5. Condition your mind to build positive interpersonal relationships with family members.
Marriage is a merger between two families. Your relationship with both families can affect the quality of marriage. People often go into relationships and marriage with stereotypes about inlaws, which encourages them to be in conflict with their in-laws. Try to keep an open mind about in-laws instead of believing that most in-laws are difficult. When you keep an open mind about your in-laws, you’ll rarely act in ways that stifle a healthy relationship.
Secondly, work on your relationship with your family. Relate with them better so that your partner and children can do the same.
6. Identify your boundaries and expectations, weigh them fairly and realistically, and communicate them clearly.
Many marriages fail because people assume that their partner will act in certain ‘appropriate’ ways in marriage. They expect their partners to change suddenly into someone who fits their expectations. Whereas their partners have no clue of their expectations.
Before getting married, communicate your expectations and hear what your partner says about them. Their opinions on your expectations and their expectations tell you whether to stay or leave the relationship. It also shows you areas you need to compromise.
People fail to communicate their expectations because;
- They’ve not identified them
- They are afraid of losing their partner
Always communicate your expectations on money, parenting, education, goals, friendship, behaviors, offenses, and career.
7. Invest in self-care activities.
People that know when and how to prioritize self-care know how to sustain their relevance. They know when to spend time and money on themselves to increase their performance and give off the right signals. If you cannot invest in your self-care when you are not married, you’ll find it difficult to do so when you get married. Prepare yourself for marriage by teaching yourself to take care of your physical appearance, physical health, and mental health. Several self-care activities that will help you in marriage
- Daily meditation
- A mini-vacation for rest
- Visits to salons and saloons
- Quarterly shopping for personal luxury
- Fun activities with friends and colleagues like camping, night rides, hiking, etc
- Long bubble baths
- Movie outings
8. Attend classes and groups on marriage.
You might not be a religious person but can learn a thing or two from different religious groups that offer free classes on marriage. The great thing about participating in these classes is that you increase your chances of making valuable connections with people that could grow to be your accountability friends or partners. You also stand a chance of finding amazing mentors for yourself and your partner.
You can also find online marriage courses. Some of them are free, and many others cost very little.
9. Spend time reading and researching about marriage.
Marriage preparations include reading and researching about marriage, marital values, and intimacy. Knowing this could inform your decisions when you eventually get married. When you read and research about marriage, pay attention to various marital statistics, read books on marriage and intimacy, watch various videos of people who shared their experiences in marriage, both good and bad, and ask questions about marriage to people who are married.
10. Work on your communication skill
How you communicate with your spouse can affect the quality of your relationship with them and your productivity in marriage. If you easily use abusive or derogatory terms on people who annoy you, it is not good to take that into your marriage. If you are someone that keeps to themselves when offended, it’s a terrible idea to take that into your marriage. Learn how to express yourself respectfully in any given situation.
11. Set clear goals you would want to achieve in your marriage.
You don’t need to be married to set goals for your marriage. The earlier you set goals, the earlier you begin to pursue them before your spouse comes into the picture as your husband or wife. Examples of good goals are;
- Yearly family travel
- Send children to the best colleges
- Own property within 4 years of marriage
- Own complete gyming set for the family
- Children should have two marketable skills before they turn 6.
- Children should speak two or more languages fluently by the age of 10.
Frequently asked Question
I am about to get married, but I am not prepared. What should I do?
Marriage preparation does not start and end before marriage. Start plans and preparation as soon as you realize that you need to. Evolve and be intentional about growth in your marriage. If you feel strongly about not going on with the marriage because you are not prepared, explain your reasons to your spouse before calling off the wedding. But never be afraid of walking out from something that isn’t right for you because of hurting another person or what people will say.
How to be ready for marriage?
- Develop good financial habits
- Invest in self-care self-care
- Attend marriage classes and groups
- Read and research about marriage, and intimacy
- Work on your communication skills
- Have your key medical tests ready
- Value teamwork
- Look for mentors and mentorship
- Have positive interpersonal relationships with your partner’s family
- Communicate your boundaries and expectations clearly.
- Set clear goals for your marriage.
Preparations will make a world of difference when handling many events in your marriage.
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