What top questions to ask and consider before getting married or when making a marriage proposal
About weddings and married life
Ideally, wedding is a joyous occasion for the couple and their families. The union of two individuals in marriage is an institution and as such, it is first and foremost, a legal and a social contract, especially so when the union extends beyond the couple to their respective families. For those who hold weddings in their churches, the religious dimension which supposedly makes the union anchored on a spiritual foundation to make the relationship more blessed, could also make a marriage complicated more than expected. It is therefore a delight if the joys of wedding day can be sustained in a happy married life.
A wedding rite, either modest or grandiose, could be a dream come true, especially for the bride. Yet, weddings provide no assurances as married life is always a work in progress. Under normal circumstances, a person of right age and mind should be free to choose his or her preferred legal status in life, that is, either to stay single or to get married. Either way has both good and bad sides to it, depending on the individual’s situation and perspective. Yet, if and when marriage comes as an option in one’s life, deciding to be a wedded couple is crucial one, so much so that the couple should take more time to really think deeply and honestly before plunging into a wedding hoopla. This is a necessary step to ensure, more or less, that their married life will be happy and enduring.
Further, the possibility of breaking the marriage vows by separation or divorce, sooner or later, cannot be ignored, The process of separation or divorce can be both emotionally difficult and financially draining to all parties concerned, especially if there are children involved. It is in this context that being married requires certain level of maturity, ability and willingness to be open-minded and flexible and yet be able to firmly stay committed to such decision.
Questions to ask before making (or accepting) a marriage proposal
Given the utmost significance of this state in life, certain questions have been listed below to offer guidance to couples who are contemplating to get married. The observations that follow each question hope to provide further elucidation and points of reflection.
- Why do you want to get married? What could be your reason(s)?
Love should only be the reason for getting married. If you have reasons other than love, forget about getting married. Without genuine love, your marriage will be rooted in a shaky ground and is bound to fail from the very start. If you feel that there is not much love, why be together in marriage? Of course, by “love” here we mean beyond feelings and emotions to a deep desire to commit and share life together for mutual growth and happiness, including starting and nurturing a family.
Examples of these shaky reasons are: undue external pressures (from family members, peers, religion) which have been internalized ; undue internal pressures like fear of getting old alone and host of other insecurities; unwanted pregnancy, etc..
2. Do you truly love yourself?
You can only give what you have. How can you love another person if you have not loved yourself first? The Bible gives a very descriptive meaning of what love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1Cor 13:4-8)
Are you patient, kind, not rude to yourself? Are you contented and accepting of your own current situation as you are, as it is, and happy with your possessions and achievements (no matter how small or big), yet not belittling or bragging about them, as the case maybe? Are you not keeping record of your wrongs? Are you rejoicing with your own truth (that you are good, loveable and loved)? Do you always protect yourself from the negatives, always trust yourself, always hopeful, always persevering and inspiring?
If at this point there are feelings of inadequacy and / or misgivings in your mind, the good news is that you can start truly loving yourself right now by following the Bible’s guidance above.
3. Do you have enough trust for each other?
All successful relationships thrive on trust. Even an ordinary relationship between the employer-employee, teacher-student, doctor-patient, trainer-trainee, etc., depends heavily on trust. Understandably, trust will be expected more from a husband and wife relationship. Thus, it is advisable to clear up first any trust issue prior to the wedding day. Otherwise, tinge of distrust will most likely creep into the relationship which could aggravate even small issues between the couple later in marriage.
4. Do you have any source of livelihood to support a family?
It goes without saying that financial capability is basic in a marital affair, be the source is business, employment, investment or any legal means. Be productive and financially independent, then, you will feel more worthy, more adequate, more loving and loveable . . . toward a happy marriage.
5. Can you live by yourself, a whole and happy person, even without your spouse?
I heard this idea from Mr. George Sison, the author of the international best seller book, “A Miracle Awaits You.” He said in one of his lectures that when his counselees ask him how they would determine if they are ready to get married, he always answers. . “When you can honestly say that you can live a life of your own apart from your husband or wife, then, you are ready to be married.” He further explains that the marriage did not necessarily unite the two persons into one unique entity because even in marriage, the couple should and must retain their individuality to thrive happily.
I happen to agree with George. To me, marriage should be an expansion through fusion of two self-reliant worlds, that of the man and a woman, and not a contraction, Expansion in a relationship will be the result if each of the spouses is secure, whole and happy unto himself or herself. On the other hand, believing that only your spouse can complete your life to make you happy, could only deepen the void that is already gnawing your heart. False beliefs and expectations about the spouse and marriage itself will only heighten insecurity which will eventually constrict and weaken the relationship and bring about wreck and ruin.
It’s just awful that I came to value all these ideas and ideals at a time when I am already married. Although, all or most of the above thoughts seem to be difficult to apply in practice, in my experience, just being able to bring myself to the awareness of these ideals (raising my consciousness to this level), have already made me a winner in marriage halfway through.
Watch a movie . . .
More things to consider . . .
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