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Newly Engaged! Tips for Successful Marriage.
Congratulations! You are engaged!
This is one of the significant events in life that you hope only happens once! Take the time to celebrate your love for each other and looking forward to spending the rest of your lives together. After a while though the two of you must have important discussions about your future as husband and wife. Make sure you take the time to discuss and agree on the following topics before you get married:
Communication - Respect
- Able to have open, honest, and direct communication.
- Check your ability to interact as adults - listening, considering,
and responding as adults.
Couples must be able to verbally interact with each other to promote healthy conversation, discussion, and disagreements. Understanding the topic, listening without interrupting, being able to respond without interruption, and acknowledging the right to an opinion are some of the key attributes to adult communication. Learn about each others 'buttons' - learn the key words to avoid when having verbal interactions - those words that are sensitive and only cause problems with effective communication. Example: The couple is discussing the wedding plans and the issue about what church to use...his or hers? He says he wants his church because his mother will insist...she says "you know I hate your mother, I don't care what she wants" He flies off the handle because of the insult to his mom...argument ensues. What happened to the discussion about the wedding? What happened here? Well, since she knows that he adores his mother she should have refrained from say what she did...that wasn't necessary to the positive outcome of the topic discussion. Always remain respectful of each other...couples won't last long without mutual respect and it applies to every aspect of a good marriage.
Compatibility - Behaviors
- Make sure those annoying things about each other are truly
tolerable - for life!
Everyone has idiosyncrasies that pervade their personalities. This is where the couple wants to address and feel comfortable with all of the annoying habits of each other. Early in relationships it is easy to overlook these things because of wanting to please and be accepted by the other. Laughing at his farting in public, thinking nothing of her snooping into other peoples' business, not bothered because he snores like a pig, or not concerned that she spends too much money on stuff she doesn't need, etc. Make sure you are open about habits to each other, determine if they are tolerable at their current level or do these habits need to be lessened, changed or eliminated so that they do not create a problem down the road? Acknowledging these issues before you get married will save from arguments later by chance these habits actually turn out to be intolerable. It will be totally unfair to the relationship when one 'suddenly' can't stand the other because of a longtime behavior.
Of course acknowlege any behaviors that could be harmful or abusive. Pay attention to subtle behaviors that may indicate mental health issues. Anything that makes one feel uncomfortable should be discussed, and if the offending partner ignores the other's feelings of insecurity then this relationship should be over! Don't take chances with a crazy person...if it is severe get the hell out of the relationship, if not so, then assist with getting mental health help - and pray for strength to deal with it. Don't ever feel so desperate to be married that you end up with someone who will make your life miserable or worse - kill you!
- Children - Any? How many? Child-rearing ideals.
Couples will want to spend quality time discussing and agreeing on the subject of having children. Coming to a mutual undertanding, even if preliminary, will offset differences of opinion later and deter marital strife. If deciding to have children then couples will want to discuss how many, or just leave it up to nature to determine. Also, take time to talk about child-rearing. Most new parents draw from their own childhoods and how their parents raised them. Since everyone's combination of parents are different there will be a lot of positives and negatives to deal with. She may say "Since I grew up poor I want my children to have everything I didn't". Now in such a statement there is some negativity felt. She will want to consider if her poor childhood helped her learn to be thrifty, and enabled her to become strong and independent, Possibly, if she ends of overindulging her children they will grow up to be spoiled, ungrateful brats and problem teenagers. He may say "Well, my father wasn't around much for me, I don't want to be like him". Good! Unstable childhoods often breed unstable adults. His acknowledgment of his absent father should help him to be determined to be a better father than his own was.
Coming to terms with one's own childhood issues should help to prevent new parents from repeating the mistakes of their parents. New parents just must be aware enough and acknowledge their own childhood heartaches to facilitate those negatives into positives for the own childrens' sake. And certainly be smart enough and caring enough to not subject their own children to the negatives of their past.
Couples must spend alot of considerate, loving time with each other on the subject of child-rearing to be reasonably sure they can handle the responsibility of developing a child into a successful adult.