You put hours upon hours into planning your wedding day, from venue tours, phone calls with vendors, and tastings to hashing out your guest list and bridal party inclusions. You’ve thrown so much detail and thought into this magical day.
But all too often, wedding planning only involves the actual wedding day, and couples forget to extend their planning into their ceremony and beyond.
However, marriage preparation is huge and will be key to your success in the beginning stages of your life as a married couple. Let’s dive into a few tips for prepping for your new lives together.
Sign Up for Premarital Counseling
When my partner asked my dad for my hand in marriage, my dad responded, “My blessing is unconditional, but it has conditions.” One of his conditions included us signing up for premarital counseling. Easy! We contacted our church and signed up for their next available course.
You can often find premarital counseling through your church or an independent counselor or officiant that offers a similar option. Premarital counseling is essential because it touches on common topics that can tear couples apart if they don’t prepare ahead of time and talk about the hard things.
When we attended the first group class, we thought it would be a waste of time. As two over-communicators, we had already talked about conflict resolution, love languages, expectations vs. reality, kids, finances, and sex. We agreed on almost everything. But once we dove into the class, we realized there was still tons for us to learn.
I highly recommend signing up for a class like this so that you and your partner can get on the same page about everything. If you find that you aren’t on the same page, you can work to find a common ground that still allows your individual personalities to shine through.
Make sure to talk about the following topics in detail with your partner before your wedding day.
Who will handle them, and what will your budgeting look like? Identify who is the spender and who is the saver. Financial burdens can create a huge wedge that can come between you and your new spouse.
How do you and your partner show love, and how do you both receive it? Your partner may show love through gift-giving, but maybe you receive love through words of affirmation. Identify your love languages early on to save yourself frustrations later.
Expectations vs. Reality
You may expect your partner to do something, but how would they know about this expectation if you don’t verbally communicate it? Do not assume they can read your mind. Be mindful of your relationship’s reality, and make sure you don’t set yourself up for failure by setting your expectations too high.
Communication and Conflict Resolution
Discuss your own needs for communication and remain open-minded with your partner in how they prefer to resolve conflict.
Intimacy should never be used as a weapon or bargaining chip with your partner. Being intimate is what separates a romantic relationship from a friendship. If you have unresolved trauma, physical needs and desires, or areas of intimacy that you are uncomfortable with, communicate this with your partner and remain open. Physical intimacy is meant to bond you to your partner, but it is often a huge area of conflict that can lead to infidelity and further trauma. Most importantly, share and explore together. Have fun and be creative!
Seek Out Other Resources
There is so much more that goes into planning for the rest of your lives together. I highly recommend completing the SYMBIS assessment on your own and encouraging your partner to do the same. It will provide information about your personality, how you will likely contribute to your marriage, possible areas of conflict, and much more.
I’ve always viewed marriage as something permanent. All too often, conflict arises, people change, and couples just call it quits. If it were that easy, why get married in the first place? Instead, stay in a committed relationship. If you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your marriage a success, you’ll need to put in the work constantly. Obviously, some unpreventable forces do warrant the “D” word, but if you do some planning ahead of time, you will likely be able to weather all storms together.