Preparing for Marriage

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Tying the knot can be a very exciting milestone in the lives of most.  It is a time of partnership, interpersonal development and positive change.  However, the idea of making this type of commitment can also bring forth some anxiety.  Individuals often find themselves asking questions like “how do I know I am ready?,” “how do I know this is the right person for me?,” how will this change my life?”  In the process of making this kind of decision, there are a few things to consider.

Compromise

When considering marriage it is important to remember that you are taking two people that could have different wants and desires and forming a family.  A big part of making marriage work is being okay with compromise.  There are going to be times in which you both want different things and you find yourself arguing about who’s idea is right and who’s is wrong.  During these times it can be beneficial to remember that there doesn’t have to be a right or wrong answer.  You have to come up with the situation that is the most right for both parties involved.  This is going to require some give and take on each side.  It can be helpful to have a discussion about what your expectations are for each other and what each side is willing to alter in order to do what is best for the couple as a whole.

Values

Do both people in the relationship have similar values?  Throughout your marriage the idea of values is going to come up a lot.  Talking to your partner about what they value most is an essential step in preparing yourselves for marriage.  When creating this form of partnership, your values are liking to become shared.  Be true to yourself about what you value and how you would like to continue honoring this value as a married couple.  I have often heard people ask, “If some of our values are different, is this a deal breaker?”  The short answer is no.  You do not have to have all of the same ideas and values.  It is important, however, that each member of the relationship respects the values of the other.

Conflict Resolution Style

“We often argue.  Does this mean that we shouldn’t get married?” Again, the short answer is no.  All couple argue.  You are bringing two different people together that are supposed to live together for the rest of their lives.  There are obviously going to be times in which you will disagree or becoming frustrated with each other, just like any other kind of relationship in your life (friends, family, etc.).  What is important is figuring out how you guys argue and how you resolve your conflicts.  There are different conflict resolution styles.  Some people resolve conflict by avoiding it all together, some resolve it by giving in even though they don’t feel like their needs were met, some are able to collaborate and compromise.  Thinking back on the last few times in which you had arguments and how you resolved them can make you more aware of your style as a couple and can help you make necessary changes if needed.  Do some research on the five conflict resolution styles if you would like to gain even more awareness and insight.

Goals and Support

One of the biggest things that makes a marriage successful is having common goals.  This can be a good conversation to have with your significant other.  It is important to know what their goals are.  Building this kind of relationship will make your marriage feel like you are working as a team and will help strengthen each other’s positive attributes.  The second part of this involves being supportive of each other’s goals.  What can you do to make sure you are helping your partner reach their goals?

 

Bianca Marcu, LPC

Therapist

Clarity Clinic

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