Marriage is a serious, life-changing commitment that requires conscious effort and active participation to keep it strong and healthy. The first couple of years of your marriage will be a time of transition and adjustment as you both strive to find your place in this new environment. By preparing yourselves as completely as possible before marriage, you can lessen the strain on your partnership during this transition period. In addition to working with a knowledgeable premarital counselor before you say your vows, here are some things you'll need to work through together.
Setting Financial Expectations
Money is the most common reason for marital fights. When couples go into a marriage with different spending habits, different savings philosophies and opposing views of money management, it is a recipe for disaster. If you aren't both on the same page, you're going to find yourselves struggling to meet financial demands, resenting each other's spending habits and facing frequent disagreements.
Before the wedding, take time to clearly define your money management goals. With differing childhoods and home environments, you'll each have different views of how to handle money. The key is to discuss these views openly and find a middle ground that you both can agree on. Decide how the budget will be set, what kind of savings you'll build and what types of spending can be done without a mutual discussion. The time investment now will save you endless fights in the transition years of marriage.
Defining Expectations and Roles
One of the struggles that many newlyweds face is successfully transitioning their perspective and expectations from "me" to "us" and finding their place in this new dynamic. Since you'll both come into the marriage with a strong sense of individuality, it's important that you balance that with the partnership that you're creating. Talk about your expectations of your partner and the role that you see yourself taking on.
Depending on the dynamic of your home life as a child, you may have some strong expectations of your spouse, and he or she can't meet those without understanding what they are. Take the time to discuss your expectations of the roles you'll each take in the marriage and household management process. Find the balance that will work for your relationship, and you'll both always know what to expect of each other.
These two things are among the most common problems that newlyweds face in the first couple of years of marriage. If you want to build a strong foundation and a lasting relationship, the advice here can help you do that. Pair these suggestions with the support of a Christian marriage counselor at Center For Family Counseling Inc to make sure that you're both ready to make that leap.