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Preparing To Be a Wife

Preparing to become a wife

So, there you are — having found the one you are planning a wedding with or hoping you will marry a one you are now seeing.  Or perhaps you are single and waiting for a right partner to appear.  And you are wondering:  

How in the world does one prepare to be a wife?

I want to be honest with you.  My first marriage officially lasted for 13 years – the last two years were spent in a process of divorce.  No fun, I can assure you, but absolutely necessary.  I then had a two-year “intermission” as a single mom, married again, and have had a wonderful marriage, where we recently celebrated our 36th anniversary.

But this said, I wish I had tried and true tips for you.  For instance, if I said, “Never go to bed angry” (wise counsel, of course), I would also have to say that some people need a night before they can discuss a problem.  If I said, “Learn to be sexually adventurous,” I would also have to say that some would rather take a sex life’s adventure very, very slowly.  If I counseled you to learn to be a master chef, I would also have to tell you that some men will never appreciate this.

However, there are certain “truths” that I have learned

Those who have the easiest time with married life grow up in a home where their parents deeply respect each other, have learned how to disagree (and argue) and have developed the art of decision making — sometimes one way, sometimes another, and sometimes a compromise.  Further, they grow up in a home where the affection and caring between partners is in clear view.  As important, they grow up in a home where the love has always been extended to them, and they ever feel safe and cared for.

I also am sure of this:

In successful marriages, the state of “falling in love” progresses to “loving” one’s partner  

This transition is based on respect for the other and how one sees a partner live his or her life — dealing with misfortune, disappointment, loss, as well as joy and success.  Yes, being “in love” can be captured in magical moments together, but the art of living well together depends on the quality of self and mutual respect within the relationship.

There is also something else to consider as one prepares to become a wife:  There are different kinds of marriage, and it is essential to find a partner who wants and is suited for the same kind and quality of marriage you desire.  Never expect to marry a person and change him or her.

The Loving, Democratic type of marriage described above.  In this union, the goal is monogamy, honest sharing, and devoted love.  

This love usually extends to one’s children and extended family (if members of the extended family understand that each newly married couple needs private time to begin to chart their journey in married life).  In these marriages, one or both partner view competition as doing and being the best they can be.  Power is not a goal.  Fine and devoted work and effort is.

The Business Marriage, where the encompassing primary goals revolve around ambition and power.  In such a marriage, monogamy is not an important priority.  Therefore, it is essential that if you are attracted to one who desires this type of marriage, but you crave something very different, you must realize the price to be paid for this kind of union.  Sometimes in a Business Marriage, one or both care deeply for their children, and usually there is an expectation that children will carry on the achievements and accomplishments of their parents.  But often children are not a priority.  Further, there are instances where one member of the partnership shows far more caring, involvement and devotion to a son or daughter than to a spouse.

The Hollywood Marriage: In these unions two people create a personal, private intimate life that has nothing to do with their home life.  At home, however, there can be shared family events and caring that one or both strive hard to maintain.

Oh, how I wish I had tried and true tips to offer that can assure you great success in marriage.  Or I wish I had a magic wand to offer that can bring you this success.  But I can say this:  

The more you like and know yourself and what your needs and desires are before you decide to commit to marriage, the better off you will be.

Remember as you think about preparing to be a wife to think about the kind of marriage you saw growing up, and whether or not this is the quality you also want.  And most important of all, know that mistakes in love and life are learning experiences.  Mistakes help us understand more fully who we are, who we are not, and our wisest direction.  Good luck in your journey!

  VERIFIED EXPERT
SaraKay Smullens, MSW, LCSW, CGP, CFLE, BCD is a certified group psychotherapist and family life educator. She is devoted to highlighting destructive societal forces through communication, advocacy and activism. In her work she illuminates the impact of abuse, not only on individuals, but on the attitudes and behaviors that destroy marriages, families, friendships, work settings, communities and societies.

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