So you’re in a serious relationship with a wonderful woman and in fact you are planning to get married in the near future. Besides the natural excitement there is also a certain level of apprehension, and sometimes you catch yourself thinking “How on earth am I going to pull this off? I wish there was some kind of step by step ‘user manual’ for me…” Well, the good news is that these kinds of feelings are quite normal, and for most people marriage involves a huge leap of faith which is probably going to be the steepest learning curve of their lives. So relax a bit and enjoy the ride, because this is your unique journey. But there are seven tips which you might find helpful, as follows:
1. Make sure she is your top priority
If you are going to get married you need to be willing to make your woman the top priority of your life. Your marriage relationship will be more important than any other relationship you may have. This will mean setting aside time and resisting the rising tide of busyness that inevitably accompanies day to day life, especially after you are married. Never stop dating, no matter how long you are together. Remember those special things you did together when you first fell in love and keep on doing them, and more. Regular one on one time together is what will keep the bond between you strong and healthy. And don’t assume that she knows how much you love her – tell her at least once every single day.
2. Don’t underestimate a woman’s intuition
Speaking of what she knows and doesn’t know – a woman’s intuition is legendary, and it really is a thing. No, she can’t “read your mind” but she can certainly feel and sense things very deeply, including both positive and negative things. Basically, she can often tell what is in your heart, whether you mean ill or well, despite the words you do or don’t use. So if you say something with an angry or impatient tone, regardless of whether it is true and logical, you may find that she has wilted like a flower under the scorching sun. Similarly, if she feels warm acceptance and approval from you, she will no doubt respond accordingly like an opening rosebud. If you find her reactions confusing, ask her and be willing to listen as she explains what kind of effect your words and behaviour may be having on her.
3. Emotional safety is almost everything
Emotional safety means that you are allowed to experience and express your feelings without being judged and censored. Emotions that are stuffed down into the basement of your heart tend to fester and surface later in life in a very unpleasant manner. So it is much better to face them and deal with them as they happen. The wonderful thing about being in an emotionally safe relationship is that you can help each other to process your emotions – both the joyful ones and the sad and difficult ones. As the man in the relationship you can set a wonderful tone of safety and acceptance by allowing your woman to share her emotions freely. As soon as you say, “You should not feel that way,” you will have shattered the emotional safety.
4. Learn from observing her background
Very few, if any of us come from a perfectly healthy and functional family of origin. For most people, their relationship with their parents while growing up had some significant bumps along the way, and this can leave us with lasting consequences and scars. When you are in a premarital relationship with a woman, you can learn a lot from observing her background. What kind of relationship does she have with her mother? If they are close, is it a healthy relationship, or is the mother controlling and overbearing? Think about how this may affect your relationship after you are married. And what about her father: does she relate well to him, and how has her relationship with her father affected her general view of men?
5. Taking the lead is very sexy
Most women find true leadership in the relationship very attractive indeed. This means stepping up and taking responsibility for your part of the marriage and the household. Don’t leave all the decisions and burden of the daily chores up to her. When you take ownership of your values and your role in the relationship, she will be proud to partner with you, and will gladly give you her respect and love. This kind of lead-taking is not at all overbearing or controlling, but is rather a matter of setting a great example and always looking out for her safety and wellbeing. If you abdicate your lead role in the relationship, you may find that she will be left no option but to become bossy and nagging, as she resents the extra load she has to carry because you refuse to.
6. Be patient and forgiving
Remember, nobody is perfect, not even you! So be patient with your lady… she makes mistakes just like you do and she is also learning along the way like you are. Don’t allow your temper to flare up and lash out at her because the resultant damage caused will not be worth the split second of satisfaction you may have felt at the time. Building her up will bring a lot more satisfaction and blessing in your marriage than tearing her down. And learn to forgive quickly. Don’t hold onto grudges and bring up past mistakes. Rather learn from them and move forward together hand in hand.
7. Let her be herself
The last thing you want is for your future wife to become a clone of yourself. You are both unique individuals and it is precisely your woman’s individuality which attracted you to her in the first place and vice versa. So always encourage her to be herself, to pursue her own interests and dreams, and to do the things that make her feel and look her best. Give her time and space to go out with her friends, or just some time to be alone when she needs that. When you give her the freedom that she needs, you may just be amazed at how much closer she feels to you and how it will strengthen your relationship immeasurably.