So you’re about to tie the knot and the big day is looming. By now some thought and even some planning has probably gone into your wedding ceremony. But the ceremony is just one day, and a long-serving memory. It isn’t your marriage. And since marriage can be a challenge at times, and will require a lot of effort over the years, it makes sense to find some useful marriage preparation resources, so that you can make sure that your marriage will be long lasting, happy and healthy.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to research your own marriage preparation resources because we’ve made a start for you. Here are three ways that you can protect your marriage by preparing in advance.
Ok, so this might not be the first thing you’d expect to see as a marriage preparation resource, but it’s a healthy habit to develop. It’s also a great self-assessment technique and one that will see you through the tough times, not just in your marriage but throughout life too.
Of course, when we refer to journalling, we don’t mean the type of lifestyle/papercrafts journaling that you see a lot of these days (where images, words, and pretty papers are used to create something visual to look at). We don’t mean keeping a diary either. We mean reflective journaling.
Reflective journaling is one of the best ways to develop your sense of self-awareness and to figure out what is going on in your life compared to your goals and dreams.
You simply take a notebook, and a list of topics, ask yourself questions and write down your answers. Then read through your responses afterward to figure out what in your life might need attention, what you are doing to achieve your goals (or how you might be sabotaging your goals) and to critique your decisions.
Typical questions you might ask yourself :
- What does marriage mean to you?
- What are your expectations from your marriage and are they realistic?
- If your expectations are realistic, how do you know?
- How can you ensure that you are fully present in your marriage?
- What can you do, (what strategies can you create) for when there is a problem?
- How do you communicate with your fiance?
- How would you like your fiance to communicate with you?
- What needs to change in the relationship?
- How can you create the change in the relationship without forcing your will onto others?
- What do other people who are married say about their experience of marriage?
- Where do you think you’ll experience problems?
- How will you cope with trauma or loss, is it possible to build contingencies?
- What would have to happen to make you leave a marriage?
- What would make you stay in a marriage?
- How will you manage money?
- How do you feel about where you live?
- Are you both on the same page when it comes to children?
- What concerns do you have about marriage?
- What concerns do you have about your fiance?
If you can encourage your fiance to follow this process too, and then honestly discuss your answers with each other (you don’t have to share them with each other). It’s a great way to iron out any creases, to create contingencies for any problems that may occur and for making sure that you are both headed in the same direction in your marriage.
Pre-marriage counseling is a great way to achieve similar results to those discussed above, but without having to assess and critique your own answers, and without having to spend time researching the solutions to any problems you have uncovered.
A Pre-Marriage Counselor has seen it all, they know all of the pitfalls that can occur in marriage and also know the typical mindset of a premarital couple. Which means that while it will be more expensive to hire a pre-marital counselor, it’s also one of the best marriage preparation resources that you will find and a great way to protect and preserve your marriage.
Another, interesting marriage preparation resource is a premarital course. Courses can vary in time to complete and content, and can also be taken online, or in person (depending upon the provider). There are also courses related to specific religions. Because the courses can vary, it’s worth researching well to make sure that you pick a course that you feel that you and your fiance will get the most out of.
Courses will cover topics such as communication, conflict resolution, commitment, shared goals and values and how to keep the spark of love alive in your marriage. You might have the opportunity to ask married couples questions, and will leave (or end) the course feeling clear about how to manage your marriage succeed.
An investment in a marriage preparation resource is going to give you the best chance to achieve a strong and healthy marriage, and with these three resources, there’s something to suit all budgets – so there’s no excuse!