9 THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE MARRIAGE

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Which of these do you agree with?

1. Your marriage may not last forever.

2. A divorce is an option.

3. You can do anything to make your marriage work

4. You will not leave your marriage for any reason.

If you agree with the first two statements, you need to read this blog post, if you agree with the second two, you need to explore this blog post. Whichever statement you approve, this blog post is for you.

For some time now, the issue of divorce is becoming so rampant and catching the attention of everyone. Even those that are not married! Billionaires are divorcing, millionaires are divorcing. I am sure, it’s either you know a rich couple or a poor couple that is going through divorce. With this divorce rate, I have the same question that you have in mind. What causes divorce?

Till I read Gary Chapman’s book, “Things I wish I’d known before marriage”, the causes of divorce was mysterious to me as it is to you. The divorce rate will not be so high if people know these 9 things before marriage:

• Love has two stages.

• Like father, like son and like mother, like daughter is not a myth.

• You can solve disagreement without arguing.

• Forgiveness is not a feeling.

• Toilets are not self–cleaning.

• Have a plan to handle money.

• You are marrying into a family.

• Personality has a vast influence on behavior.

LOVE HAS TWO STAGES.

Do you remember the feeling you have when you are with someone you love? Especially if the person loves you in return? That outstanding feeling? Yes. I just want to tell you that feeling will not last if you marry each other. Yeah. The truth is everyone feels that incredible love feeling at one time or the other, most people fail to recognize the second stage of love – the intentional stage. You can feel all the tingling you want in the first stage, but, if you don’t have a plan to sustain your love in the intentional stage, your love may crash. In the intentional stage, you will start to see the differences between you and your spouse. These differences are the major catalyst for the intentional stage. If you don’t have a plan to keep your love burning during this stage, you will keep asking yourself if you are in love with your spouse.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON AND LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER, IS NOT A MYTH.

Most of us are like our father or like our mother. Sometimes, we talk like them, and we react to situations the way they will do. You may not do this with intention, it just comes with so much ease. The reason is because you are physically close to your parents more than anyone else. The effect of this becomes obvious when you begin to do things like your same-sex parent in marriage. Because you do these things with ease, you may not know that you are beginning to show an attribute of your same-sex parent. If you are planning a marriage where divorce is not an option, you need to start observing the negative attributes you don’t like in your same-sex parent and make conscious efforts to overcome those attributes. You can make a list of the characters you like and the ones you don’t like. This list will serve as a guide to you.

YOU CAN SOLVE DISAGREEMENTS WITHOUT ARGUING.

Every divorce cycle starts with an iota of disagreement. A disagreement that either or both parties couldn’t find a common ground. Disagreement is not always a bad signal for marriage, you only need to learn the best way to handle disagreement without escalating it. Disagreement can come from any angle, but you can solve any conflict by meeting in the middle, meeting on your side, or meeting later. You can meet in the middle by fulfilling both of your intentions, at different times. The point is to gratify your desire and your spouse’s own. Another alternative is to sacrifice your desire for your spouse’s own, this way, you are meeting on his or her side. The last possibility is to decide to talk about the dispute later at a more convenient time. You only need to keep in mind that you can solve conflict without tension.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT A FEELING

Do you remember the many sermons you hear on forgiveness? How you have to forgive and forget? The way you have to pretend that you can’t remember the wrong someone does to you? Perhaps, you keep hearing the wrong things about forgiveness. You need to know that forgiveness is not an emotion and forgiveness doesn’t destroy your memory. When someone offends you, in this case, your spouse, your healing starts when you decide to forgive. However, forgiveness doesn’t always rebuild trust, it can only help you to restore confidence in your spouse. Although many times, you may still remember the hurt from the wrong someone does to you, the best thing to do is to focus on the process of rebuilding love again despite the hurt you feel.

TOILETS ARE NOT SELF-CLEANING.

You may not think of the toilets before you marry your spouse, but, you will think of the toilets when they become dirty! So, who washes the toilet? You? Him? Her? If you don’t decide who washes the toilet before marriage, you may be planning for a divorce. Does it surprise you? Toilets may not be the source of conflict. The main idea is to know who does what chore. Who washes the plates? Who cleans the car? If you assume your spouse will do these things, your spouse may also assume you will do these things. So, why not talk it out with your spouse and avoid divorce before it is too late. You can start by analysing the chores either of you is good at doing. Afterwards, you can share the chores. You only need to have a plan for chores too.

A PLAN TO MANAGE MONEY.

One of the major factors that cause divorce is not just the lack of money, but the management of money. If you are coming with the impression that your money is your money, but your spouse’s money is our money, then, you may be preparing for divorce. Although lack of money management may not lead to divorce, it may activate disagreements. If you don’t talk about the plans you have for money, you may be building the foundation for divorce. You need to talk about which of you handles the money better. Another major thing to talk about is how much money you save every month and how much you spend every month. If you are the spending type, how much money do you have access to? You need to make sure you have enough clarity on the management of money. Clarity will save you a lot of conflicts.

YOU ARE MARRYING INTO A FAMILY

Do you sometimes think it is going to be just your spouse and you during the marriage? No. Your spouse has a family and you are marrying into that family. You don’t accept your spouse alone, you accept your spouse with their family. This may not include the family that extends, but at the least, you need to accept their parents. The best part of this is to spend enough time with your to-be inlaws and observe their way of life. Listen to your spouse’s family and learn what makes them feel happy You may not agree with everything they say, but, a clear way to respect them is to listen to them with patience. You don’t have to listen to respond, you should listen to empathize. If you follow this method, your spouse’s family will accept you.

PERSONALITY HAS A VAST INFLUENCE ON BEHAVIOUR.

I don’t know what you think about personality or what you hear about personality, but, as a psychologist, I can tell you that personality influences everything we do. Even the way we talk! Some people are natural talkers, while some people are quiet. If your spouse’s personality is different from yours, you will need to analyse this personality and its effect on your relationship. If you don’t do this early enough, your personality may alter your relationship. You will begin to feel your spouse is not understanding enough or you are in the wrong marriage. If your spouse is outgoing and you prefer to stay indoors, you need to discuss this and clarify how you can get a balance of everything. Personality is not bad. It is just a unique way of doing things. Your unique way of doing this.

To summarize all these, there is no one formula for having a sweet marriage, but these principles are the basic precepts that can save your marriage from doom. You don’t have to search everywhere for the keys to a successful marriage. Start from this blog post. Follow the steps and build a foundation for a successful marriage.

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