Most couples coming to the altar spend more time preparing for the ceremony and reception than for the marriage itself. With the cost of weddings averaging $25,631, considerable planning should play a significant role in order to escape debtor’s prison after the honeymoon.
Yet statistics claiming that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce indicate that additional effort should go into marriage preparation. Marriage offers one of the most rewarding opportunities of a lifetime, but it requires a lot of work for it to succeed.
Many religious institutions offer premarital counseling and some require it prior to the ceremony. Even when you pursue this option, you should have some serious conversations on your own. It may be hard to visualize your intended partner without star-filled eyes, but if you are really in love, not only can your relationship stand the test, but it will also be better for it.
As in any exam, you’ll need to ask some hard questions and listen to the answers with both your eyes and ears wide open. Clarify your responses to make sure you’re defining terms in the same way. For example, one person might define a fight as a gentle disagreement or verbal argument where the other understands it to mean an abusive verbal or physical battle. Don’t assume all words are equal and understood in the same way. And, no cheating allowed. You have to be real and honest.
Keep in mind each of you are individuals with differing backgrounds, personality types and strengths. Expect to find areas where you disagree. In most cases, this is a positive sign. If you were exactly alike, one of you would not be necessary in this partnership.
You’ll find most differences can be resolved or handled especially when they’re recognized. Should you encounter a major roadblock, you’ll want to seek out some seasoned counsel.
Just like any other worthwhile endeavor, prior planning for marriage can make a huge difference in the outcome. If you want yours to succeed, it helps to look before you leap.