The big day that you dreamed about for years has arrived. The person you love has asked to or agreed to marry you but how does one know if they are really ready to enter into the covenant of marriage? While volumes could be written to address this issue, this article will attempt to generate some thought on a variety of issues that a wise prospective bride or groom should contemplate before entering into the marriage agreement.
It is wise for individuals to know themselves well before attempting to blend their lives with the life of another individual. Things that are important to know are what one considers as goals for his/her life. Things like finishing college, having a career, rearing children, taking care of the extended family if need be, traveling as well a variety of other aspirations should be contemplated and taken into account when considering marriage.
There should be clear communication on the goals that each person has with their intended marriage partner so that any issues/conflicts between the two individuals in regard to these goals can be discussed to make certain that there is a plan in place for when these issues arise. One example would be if both individuals want to attend college. There needs to be a plan for how to meet financial obligations while one or both spouses are in college.
While the goals of individuals may change over the course of a lifetime, it is a good idea to at least enter marriage with a clear plan to accommodate the goals of the bride and the groom. If there is not a way to formulate such a plan and neither partner is willing to sacrifice a goal, then this might indicate a need to postpone or forego the marriage.
Perspective brides and grooms should have clear ideas on how both they and their partner wish to live as a married couple. Questions such as: Do we want to have careers that demand a lot of our time and reap large financial gain or will one person stay home and/or work part time to care for the home and children that might eventually come into the picture? If there is a large gap in the lifestyles that both partners view as ideal, this may signal a red flag when the wedding is over and reality sets in.
Knowing the expectations that an individual has for his/her future mate is something that should be clearly defined and communicated prior to marriage. Expectations in the area of spiritual leadership/participation (or the lack thereof), parenting, communication, child-rearing, conflict resolution, dealing with in-laws, sexuality, financial management, travel,
relocation, and traditions are a list of some very common conflicts in a marriage and therefore are things that one should know how they can somewhat anticipate their future spouse’s to feel toward and expect to handle. While there will likely be differences in opinion on a variety of issues, the impact that these differences could have in the future, for both marriage partners, should be considered.
Genuine preparation for marriage involves knowing oneself and their intended spouse very well and being willing to make sacrifices and work through differences as they arise. A prospective bride/groom must be willing to commit to some degree of selflessness in order to make a successful marriage.