We are on the brink of wedding season. This is both an exciting and high anxiety period for the bride-to-be and her groom. There is so much planning and execution that is required before that fifteen minute to two hour ceremony occurs. But in reality, the planning occurs well before the two ever met.
Most women begin dreaming of their weddings before they even reach womanhood. Men on the other hand spend their time thinking of ways to avoid the BIG commitment. Of course these stereotypes have flaws, but for the sake of making a point, stay with me.
Both worlds collide when she has met Mr. Right and he has found the one he knows he cannot live without. So, they begin to live their lives together accordingly. One day, out of the blue – at least for one of them – someone mentions the ‘M’ Word. And life is never to be the same again.
I have had the opportunity to meet with couples prior to their nuptials. If you want a good laugh, then ask a newly engaged couple in each other’s presence “how do you know they are the one?” I do not know what is funnier (or sad in some cases): the stuff that some people say that is totally scripted, or the looks of being totally caught off guard. The most entertaining situations are when people just make up stuff in the moment that neither party believes. What would make you want to spend the rest of your life with someone?
Knowing what marriage involves and what you expect out of marriage should come well before the wedding proposal. For this reason, Coached 2 Love offers Before You Even Ask / Answer seminars and one to one consulting. We believe that the important questions should be answered before the proposal is even made.
For instance, what makes a marriage successful? Here are the factors that we teach:
Communication– you must be able to speak each other’s languages, and be able to listen better than you are equipped to speak.
Compromise – Marriage is more than give and take, it is downright sacrificial at times. It is better to know going in that you just may have to give up your favorite things.
Compassion – Intimacy is the area that seems to be compromised the most when things go bad in a relationship. Couples must be aware of each other’s needs and desires and seek to fulfill them. And each person must allow space for their spouse’s weakness.
Consistency – The greatest strength of a spouse is to define and meet expectations through their words and actions – every time.
Conversely, what are the threats to a successful marriage? Here are the areas we teach:
Family – There is a good reason that God advises that a husband and wife leave their parents and cleave to their spouses. Families can be destructive.
Finances – There is nothing wrong with money. Everything is wrong with the misuse of resources, or a lack of communication about money.
Sex – The concept of absence makes the heart grow fonder does not apply to sex. A lack of physical touching and intimacy will kill a marriage.
Children – A very broad category that absolutely needs to be discussed and agreed upon before marriage. Guess what? People change and spouses change their minds, so allow room for a change of heart.
If you were participants in one of our classes, or an individual client, here are a few more questions, in no particular order that you could expect to answer before you ask (or answer) the BIG question:
- Are you emotionally available for the full commitment that marriage requires? How do you know?
- What are your views and practices in regards to sexual intercourse? What are examples?
- What are the ways that you ‘speak’ love into your relationship, with and without words?
- What are the optimal circumstances for you to have tough conversations?
- What are your pressure points? How do you handle stress?
- Name three ways you would date your spouse that you are willing to commit to.
- Who are the strongest influences in your life, and how do you predict they will respond to your marriage?
- What are the habits you would like to break before the marriage? …and the ones you want to keep?
- How would you handle criticism from your spouse on your looks or hygiene?
- If you have not taken a personality test, then would you submit to the process to learn more about yourself?
- How are you going to share your personal income, savings and investments, and credit score with your spouse?
- What are your thoughts towards having and rearing children?
- What does it mean to you to receive LOVE? …and to give LOVE? Is LOVE enough in a marriage?
Contact Coached 2 Love if you are interested in learning more, attending a class, or one to one consulting.