No one enters into a marriage with the intention of it ending in divorce. However, according to recent studies, about half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. While there is no surefire way to guarantee a successful and happy marriage, there are certain things that you can do to increase your chances.
Below are tips for preparing for married life:
Talk About Money
Money is often cited as one of the leading causes of marital strife. It’s important to talk about your finances and develop a budget that works for both of you. You’ll need to agree on how much money you can spend, how much you will save, and how you will split bills and other expenses. By discussing it early on, you can prevent future conflicts.
Create a Budget
One of the most important things to do before getting married is to create a budget. This will help you both understand how much money you have to work with and how to best allocate it. It’s important to be honest with each other about your spending habits and debts and to come up with a plan that works for both of you. Include your family budget when talking about money to get everyone on the same page.
Discuss Your Relationship Boundaries
When you get married, you are not just getting a spouse – you are also getting a new family. This can be both good and bad, as you now have more people to love and care for, but you also have more people to contend with regarding rules and regulations. It’s important to discuss your relationship boundaries with your spouse and in-laws so that everyone knows what is and isn’t acceptable. This can help avoid future conflicts and unpleasant feelings.
Discuss Plan B and Family Planning
Before getting married, one of the most significant things to discuss is family planning. What are your plans for having children? How many do you want? When do you want them? It’s important to be on the same page with your spouse regarding these things, as disagreements can often lead to problems down the road. As early as now, start discussing your family planning and work out a best plan for both of you. This might include looking for abortion clinics or getting family planning counseling.
All couples argue regularly, but it’s important to know how to resolve those arguments healthily. According to marriage and family therapist Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five main ways to handle conflict: avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, and collaboration. It’s important to find a conflict resolution style that works for both of you, as this can help prevent arguments from escalating into something more serious.
Establish House Rules
Establishing house rules is one of the most effective techniques to prevent marital quarrels. This means both spouses agree on what is and isn’t allowed in the home, and there are no surprises later on. Come up with a list of rules that work for both of you, and be sure to include things like curfew, chores, and visitors. You may avoid a lot of squabbling and aggravation down the road by having house regulations in place, so don’t neglect this step.
Plan Date Nights
Even when life gets hectic, make time for each other to keep your marriage happy and healthy. Plan regular date nights, even if it’s just once a week, and stick to them. Remember that marriage is a partnership, and you need to nurture that relationship to keep it strong. Always express your love and appreciation for each other, and don’t take each other for granted.
Take a Marriage Preparation Course
Taking a marriage preparation course is one of the most beneficial things to get ready for married life. These courses are designed to help couples learn about communication, conflict resolution, and other important topics. They can be a great way to start your marriage on the right foot and make sure that you are both on the same page. A marriage counselor or therapist can also be a valuable resource for preparing for married life.
Spend Time Apart From Each Other
Spending time apart can be just as important as spending time together. Often, when couples are first married, they spend all their time together and eventually start to feel smothered. It’s important to have your interests and activities and spend time doing things that make you happy. This will help you return to your spouse refreshed and with a new perspective. Space is important in any relationship, so keep that in mind as you enter into married life.
While no one can predict the future, following these tips can help you and your partner set yourselves up for a happy and successful marriage.