Married Bliss – How To Prepare For AFTER The Wedding
When you get engaged your head fills with a huge mental to-do list: venues, guest list, cake, dress, bridesmaids, photographer… Oh, how it goes on! But all too often brides forget to prepare for the single most important part… their life AFTER the wedding day. They spend countless hours making sure every part of their big day will go perfectly, but they barely give a second thought as to how they are going to adjust to life as a wife. If you are getting married, I highly encourage you to use these simple steps to prepare yourself for married life. I wish someone had told me all this when I was engaged!
“I Do” Should Be The Beginning Of The Rest Of Your Life
But wives often struggle in their first year of marriage. I know I did. Marriage is a leap of faith. We trust that this person isn’t going to leave us, hurt us or make us regret our decision to marry him. It’s so important to develop a good mindset early on and start your marriage on the right foot. If you don’t deal with issues when they’re fresh, they’re going to constantly come to back to bite you on the butt as you navigate through married life.
How do we make sure we start our marriage off on the right foot? We prepare!
1. Don’t just date each other
I bang on a lot about the importance of dating your husband even after marriage, but I also think there can be too much dating during the earlier stages of the relationship. If you are engaged, you need to make sure that you haven’t just fallen in love with the man who turns up at your door with a bunch of flowers and takes you to a fancy restaurant. You also need to be in love with the man who leaves the toilet lid up and farts in the bed and leaves his toenail clippings in the living room (my husband does this just because he knows I can’t stand feet! So gross)! Part of marriage is learning to put up with each other’s flaws. Make sure before you get married you have really got to know the ‘no airs and graces’ side of him.
2. Make sure you’ve got your finances in order
I cannot stress the importance of this. Even if you don’t have loads of extra cash to splash, make sure you are both on the same page with your finances BEFORE you get married. I’ve heard horror stories where couples didn’t properly address their finances before the wedding, and then six months down the line they’ve had a massive blowout because one of them wants to buy one thing and the other thinks it’s a waste of money. According to a survey by SunTrust Bank, money is the main stress factor in a relationship, with over 44% of couples admitting that money troubles are the top cause of friction.
Want to dive deeper into getting your finances in order as a couple? Check out this blog post.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
When you were just dating, it may have been acceptable to break up because you had an argument and things were said that you didn’t mean. But now that you’re getting married, it’s a whoooooole other ball game. Unfortunately, you WILL argue with your spouse, it’s just gunna happen. You need to figure out what is actually worth fighting about. If he has left the washing up for the tenth time in a row, by all means, point out that you are not his maid, but try not to get into a blazing row about it. And if you do, remember that having an argument DOES NOT mean your marriage is doomed to failure. Step away, regroup, pray, and move on. You’re with this idiot for the rest of your life. Make the most of it.
Need some more advice for dealing with arguments in a healthy way? Check out this blog post.
4. Blend you families
I wish I had made more of an effort to do this. It is SO much easier when both families get along. All families are different and not everyone is going to be exactly to everyone’s taste, but at least make an effort prior to the wedding the get the famalam together a couple of times. His family is going to become your family, and your family is going to become his. Aside from making your lives easier if everyone can be civil, it also is nice for your family to get to know the family you’re marrying into, and the same goes for him.
5. Get ready to be intentional
When you’re in the dating stage, spending time together is easy. You naturally make an effort to meet up and do things together because you want to get to know this person. But once you’re living together, have a ring on your fingers and have all sorts of distractions thrown your way (kids, chores, bills, work etc.) it can be really really easy to forget to spend time together. My husband and I both work long hours and for a while, we were like ships passing in the night. We never saw each other except to give a quick kiss hello in the morning and to pass over of childcare duties. It was horrible, and I could feel myself drifting away from him. Now we make sure to intentionally spend time together after our daughter has gone to bed. Even if I have tons of work to do, even if the laptop or phone is calling my name, I ignore it. Our evenings are grown up time. Husband and wife time.
Falling in love is easy. Marriage is hard. It takes work and dedication. It can be all too easy to let our emotions get the better of us. But by taking steps to ensure that you are truly prepared for marriage, you will be equipped to deal with the inevitable hurdles that will come your way. Expect them, prepare for them, fix them. Get your heart and your mind ready now, so that when you walk down that aisle you can be confident that you are making the right decision.
What are you doing to prepare for marriage? What do you wish you had done differently? Let me know in the comments and I may just quote you in one of my blog posts!
* This post was proofread and edited by the lovely Elizabeth Brico.