So you think that you have found the one person in the world that you want to spend the rest of your life with? Marriage sounds wonderful while we are thinking of The Wedding. But, what happens after the wedding? Marriage is work as anyone who has been married for long will tell you. You are making a commitment to another person, both spiritually and legally. Ah, so you did not think about the legal aspect of being married, did you?
Things You Will Need
Insight and wisdom, love and understanding, giving and taking, supporting and being supported, talking and listening, hope and faith, loving and being loved are just a few things that it takes to make a marriage last.
Although it is wonderful to be "in" love and finding that single person that fulfills your every need, marriage lasts a life time. You need to think about some of the negatives that come with marriage and decide for yourself if you are indeed ready to take that step. Some of these things sound silly when you are in love and in the "honeymoon" stage of a relationship. But, 10 or 20 years down the road, they do not seem so silly.
Have you considered a prenup? Why would you think about your divorce before you even get married? Now is the BEST time to think about it. Sure right now you are willing to take on your future spouses bills and student loans, but would you still be willing to pay them if your relationship soured? If the other person cheated on you? If the other person abused you? If the other person decided that they didnt like working after all. How about if they decided that they didn't love YOU any more? Ah, so you wouldn't want to pay them then would you? Like I said, now is the time to think about this. Once you are married, you become legally responsible for each other, including paying the debt. Prenups are not just for the Rich and Famous. They can iron out issues before they arise. Hopefully, you would never need the prenup in the future, but it is something that should be considered in the beginning.
How many kids to you want? Does your partner agree? What is you idea of being a parent? What does that really mean to you? and to your intended? Will one of you stay home to raise the children? Having children is a TON of work, a labor of love, but a lot of work.
Do you have similar religious views? If not, are you able to respect your intended and their religous beliefs?
How will you spend holidays? With your family, or theirs? Dividing time between the two? Or away on vacation?
How will the money be spent and saved?
Who will be responsible for paying the bills?
Where will you live? House in the suburbs or an apartment in the city? Maybe in the country on a farm?
How will you divide the chores? Cleaning, cooking, laundry, garbage, windows, painting, lawn, grocery shopping, dishes, paying the bills, caring for the children? These little seemingly insignificant things can cause BIG problems if you don't know what is or will be expected of you. And, what do you expect from the other person?
What are you goals for the future? Where to you plan to be in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years from now?
How do you feel about caring for the other persons parents/family if the need arises?
What about leisure activities?
How do you fit into their family? Do you love them or hate them? And they yours?
How about their friends? Do you love them or hate them? And they yours?
RESPECT. Do you respect the other person? How do they treat waiters and waitresses, or the cashier? Do they change into a monster that embarasses you when things do not go their way?
SEX. You knew I might get around to this. This can also cause big trouble in a relationship. If one partner only likes to have sex once every week or two, and the other wants to have sex every couple of day, you might have trouble lurking.
Marriage is and can be wonderful. But it is not for the faint hearted. Life is a process of learning and you will be tested from time to time. Marriage is work and should be a labor of love. I think everyone should have a real good understanding of what love is and what it is not before they get married. In addition to love, you need to be able to commit to the marriage itself. It will be work at times and you must be willing to give to the marriage. Marrying someone means putting their needs and wants and desires and all of that before your own. Likewise, they should give the same to you in return.