By Esther: Is getting married right for you? Some questions to consider before you even consider walk down the aisle?
1. Why are you getting married? Be honest and evaluate the reasons behind your engagement and make sure you are not thinking of getting married just because your friends are.
a. If you have to talk yourself into marriage — don’t. If you have to talk your fiancé into getting marriage, that is not a good sign. Make sure you are not getting married to escape or avoid something.
b. If you get nauseous at the thought of shopping for a wedding dress or seem to be sick every time you have to meet the caterer, listen to your body it is screaming at your – NO this is NOT THE ONE.
a. Look closely at your partner’s parents — children learn what they live. The environments they grew up in are most likely what they expect to live in their adulthood. A person’s parents are their template of what a marriage should look like and keep in mind that old saying “The apple does not fall too far from the tree.”
3. Have you planned a marriage — or just a wedding? Meaning planning the Cake, flowers and fine china are all exciting, but there’s more at stake than one day.
a. Your wedding is a day; a marriage is a lifetime. You don’t just want to be married; you want to be happily married. Think in terms of the next 30 years. Put at least the same amount of time and effort that you are using to plan your wedding into planning your marriage.
b. Develop an emotional prenuptial agreement with your partner, outlining how you’ll handle your careers, disciplining children, money, division of labor, in-laws, geography, etc. If you don’t plan for and discuss these topics, the chance of you be able to successfully merge two lives together becomes very slim.
c. Ensure that you have cover non-negotiable issues as in “are we having children?” Surprised that I should say this – not everybody wants children – society wishes us to pro-create but not every individual is physical able to or emotionally wishes to. Religion – Yes a biggie – can you cope with an Inter-Religion Marriage and allow your partner to fellow their own spirituality without expecting her/him to change religion. You should accept your partner for who he/she is right now without change.
4. Express your needs and expectations now — not when you’re already in the marriage. What are your absolute deal breakers? Do you know your partner’s? They have to be your deal breakers as it is so different from person to person. Not what your family thinks or your friends.
5. Forget whether you’re right or wrong. The question is: Is what you’re doing working or not working for both of you as a couple? Forget your parents and community expectations of what is right in a marriage. It needs to be right FOR BOTH OF YOU – NOT JUST ONE OF YOU.
6. Falling in love is not the same thing as being in love. Embrace the change and know that it takes work. There is an old Hindu saying “True love begins after marriage” Why is this because dating and even living together is not the same thing as the legal commitment of marriage.
7. Roles in Marriage. Did your husband’s mother take such good care of him growing up that now he doesn’t know how to do anything for himself? If the division of labor in your relationship isn’t working. Instead of just complaining, be specific about what it is that you want.
8. Every relationship is negotiated, and needs to be continually negotiated. Even if you’ve done things one way for 20 years, it’s not too late to find a new way to share responsibilities. Find a division of labor that both of you can live with. Come up with new definitions for your relationship.
9. Work on things during times of peace. In the heat of an argument is no time to come up with solutions that will work for both of you. Don’t expect things to change without working on changing them.
10. Try to see things through your partner’s eyes. You need not necessarily switch roles completely, but you do need to understand what your spouse is saying.
11. For men only – Remember that your wife is your partner, not your mother. Don’t expect her to clean up after you and cut your meat for you. Perhaps your mother did that when you were a child, but you’re now in a partnership.
12. For ladies only – Remember if you chose to mother your husband you will smother the romance in your marriage – look closely at that word – it is just mother with S in front.