Ensure you are ready for marriage

Edited by Ephraim, Charmed, Innocent Yogo, Lynn and 6 others

When you think you're ready to get married, you and your partner should be prepared to face the world together, for better or for worse. Many people believe that marriage is a magical cure for all of their problems, but that's far from the reality. Once you get past the wedding and honeymoon, you'll realize there's a lot more to married life than wine and roses. A marriage is about real life, and it will take effort from both of you if you want to live happily ever after. If you're willing to work hand-in-hand, learn how to compromise and effectively deal with conflict, you'll reap the benefits of a life-long, supportive and loving marriage.

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How to Prepare for the Ups and Downs of Married Life

  1. 1
    Ask yourself why you're getting married
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    Before you tie the knot, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. Evaluate the pros and cons of marriage. If you feel like you're being pushed into it by another person or societal pressure, or if you're trying to rebel or run away from something in your life, then it's unlikely that you're truly ready to devote your life to another person. If you feel like you want to share your life with your partner and they feel the same way, then it's likely you're doing it for the right reasons. If you feel like you're not ready for any reason, then you're probably not. Give it some time and discuss your issues with your partner.
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  2. 2
    Prepare for real life together
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    Instead of only going on dates, do regular, everyday things together. Go grocery shopping, work on a home improvement project, run errands, clean, cook meals, go to church or just try hanging out and doing nothing. Real life is not just fancy dinners and perfect manners. Find out how well you get along with your significant other when you're not just trying to impress each other.
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  3. 3
    Make sure you both share similar goals
    It's important that you're both on the same page when it comes to big goals and lifestyle choices. If one of you wants kids and the other doesn't, that can lead to a huge disappointment. Do you want to live in the city or the country? Do you want to settle down and buy a home or travel the world? These are just a few important lifestyle questions you need to ask each other before you walk down the aisle.
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  4. 4
    Talk about your expectations
    Many people have visions of their picture-perfect days together as a married couple, but if they're not realistic, oftentimes they're in for a rude awakening. Make it clear to each other what your expectations are, for everything from housework and family visits, to relaxation time and date nights. You don't have to set everything in stone, but it's nice to have a rough idea of how you'll spend your days as husband and wife. This can also help you learn to compromise.
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  5. 5
    Consider completing your education before getting married
    While many happy couples can finish school or continue their education, it might be a good idea to finish this before marriage. The financial strain of tuition and time management issues might introduce problems into the marriage unless previously agreed upon and planned for, so in many cases it's best to acquire your college degrees before getting married.
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  6. 6
    Plan or establish your career goals before getting married
    Even if your career hasn't fully taken off yet, it's smart to have some idea of what you'd like to do before you get married. This will help you plan a life together in many ways. If you're going to be spending long hours at your job, you should let your future spouse know. Whether you work a standard 9 to 5 office job or you're more of a free spirit and take on freelance jobs, this is something you need to talk about as a couple.
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  7. 7
    Talk about money
    Money issues are something every couple has to deal with, and it's best to have a plan before you get married. Financial stability can bring a lot to a marriage, so try to make sure your debts, credit and payment histories are up to date. You don't want to make someone else responsible for your debts. Also, it's best to start a savings before marriage, since you never know when an emergency might arise.
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  8. 8
    Share any known health problems before getting married
    If you have serious health problems, it's important to let your significant other know before you get married. While this can be a touchy subject, it's only fair to let the love of your life know about it. Illness can strike at any time, so you should both be prepared to take care of each other in sickness and in health.
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  9. 9
    Ask married friends or relatives for marriage advice
    Getting advice from married couples can be a huge benefit. It allows you to learn about different points of view and how to avoid ridiculous arguments which can help strengthen your marriage. You can even take part in pre-marital counseling sessions to get better insight on what to expect in the future. Take advantage of the many books and resources on preparation for married life.
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  10. 10
    Communicate with each other
    This is one of the most important keys to a healthy and happy relationship. You must be able to communicate properly to get along. Fully listen and understand your partner, and watch what you say during arguments. Always take the other person's feelings and thoughts into consideration, but be clear about your feelings, as well. It's good for you to be able to freely discuss and resolve issues without one of you shutting down or having a major blowout.
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  11. 11
    Divide the household chores
    This might not seem like a big deal, but your lives together will run a lot more smoothly if you have some sort of a plan. Negotiate and compromise so no one's getting stuck doing things they absolutely hate, or you can at least share the load. For some couples, one of you might agree to do all the housework while the other works outside of the home. There is no right or wrong way to decide, but choose what you feel works the best for you as a couple.
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  12. 12
    Discuss religion before you decide to get married
    You should know if your partner practices or feels strongly about a particular religion. Will you go to church together? Will it affect your lifestyle? And if you have children, which religion will they practice? This is something worth discussing before you walk down the aisle.
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  13. 13
    Talk about how you'll divide time between your families
    Other family members are a big part of your lives, so you should talk about how much time you'll be spending with them once you're married. Are you inseparable from a sibling or parent? It's a good idea to let your future spouse know. Figure out how you'll split up holidays and whether you'll go to their house or if they'll come to yours. It's best to have a game plan to avoid any major disappointment down the road.
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Questions and Answers

Should both parties be stable to get married?

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Definitely yes. While it could be very unromantic to be tackling money matters in a relationship, lifelong commitment in a marriage takes two responsible people who are open to discussing investments, expenditures, debts, and savings for the rest of their lives. Both parties should be financially stable before ever thinking of tying the knot. One of the leading causes of increasing divorce rates in the United States is financial instability.

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Knowing firsthand if you both are financially compatible and stable is important in deciding whether you can work out your married life and finances in the future. Love is definitely a numbers game too. It should never be about power struggles or who earns more than the other. It's all about working as a team with a common goal. Real and mature partners in relationships understand the importance of money for daily expenses, schooling, medical expenses, housing, leisure, and other items on a checklist to ensure a better quality of life for the whole family.

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Here are some things worth talking about to determine a couple's financial stability:

  • Sources of Income. Do both of you have a permanent job? Or own a business perhaps? Are these regular income streams or temporary? You should consolidate and check on your sources of funds. Both men and women can dominate the corporate world in a complementary and equal fashion. It's not just a man's world - not anymore. Both partners should be able to contribute to financial goals to succeed in marriage. It is highly recommended that both couples have regular or permanent jobs to be assured that they can provide for the growing needs of the family in the event that they decide to get married. A joint business venture is also a great way to start building your financial future together as a team (or you can have individual business pursuits). Look into your combined income pool and determine if it is more than enough to cover your financial needs for the next 10 years or so. You can map out the necessary adjustments or arrangements as you move along. TIP: Home offices or businesses run at home are very convenient and cost-effective, especially for parents who have small children and decide to be hands-on with taking care of the kids while managing a business. You can definitely enjoy both worlds with this venture and rake in more profit over the long haul.
  • Debts. This may be an embarrassing topic for couples who are planning to get married, but it is a must that you settle the score to be able to start on the right foot. Be honest in divulging your debt situation. If you both have minimal debt that you can easily pay off after getting married, then that should be fairly manageable. However, if you have a bad credit rating and have piles of debt that you intend to roll over after the "I do" part, then think again. Having a huge chunk of debt should not be a reason to change your mind about the whole marriage setup, but it should be a cause for concern. TIP: Consider working on paying off your individual debts first before getting married, so you can start together with a clean slate.
  • Financial Intelligence. Are you a spender or a saver? It is critical to know your financial habits early on in the relationship because not being able to settle the differences with regard to spending is why many marriages fail. You should be able to complement and help each other when it comes to financial decisions. It is those little details that count in a marriage. Compatibility with handling money can make or break any relationship. If you both are efficient savers then you are definitely off to a good start. However, if both partners are compulsive spenders and do not prioritize saving, then that could be a huge marital problem in the future. Many people fail to realize that there are real or tangible things that must be looked at in a relationship, more than just the cheesy butterflies-in-the-stomach thing. TIP: Practice working on your financial rubble. If your partner is a huge spender, then you can try helping him work on his money skills and get his attitude on the right track. Share your saving tips and let him or her realize how it can benefit you both in the future.
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Money figuratively makes the world spin around, which is why being stable before marriage is important. Marital relationships are all about getting your act together and pushing each other to be better, both in financial pursuits and in married life. If you are both committed to sharing forever together, then financial transformations are possible.

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Article Info

Categories : Marriage

Recent edits by: Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles, Jonathan, Monika

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