I’m in the stage of my life during which it seems every day I learn of another friend or loved one becoming engaged. What an exciting time! So much preparation goes into The Big Day, but of course, as a counselor I wonder, “How can we prepare for life after The Big Day?” I recently read an excellent book called Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven questions to ask before (and after) you marry by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. They outline seven questions couples should address before getting married. One of the questions that really stood out to me was: Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty? Within that chapter, two of the myths the authors discuss also jumped out at me.
The first myth is that you and your partner expect exactly the same things from marriage. Both partners bring into the relationship different perspectives of what a marriage should be based on the marriages they have witnessed, they way they were raised, and they way they wish to live their own lives, yet often assume their perspectives are the same! It is important that the couple have a conversation (many conversations) about what each expects the marriage to be like and what each expects from the other. You may know, in your own mind, what you expect but it is equally important to know what your partner expects.
The second myth I would like to share is that when you get married, everything bad in your life will disappear. It’s tempting to say, “Duh! Of course the bad stuff doesn’t go away,” but how many times have you heard the phrase “Happily Ever After”? And I’m positive that I’m not alone in admitting I have thought, “‘Happily ever after’ sounds pretty nice.” After you are wed, the troubles you had, both inside your relationship and outside your relationship, will remain. Getting married isn’t a cure – it’s a commitment, and the solutions to your problems aren’t found in someone else but within yourself. However, one of the beauties of marriage is that when you are fighting your battles with the bad in your life, your spouse will be there to love you and support you.
For further insight from the Drs. Parrott, check out their book!
If you are looking for pre-marital (or marital) counseling, please give us a call! We would love to help you in your relationship with your significant other.