As a current or former bride-to-be, you understand the whirlwind of excitement and activity that goes into planning a wedding. Your courtship has been full of love and now you're planning for the beginning of your new life together. It's an exciting time and it always seems to go by too fast. When the vows are said, however, the real deal starts. Just as you have overcome any hurdles while dating, the same will need to be done during the marriage, over and over again, to make it last. You'll have to work side-by-side to make big decisions. How will you manage finances? Raise your children? Which city will you live in? Will you practice religion?
Seemingly small choices can make a big impact, too. How will you spend your weekends? How often will you see your friends? Whose job is it to do laundry and dishes? Because of growth through decisions big and small, many couples lose sight of the core of their marriage and grow apart even during the first few years.
You've heard that marriage is hard work. Have you ever really thought about that? When two people marry, those are two very different individuals with different upbringings, varied lifestyles, and different points-of-view committing to love and support each other eternally. Of course it will be hard! A recent blog post covered 10 tips for making a marriage last. Consider the following and how it applies to your own relationship, before and during your marriage:
1. Have a vision for your marriage and your family and discuss that with your partner. This means that you can picture what kind of home life you would like to have; what kind of atmosphere you would like to live in. Welcome change even when it is the least expected. Take that as an opportunity to grow together.
2. Focus on what you can do to enhance or improve the relationship, not on demanding what your spouse needs to do differently.
3. Overlook imperfection in your spouse if it is not a matter of life or death, physical abuse or substance abuse, immoral or illegal.
4. Learn to communicate healthily and effectively. Avoid being argumentative. Your home is not a courtroom. No one needs to win. You are to work things out as a team.
5. Compliment your spouse sincerely to build him/her up: Appreciate your spouse the way he/she is.
6. Show respect to your spouse in front of others - your children, in-laws, friends and strangers; Show respect to your spouse even when no one is watching; Be on the same page with your spouse in disciplining your children.
7. Provide timely support to your spouse. Carve out time to be together intimately. Make time for each other as husband and wife. Do not take your spouse for granted.
8. Forgive and move on. Don’t hold grudges.
9. Come together to understand each other's form of spirituality.
10. Bless each other on a daily basis. Lift your spouse up and remember that he/she is so special that you chose to spend your life with them.