When you are preparing to get married, the last thing you want to think about is the inevitable storms that your marriage will face. Life is always a tapestry of calm and storm and that’s true for marriages too. Pressures from within and without can cause devastatingly stormy conditions, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. In this month’s blog, I’m offering you some pointers to what you should be thinking about BEFORE you tie the knot.
“Love endures all things”. So said St Paul, but he wasn’t talking about schmalzy, hearts and flowers love and, this month, neither am I. For love to endure, you must create the conditions in which that endurance can happen. That means that you have to think about some uncomfortable things before you even consider issues like dates, venues, celebrants etc. For your marriage to be real, you have to get real. Here are some headings you need to have addressed before you walk down the aisle:
1) Your vision for your life: When you cast your eye forward say five or even ten years, what do you imagine your life will look like?
· Are children involved?
· How do you run the finances? Joint or separate banking or a mixture?
· Where are you living? City, country, seaside?
· Who’s the main breadwinner?
· How are you dividing domestic responsibilities?
2) The values that underpin your life: What are the fundamental red lines in terms of the behaviour you expect from yourself, yourselves and others?
· Make a list
· You don’t have to share all of them, but if you don’t share most of them, then I guarantee you’re heading for trouble.
· What happens when change happens? Say one of you becomes disabled or seriously I’ll. Talking about it won’t make it happen, but it will transform your chances of surviving as a couple if and when it does!
3) Why are you here? Everyone has a ‘why’, every marriage has one too, but you need to dig around a bit to find it. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said “You can endure and ‘how’ with a strong enough ‘why’”.
· What do you bring to your relationships and friendships that others would miss if you weren’t here?
· What is it that you would both miss most about your partner if they weren’t here anymore?
· What are your main skills and passions in life that you couldn’t live without? You don’t have to share these, but you do have to be completely committed to supporting them in one another otherwise resentment will tear you apart.
Take time to write this stuff down. Print it out or have it written by a calligrapher on beautiful paper. This is your manifesto, your salvation in the storms of life. It is the basis of any marriage ceremony you create with your celebrant and it informs the vows you make to each other on your wedding day; vows you renew to each other every single morning.
The storms will come, you can’t stop them, but as any great explorer or adventurer will tell you, surviving the journey is all in the preparation.
To work with me on any of this, just book a free consultation.