Although no two marriages will be the same, it is fair to say that marriages do follow a certain pattern. There can be a similar pattern of stages that most marriages go through including the decision to have a family.
As wonderful as marriage is, the different stages can also be challenging at times. Don’t forget that you and your partner are still developing as people, and this will continue throughout the course of both of your lives. Although this can bring with it exciting new possibilities, it can also bring along some challenges and bumps in the road.
There are at least four ‘stages’ that a couple can go through over the course of marriage. Let’s take a look at these different stages and highlight the joys as well as the challenges you may face - and, how you might work through these challenges together.
1. The Wedding
There is no doubt about it - getting married will be one of the most exciting experiences of your life! The buzz surrounding your wedding is a very special one indeed, and afterwards, learning to share your life with your husband/wife and settle into married life can be just as thrilling.
It is important that you really enjoy and cherish this period in your marriage, as it can be one of your most carefree stages.
2. Settling Down
It is important to be aware of the fact that the relationship high you experience around the time of your wedding isn’t necessarily going to be the constant for your married lives. This isn’t to say your marriage won’t be a happy one. You may both develop an even deeper happiness when you truly settle down with your husband/wife and get to know them in every way.
From every one of their personal preferences to their strengths and weaknesses, this can be an incredibly joyful and satisfying time for both of you. It is a time when your love can become more deeply rooted, and you will become closer than ever before.
Sometimes, people may feel slightly deflated after their wedding and honeymoon. It is a special period in your life, and it can be sad to have to leave it behind you. Instead of regretting the end of this stage in your life, you can look forward to the next stage and the excitement it may bring.
3. Family Life
Having children is an amazing yet challenging experience that can truly test the strength of a marriage. On one hand, you and your husband/wife will share a beautiful experience with one another - the birth of your first child. Caring for and loving this child will be an experience that gives you a special connection with one another.
However, having children will also change the dynamic of your relationship. You’re not a couple any more: you’re a family. Having children is a long-term emotional, spiritual and financial commitment, so it is essential to make sure that both you and your spouse are prepared for parenthood.
Make sure that you and your partner communicate clearly when you’re planning and rearing a family. Having a child is a huge step, and you need to make sure that you’re both prepared. Finances, career goals and other personal factors can sometimes present challenges to parenthood. Make sure that you communicate openly and honestly and are supportive of each other as parents
It is also important to be aware that some couples will face the challenge of fertility issues and despite a lot of treatment, pain and anguish, it may not be possible to have children and this requires a lot of understanding and support from each other.
4. Growing Older Together
This can be one of the most satisfying stages in your marriage. Growing older together can be a very fulfilling experience and bring contentment to you and your husband/wife. . As you grow older, you will realise all that you have accomplished and shared. This can be a really special stage that you can cherish.
You have come full circle and shared your life with a person who has come to know you at a very deep level and appreciate you greatly. Of course you will have met many challenges along the way, but you may find comfort, content and peace at in the later years of your marriage.