Energised by the restorative joy of Christmas and motivated by pleasant thoughts of the journey ahead, many couples are now focussing on preparations for their wedding day. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones in that your special day lies ahead this year. Just now you’re probably both overwhelmed and enthused by what lies ahead. So much to do and so many things to finalise! Your greatest efforts will probably go into organising the big day itself. But have you both reflected on what kind of marriage you want and what your priorities will be? Have you as a couple sat down and worked out a life plan or what it might be like for you after you’re married?
Have you discussed how you will make decisions? Will you make them jointly or will it be a continuation of what you do now? Within marriage you will become one, a team, and this brings the added loving care of taking responsibility not just for yourself but also for each other and the relationship. Decisions can sometimes be challenging if couples have not formulated a plan or agreed a process by which they will make decisions in their marriage. The ‘when’ of making decisions is also important in that couples should avoid making decisions when they are preoccupied, tired, stressed, hungry or not quite feeling themselves.
Many couples prioritise communication as the essential bedrock of their relationship. And while communication may be have been effortless and spontaneous throughout your courtship, the pressures and demands of contemporary living can impact on communication within marriage. Couples sometimes struggle to understand that communication is much more than talking; it also entails a willingness to listen and to actually hear what is being said. To listen and to hear we need to slow down and reflect. And frequently within relationships communication isn’t about what is said, but how it’s said. Couples communicate non-verbally as frequently as they do verbally so it’s important to pay attention to areas such as body language, eye contact, inflection and tone of voice.
Couples preparing for marriage prioritise numerous other areas depending on what they have agreed together and what they want from marriage. For some it’s learning the skills of becoming good parents; to build the levels of trust and intimacy and grow in love; for others it’s how to handle conflict; how to grow as a couple in self-confidence and self-awareness; how to budget as a family and manage finances. Many couples are eager to become better at understanding commitment through love; to integrate individual difference and appreciate the uniqueness of each other; to learn to merge the ‘I’ into ‘we.’
Preparing for marriage and focussing on the priorities ahead can become a challenging but necessary part of marriage preparation. But to do so can bring enormous benefits to married life. The Accord Marriage Preparation Course covers all the topics mentioned in this blog and many, many more besides.
Discuss together the top five priorities that each of you would like to prioritise within marriage. Do you feel you can integrate one another’s priorities? What are the challenges that lie ahead for you?
For Your Information
The Accord marriage preparation course, “Marriage – A Journey Not a Destination” offers an extensive series of activities around issues relating to the preparation for marriage. For further information visit: