Here once again I believe that it is clear that the most important time to build towards your marriage and establish what you want is BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED! If like me you are not married, then please do not squander this time! Running around trying to get married to “just any spouse”, is definitely a sad waste of this opportunity. Rather, use it carefully to establish the foundations of the marriage that you would like. The fact that we have the chance to sit down and think through all these things is perhaps something that would be lacking in the marriages of people who got married while they were still young and generally inexperienced about life. Who knows, perhaps many married people would be looking on in envy wishing that they had had the chance to carefully plan and choose towards different aspects of marriage. Perhaps they might think that this would have influenced their marital choice. So for those of us who do have this opportunity, let us appreciate it for how powerful it is, and let us use it wisely!
How to think through this before marriage: If you have identified the parts of marriage that are most important to you, then something very important is to find a spouse whose views are compatible. For instance, if you are a woman who dreams of achieving your own career success in life then it would be important to find a husband who is prepared to make the effort to synchronise life goals, and who might even be willing to make a few compromises in his own career for the sake of this (for instance working in his second-choice locality if there are no jobs for you in his first choice locality.) I know that many men are not at all geared towards this, and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that. In the same way, I know that there are many women who dream of not having to work outside at all but of having a man who would shoulder all the financial responsibility while they the women build comfortable and appealing homes and devote lots of time and care to bringing up children. Equally, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that, either. I think that the most important thing for you and your spouse is that you are in agreement.
Then you could also work out what it would mean to you for your marriage to be excellently healthy in each area. This is where self-awareness comes in. Sometimes we might think that something is what would be important to us, or what might make us feel cosmically connected, for instance, whereas the reality might be totally different. However, there are some characteristics that are definitely going to be important. Like patience, as inevitably one or both spouses might change their minds a number of times about what they want, or what they need in a particular situation, or someone might think that they have communicated something clearly, and might start to feel upset, when the truth is that they did not actually communicate it at all, but were only thinking it. And then patience also with a clear inadequacy or weakness on the part of your spouse, like messiness, for instance! And then maybe you could think of ways you could work around different issues. Like for instance, I’ve always thought that it would probably save so much stress if I just had my own room, even after getting married!
And then you have to talk and talk and talk and talk! In marriage you have to be constantly reassessing each area, and your interaction, and the quality of that. And communication is the means where you can get feedback from the other person, so it is not just your own opinion. And it also gives you a basis to move forward together for united action.
Look how long this blog post is! And see how many posts I have already written for this blog! I hope it is clear that I am someone who is committed to marital communication. However, it is not a mistake that these are written, rather than expressed any other way. I suspect that I might be a little shy to talk about some of these issues face-to-face, so I suspect that I might have to actually write letters to a fiancé or husband, if only to “set the scene” before struggling through very embarrassing face-to-face conversations. (Look, I am subtly issuing a warning here for the benefit of my future husband, and the relevant “someone” out there might think I’m joking…This is another reason why it is important that he’s a reader. Imagine receiving a letter like this once a month – or even once a week! Further patience. I’m starting to think that I might need a man with the patience of a saint – which is handy because I’m coincidentally planning to marry a saint anyway! But not one of the….dead ones…) And I hope that that is ok – to identify what works for you, and to work with that. So even though I have a (surprising?) history of shyness, I am using this blog to get a “head-start” on communication within my marriage! 😉
This topic has so many parts, and I hope to be able to speak about them at greater length, but I will finally end it here for now! 😉
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Image of person speaking through tin can by Ryan Mcguire on Pixabay