Summer time, wedding time. If you are considering marriage or have already crossed over to the infamous pre marriage questions stage – Here is what I have to say:
Get married all you want.
But for crying out out, DO NOT make the single most significant decision of your life with pink-colored glasses still on.
It would be equivalent to making a major life decision while you are high. Or drunk. Or feverish and shaking. Or post-surgery or during your first months of recovery. You get the point, yes? Nobody in their right mind would do that, right?
When people approach me to let me know that they are getting married, asking for advice, I always ask them this one thing. Actually, I take that back. It’s two.
The first thing is this:
Tell me at least three things that you do not like about your husband/wife to be. This. Is. Key.
You know you are out of the lovey-dovey stage – the one I described above where you are still completely enamored and wearing those pink-colored glasses even in your sleep – when you can, in fact, tell me several things that are not to your liking about the other person.
Things you disagree on. Things that bother you. They don’t have to be life & death sort of issues. They don’t have to be things that make or break the deal. (In fact, they shouldn’t be that).
I JUST want to know that you realized by now that this person whom you are considering to spend your life with, is by no means, nor ever will they be, perfect.
Because reality is, they are NOT. They may curse too much. Eat sloppily. Snore in their sleep. Forget to take the trash out. Never clean the bathroom. Forget to notice things or bring you flowers. Always expect you to take care of the bill. Or buy groceries. Leave their clothes all over their apartment. Forget to open the door for you.
When you take those glasses off and are able to take a realistic look at the other person, you are on your way. Then I want to know that the imperfections that you found (much like I hope this happens the other way around and your partner sees some in you) you are consciously able to live with. And if you are not, or if you are questioning them, let’s bring that to the table.
The second thing is this:
Have you had a fight yet? I know, it might sound weird. Aren’t we supposed NOT to fight? Isn’t that how we know we are perfect for each other?
Actually, no. It’s actually really significant. Have you experienced a fight yet? Or are you still tiptoeing around, trying to impress the other person at the cost of your own comfort or well-being, making no noise, hoping that you won’t upset the equilibrium?
Have you seen yourself respond to your partner’s bad mood? Have they been able to bring up one of your bad habits? Are you able to resolve things to your liking? To where you are still good with each other while not crossing each other’s boundaries?
There is a misconception out there that goes like this: If you love someone, you shouldn’t have to fight. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s also unhealthy. Any two people living in close proximity over time will get into disagreements from time to time. The difference is – Can you deal with the reality, can you tolerate it and do you know how to fight well.
If you can positively respond to both of these two questions, you have met my minimum requirements.
To read more about my approach to pre marriage questions and counseling, please visit my PREMARITAL COUNSELING PAGE dedicated precisely to that topic. I’m all about making certain that when you walk down the isle, you are READY and YOU KNOW IT.
If you have other pre marriage questions that I have not answered here, or you have questions about how you can get to this place of passing the minimum requirements, feel free to SCHEDULE AN INITIAL PHONE CONSULTATION HERE and let’s talk.
Maybe you don’t really know where to go from here – I’d love to help you figure out what to do next. Again, here’s the LINK to schedule a complimentary 30 min phone session & we’ll talk soon.