Our lives are constantly changing and evolving. This is inevitable. So why do we think that once we get married – that’s it, we don’t have to try to keep connecting with our partner? A marriage is a union of two separate people who will face personal challenges that may differ from their partners, so it’s important that we continue to learn about each other….
We are having to continually learn about our partners and keep up with new hobbies, interests, views about life, religion, politics and society. This makes it vital to keep the lines of communication open with your loved one to make sure you are on the same page or at least have an understanding of the page that each other are on.
When people first get married, their vows may understandably be idealistic and optimistic, which is great. At the time of marriage, couples are generally at the peak of their love for each other. However, those couples who have been married for a while will know that things change. That little quirk you thought was super cute when you first got together, is no longer cute, but a potential deal-breaking annoyance.
This is why renewing or reaffirming your vows is a great way to modernise your marriage and make some promises that are more fitting to where you are in your relationship and are maybe a little easier to keep.
Whenever there is a change in your dynamic, for example, babies, where one partner goes part-time, or stops work to raise the children, roles in your relationship change. Issues of housework, finances, and quality time may arise.
Remember when you get married, you don’t cease to be your own person. You are two individuals who have made a mutual decision to join your lives together – so that needs a big conversation to make sure that you are both going to be happy with how it will all work. Find that balance.
It’s all about expectations. If you don’t have that important conversation before you are married – the one where you both say “what would you like this marriage to look like?” then you are on the back foot before the honeymoon has even begun.
Relationship counselling guides you through questions like:
– Would you like to have children? When? How many?
– Who will stay home with the children or will you both work?
– What style of parenting will you use? What type of schooling?
– Will you organise your finances together or will one person be responsible?
– How will that work? If one person is not working, what will happen?
– What do you like to spend your money on?
– One earns more than the other. How do you both feel about that?
– Where will you live?
– Will you buy or will you rent?
– Will you be happy to move if your partner receives a job in another city?
– Will it be ok if your mother comes to stay?
– What are your political views?
– If they don’t match, is that something that you can live with?
If you’ve asked each other these questions and more, and you still feel like you are the right match for each other, and you decide to get married, then good for you…. give me a call, and let’s make that happen.
Years down the track, you might feel exactly the same as you did on your wedding day, or you both may have grown in different directions emotionally, intellectually, and socially. This is when you should ask yourself these same questions and see if you’re still on the same page and if you’re not – seek assistance to help you work together to get back on the same page?
Some people might see marriage counselling as a sign of failure or weakness, but we need to move past old fashions notions like this and think more rationally…
- If your car is not working – you take it to a mechanic
- If your child is not doing well at school – you employ a tutor for extra help
- If your leg is broken – you head for the hospital
- If your relationship doesn’t feel great – you seek relationship guidance
The social stigmas of what people will think if you and your partner are taking the proactive steps to help your relationship no longer exists and if Mrs Jessop across the road has something to say about it – who cares? It’s not her marriage.
There are plenty of organisations that offer family and relationship counselling services… if you’re keen, give me a call and I can help you get started.
Note: This blog was also published on The Celebrants Network blog