Hi, this is Rachael. Are you ready to get married? It isn’t uncommon for couples to go into a marriage thinking things will be one way only to be thrown for a loop when they turn out another. The thought of preparing for marriage might sound odd to some, but setting goals and communicating as a couple now will set you up for happy, functional relationship or, in other words, a successful marriage.
There is no wrong time to start preparing for marriage. Knowing what to expect before you walk down the aisle and take your vows will be a valuable asset to the success of your relationship. That’s why we’re looking at 8 tips for a successful marriage that you can start doing today.
1. Communicate Like There’s no Tomorrow
Couples need to be able to talk about things to have a healthy marriage.
Communication is how you will learn to solve problems together. Instead of yelling or using an argument as an excuse to be mean or hurtful toward one another, act as partners and see the opportunity to solve the problem you face as partners.
Research shows that even communication about sex also has positive benefits to your marriage. Couples who were able to be open and honest about sex and their expectations for it showed both heightened relationship quality and sexual satisfaction.
2. Maintain a Marital Friendship
Your spouse is more than just a romantic partner, they are the person you should want to hang out and have fun with. Studies show that couples are happier when they view each other as their best friend.
Yes, having a marital friendship is just as important as having romance in your relationship. You can be a good friend by being honest, trustworthy, dependable, loyal, and by planning fun activities with your spouse.
3. Take a Marriage Class
There are many classes available both online and likely in your community specifically designed to prepare for marriage.
During a marriage course or class, you will be taught how to build strong foundations for a better future. During your class, you will talk about how to communicate with your spouse, commit to your marriage, and resolve conflict, and keep the love alive in your relationship.
Many churches offer marriage preparation classes, but you by no means have to be religious to take the courses.
4. Spend Quality Time Together
Take your marriage preparation to the next level by scheduling a weekly date night from now until the end of time. Studies show that couples who have a regular date night are less likely to get divorced than couples who don’t make quality time together a priority.
Further research in the same study by The National Marriage Project goes on to say that couples also experience a boost in marital excitement, sexual activity, and have better communication after spending quality time together than other couples.
You can prepare for a healthy, happy marriage by ensuring you are regularly spending time with your spouse doing something fun, romantic, or simply unwinding. So long as you are doing it together, it’s all good!
5. Set Goals Together as a Couple
One sure fire way to bond with your spouse and prepare for a successful marriage is to set realistic goals for your relationship.
For example, one goal may be to lose weight together. Studies show that couples who exercise together are more likely to stick with their exercise routines than those who don’t.
Other great ideas for goals would be to have more tech-free time with your spouse, to have a regular date night, and to be more vulnerable with each other.
6. Preparing for Marriage: Get Your Finances in Order
Money can be an uncomfortable subject for couples to discuss, but it’s important to get money talk out in the open when preparing for marriage. The sooner you can communicate openly about finances, the easier it will be in the future.
Discuss how you will handle your finances, joint account or separate? Who will pay for what? How will you handle debt if you are bringing any into the marriage?
It’s also important to go over your combined salaries and discuss a monthly budget that you can both agree on.
7. Talk About Your Expectations
Many couples find it helps when preparing for marriage to talk about their life expectations.
For example, do the two of you share the same faith? There are many positive links between sharing religious beliefs, being happier, and having a healthier lifestyle. Studies show that couples who share the same faith are happier than couples who don’t have the same one. They also have lower anxiety and less alcohol consumption and smoking.
On the other hand, not sharing the same views on politics, social issues, and faith can cause troubles later.
Other expectations to talk about for a successful marriage are:
- Your sexual desires and expected frequency of sex
- Do you want to have children? If so, when, how many, and how do you plan on raising them? Are you on the same page about your parenting styles?
- What will your living arrangements be?
- How you will handle problems in the future?
These things are all important topics to discuss for a successful marriage ahead. These conversations help show how your relationship will grow and move forward.
8. Be Partners in Every Sense of the Word
Partners are different than couples. By definition, they are someone who shares the same endeavors and common interests as you. When you partner up with your spouse, this means you try to include them when making big decisions and you consider their thoughts and feelings on matters.
Final Words on Having a Successful Marriage
Preparing for marriage is a great way to show your partner that you care about your future nuptials and value your relationship. You can prepare for marriage now by putting a priority on your romantic friendship, date night, and making decisions together as partners. With practice, you’ll have the tools necessary to make your marriage an absolute success.
About the Writer
Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.