Why Every Engaged Couple Should Pay Attention to this Blog!
The holidays are always a happy and joyous time, and I know for many dating couples, it just got really happy and joyous with engagements! (CONGRATULATIONS!) Now, the newly engaged couple has much to look forward to, like a life together until death to they part...and that, like many other adventures in life (like parenting!), comes without an instruction manual! Have no fear, engaged couples, I have a secret...I actually have a manual for you! You see, as a coach who specializes in marriage, specifically pre-marriage, I have the academic background with tried and true best practices to help you. But then pair that with my compassion and life experiences, and Voila! You will have the best start to a healthy and happy marriage!
First, WHAT is pre-marriage coaching, anyway??? Well, quite simply, it is education for couples, preparing them for the best marriage possible. So then why is that important? Okay, I have to be brutally honest as to WHY it is important. I'd love to tell you all that, as the Beatles sang, "Love is All You Need", but truth be told, you need a HECK OF A LOT MORE THAN LOVE! Yes, Love to one another is a piece of the foundation. A PIECE.
As a foundation, you need to love and honor one another. And there is so much more to that than what you may think. Loving your new spouse means also loving their family, honoring their background. You also need to love and honor one another's past, present, and future. That, too, encompasses quite a bit. And thirdly, you need to love and honor GOD within your marriage. Regardless what your spiritual belief is (I am a Christian and for me, it is the foundation of what I base my entire coaching practice on), your marriage needs to center around the fact that you and your spouse are NOT the center of your relationship. NO, the center and main foundation of your relationship is GOD (or the higher-being you believe in, because you are part of something much bigger than you can ever imagine!)
Once you and your spouse understand what the foundation of your relationship is and you both agree and feel good about the center of the foundation, then we can move on to build upon that and strengthen every part of what makes a great marriage.
Such as KNOWING VALUES. The values you each hold make you who you are, and why your partner fell in love with you. But then what happens when her values and his values get married??? There's a whole lot to sort out! This was something that didn't seem like a big deal to Josh and I when we were dating and engaged. We knew one another and accepted and loved one another. But soon after we were married, he stated he felt I depended too much on my parents. This became an argument because it hurt my feelings that he didn't want my parents in our lives as much as I did. I was, and still am, very close to my mom and dad. Josh was brought up much differently than I. He felt that when you get married, that becomes your new family and you don't need your family that raised you so much. I felt that when you get married, you are now an extended part of a much bigger family. You see, this was not something we realized we really needed to talk about. I can tell you, this is not something to take lightly. We all value things differently, and we all have different ideas on values. (Obviously Josh and I have worked out this whole family thing...and it is still something we much come back to and work on.) That leads me to talk the next step in building that great marriage...
Learning about CONFLICT RESOLUTION. There will be disagreements during your life together. That is inevitable. There may even be fights, because when one person feels passionate about something and the other person isn't completely on board, whoa Nelly! There can be some tense moments! Learning how to communicate effectively and efficiently (which sometimes learning how to REALLY LISTEN!), speaking one another's Love Language, and learning how to show grace and move on away from our own pride will immensely build a better relationship! Trust me when I say if my husband and I had learned this in the beginning, there would have been a lot less hurt feelings!
And let's talk about MONEY.
Yeah, you're getting married and what's hers will be his, and what is his will be hers. And wow...that takes some getting used to AND some really good planning! Finances is most definitely an area that an engaged couple needs discuss and come up with budgets, or at least a plan of action with how they will share financially duties. A great example of this is that when Josh and I first married, I took over EVERYTHING. After all, I am actually older than him, I had been married before, and I had brought my young son into our marriage...I felt I knew it all. So I did it all. And after a while, I was completely overwhelmed. When we finally got help for our marriage, this was the first thing we talked about. Josh said he WANTED to be more in charge of finances, but I just took over...so we split duties. We learned what each of our strengths were (I like to pay the bills, he like to budgets and plan) and together, we have been able to combine our powers for good!
And I think I also brought up a good point above talking about how I took over because I "KNEW IT ALL." That attitude I brought was me trying to be helpful, not hurtful, but it ended up being quite destructive to our relationship. So learning how to DEAL WITH ISSUES is also very important for new couples. We all have a past that we bring. But it is taking who you are in the present and learning how to build a live TOGETHER for your FUTURE.
The number one reason all engaged couples should pay attention to this post today is this: Pre-marriage Coaching (or counseling) is DIVORCE PREVENTION. When I married my first husband, there are many, many, MANY things I look back at now and think, "Why didn't we know to talk about that???" And while we did, through the church I attended at that time, go through a required pre-marriage counseling class, it was taught by a nun and we NEVER EVER talked about the things that after lots of years of experience I realize YOU HAVE GOT TO TALK ABOUT.
When you get married, you plan on spending the rest of your lives together, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part. Let a Marriage Coach (or counselor) help you figure out how to go forward with all the tools you need to build a strong foundation in your marriage!
If you're interested in working with me, or just learning more, please email at email@example.com