THINGS THAT ARE NOT TALKED ABOUT IN COUNSELING
Reality is that no matter how long you have known someone or dated, there are still things that will not be fully revealed until you get married and begin living with them full-time. When I was planning to get married, during those time, people just wanted you to get married to not "live in sin"....the common scripture usage was---it's better to marry than to burn. And while the scriptures are true, it is not in the absence of giving direction and practical wisdom to navigate through the most powerful union on Earth.
I'm sure there are plenty more that you may think of, but here are a few things that I wish I knew prior to marriage that I had a "learn on-the-job training" - lol
In this article we will start with things I wish I knew before marriage -Domestic Edition
The purpose of your partnership. Why you two? - This is a very important conclusion of all relationships, knowing your divine purpose of why your relationship exist. This is why we can't afford to be in superficial relationships, or connect due to circumstances or emotional/sexual needs. Purpose is what will seal the relationship together when things get tough to overcome. It gives reason to fight for. (Gen 2:20-24)
Views on marriage/divorce? What do they think about marriage, find out if their view is based on Biblical truth and not just an idea. Also, will divorce be an option in the marriage, it is important to know that your mate is not entering the marriage with divorce on the brain if it gets tough. During the first years of our marriage, we would get into disagreements and my husband would holler divorce every time. Partly because that is what he saw growing up and felt was the best way to resolve conflict in the marriage. But what it caused for me to constantly hear that was emotional abandonment which caused me to build a defense each time we had a conflict. Being that I didn't grow up in a broken home, I wanted to resolve it and after a while we made an agreement that divorce was not an option for us and to not use it as an end to conflict. These things should be worked out prior to the marriage. (Mat. 19:6; Mark 10:2-5)
Views on male vs. female - Notice that it says versus because some people are prone to feel that males are superior over the female or that it is a competition between the two. Is he a male chauvinist? Do you feel that you have to compete with your mate? Do you celebrate achievements of one another? Do you find that when you speak of your achievements and aspirations, that the mood change or they find a way to make it about them too?
What is the vision of your mate? It's important to seriously discuss this, not knowing your mate's vision will stifle the growth in your relationship. Remember you won't be young and in love all the time. After the euphoria wears off, the truth of your relationship will come to light. Having a vision keeps the relationship from going stale because vision aligns to purpose. A man that has no vision for himself and your relationship will result in poor submission. How can I help with what is not clearly defined. Don't be afraid to challenge that in your mate. It's also good to know if you as his wife can align yourself with his vision. For instance, his vision is to feed the poor and you may be squeamish about being around the less fortunate or have a negative view about homeless/poor people. This will impact the vision and discourage your spouse. I'm not saying that what he is/does that you will play an intricate part however, knowing you support and are willing to help lovingly with his vision will encourage growth in your relationship. By all means, what you know/see in the dating relationship usually doesn't change too much after marriage and it will be unfair to want him to change the core of who he is and vice versa.
Where would you live and feelings about relocation? How do you feel about living in certain areas of town or climates? Are you willing to relocate? Do you love or trust him enough to leave what's familiar?
Clear expectations of cleanliness. Now there is clean and then there is CLEAN. Is he a neat freak, are you? Being honest enough about how clean you are or not? Expectations of who would do what? I know someone that complained about his wife's cleanliness and he revealed that she didn't have to clean growing up as her mother would do it for her. My question to him was did you know that prior to marriage, he said yes, but in his mother's house growing up, she kept a clean home and required them to clean. My response was then you do what your mother taught you because she is not your mother, in the sense that she will not clean as fervently. Our expectations are often from the environment that we grew up around naturally and it causes us to have tunnel vision when it comes to our spouse because we think that they should be the way we know but they too are operating based off of the environment they grew up around. His wife is not a lazy woman, but that was something she did not perfect growing up because it was not required. Knowing strengths and weaknesses ahead of time prepares us for the right expectations.
Do they expect you to know how to cook, if so how often? Know what they expect and be upfront with what you are willing to do and how often. Do you expect him to cook also? Find out if this is a deal breaker.
Do they take pride in their grooming? Are they well kept? Are they more into their grooming than you like? Are they/you high maintenance? How important is it that you get your hair and nails done, how often and how much? Will he try to change how you dress or wear your hair after marriage? These things may seem trivial, but you will be surprised how the tables turn after marriage due to a man or woman being jealous and wanting their mate to dial it down because of their insecurities. How often do they bathe? Do they have a stench? Do they sweat a lot? Are you embarrassed to bring them around your family and friends because you may be judged?
Do they like pets? If so, what kind? You may be a cat lover and he may be a dog lover. You may be a dog lover too but he wants a certain breed that you don't like. Being allergic will affect if you can have a pet and will that be a problem. He may like unusual pets such as a snake, pig, birds, etc. Are you willing to clean up after the pet? Are dogs allowed to sleep in the bed with you or lick you on the mouth?
Next Blog - THINGS I WISH I KNEW PRIOR TO MARRIAGE - THE FAMILY EDITION
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