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Things I Wish I Knew Prior To Marriage-Family Edition

Things that are not talked about in Counseling

Family History, OMG! This is one of the topics that is definitely not fully revealed until you begin living life each day. However, I want to shed some light on how you can dive deep prior to getting married.

You would never think that the things your spouse and even you went through as a child would manifest in your marital relationship. These are things that in the dating relationship, is often overlooked. But healing from issues in the past will allow your marital relationship to flourish.


Things I Wish I Knew Prior to Marriage - #FamilyEdition

  • FULL history of mate and family - Knowing the FULL history of your mate's family history is necessary to understand who you are with, it will reveal things that you didn't know, it will provide a connection to why they think, feel or act the way they do. Don't be afraid go in depth about their family history as you are marrying everything that is a part of your mate. It is important for you also to reveal your family history so that they will know what to expect. Examples: When they tell you they had an absentee father....the question to ask is how did that make you feel and how does it affect you as a man? When they mention that they were poor growing up...the question to ask is how did that affect you growing up and do you shape your life from that moment? I heard Steve Harvey say that he works so much because he never wants to be as poor as he grew up. And while it makes sense, becoming a workaholic can cause neglect in the relationship and children's lives.

  • How much emotional/mental damage the family history has caused? This goes hand in hand with knowing the full history of your mate and his family. When I was dating my husband, we were just kicking it, I knew a little about his history but didn't know how much it was affecting him emotionally. Being young, you ignore the inner you and I didn't know that he was like a "ticking time bomb" due to the wounds of his past that even to this day he deals with. A lot of our issues were just symptoms of the pain that he needed healing from but didn't articulate. As it was often easier to blame an outside source then to deal with the inner person. When we got over our pride and allowed God to work on our hearts, we were able to get to the root of the problem and discovered that some serious healing needed to be done in order to end the cycle of anger and rejection.

  • Can they get along with your family? Now I know what you are thinking, "I'm not marrying his family, I'm marrying him." And while that sounds good and if all of his family is dead and gone, then the statement is definitely true. However, your marriage is exclusive to the two of both have family that will be a part of your community/village. Not all families get along but a mutual respect is definitely something to work on as it can potentially affect the temperature of your relationship if you have to attend gatherings or spend the holidays together. Not all families are created equal, however, I do encourage you to attempt to put forth the best effort to maintain peace to avoid awkwardness for your spouse. Never make your spouse choose by way of possessiveness but lovingly express your concerns and find ways that all can cohabit with one another with respect of the relationships.

  • Do they love their mom or sisters? You've heard the phrase, "if they love their Momma, they will love you" --- this statement has some truth to it, however, I've known some people who love their mother but treat their wife/girlfriend like crap. But it does create some foundation on how they feel about women by what they say or how they treat the women in their family. If a man doesn't get along with his mother, it has the potential to breed a tumultuous and resentful relationship with you. Ask the questions of why the relationship isn't strong, what happened in that mother/son relationship and how will that affect how he feels if he sees the same traits in you?

  • Will they have an issue with how close you are with your family? Mat. 19:5 talks about leaving and cleaving that the two may become one. This scripture is not just about location but position/priority in the marriage. It is a journey to maturity to now live without parental covering and become connected with your spiritual covering as one unit. This scripture is not indicating abandonment of your extended family but placing them in their proper place now that you are married, your spouse comes before your family. Now if that statement made you feel some type of way, then the question is this person important enough to me to put them before my family? Find out will they have an issue with how close you are with your parent(s), or siblings. Will they attempt to seclude you from them because they don't understand that type of closeness? Wanting you to never see your family or pulling you away without purpose breeds another issue and could lead to a dangerous situation, please recognize the difference.

  • What type of marriage did they see growing up? Did you come from a broken (divorced) home? Were your parents married for years? Were you raised in a single parent home? Did you witness fighting in your home between parents or step parents? Was it an abusive relationship or an adulteress one? Did Daddy have a presence in the home or was he a silent partner where Momma did everything for the children and Daddy just worked? In my parents marriage, I didn't witness them arguing or fighting, at least not in front of us as kids and although that is a wonderful thing, it didn't teach me how to solve conflict effectively. These things are important as it will shape the way we view marriage. Always know that the Bible is the tie breaker in all matters, as it has the real view of what God intended from the beginning.

  • Family health issues/allergies. Knowing the family medical history will help you to know what is your mate's potential health risk and the children that you will have together. It will help you all to live a more healthy lifestyle and avoid things/foods that promote illness. It will also help to know what to pray for and against in the generational line. Are you or your mate already dealing with an illness? Are you or your mate willing to take care of one another? Will your finances cover the needs of your illness? Does your illness affect giving birth? Will this be a deal breaker? This subject plays an intricate part in the vows recited, "in sickness and in health" and before it is cited, it needs to be discussed.

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