5 Things every couple should do before they get married

Although I’ve only been married 2 years, this list of 5 things is what I have gathered from successful marriages and even regrets of non-successful marriages.

1. Learn how to love

Duh, right? Not what you think, I’m referring to the 5 love languages outlined in a 1995 book from Gary Chapman. Every person exhibits ways that they express love and ways that they prefer love to be given. The 5 love languages are:

  • Gifts
  • Physical touch
  • Quality time
  • Acts of service
  • Words of affirmation

You can express love to anyone in any form, but if you know someone’s love languages the things you do will matter more to them. Individuals can also have more than one love language trait.

Someone who “is” gifts, would be more likely to give gifts away, sometimes something big but also something that may be meaningful to them and have no real intrinsic value at all.

One that is physical touch would be more inclined to randomly come up and tickle your back or shower you in hugs and kisses. And by the way, physical touch is not sexually oriented. It’s the spontaneous contact that let’s the individual know that they are on their mind.

Quality time (one of mine) is fairly simple. I know I love being with my spouse. I could play card games with her for hours, and just being with her is all that matters.

Acts of service, one of my wife’s traits, these individuals are super appreciative of any service done to them, for example; a husband helping with household chores the wife generally does. It’s not the fact the wife has to do it, it’s just that the husband was willing to help.

Last but not least, words of affirmation. This being another trait of mine, I understand quite well. The littlest bit of off hand praise goes such a long way with me. The slightest bit of praise that I am doing good at anything will instantly dramatically improve my mood.

The most important aspect of the five love languages: how not to not love.

If there is one place you could stop and not read anymore, it’s at the end of this point. Going opposite of an individuals love language can cripple emotional stability in a relationship.

Gifts; throwing away a gift given from somebody who is gifts could severely harm your relationship. Also, not showing that you appreciate what they gave you never turns out good.

Physical touch; a physical action that is not done in a loving way, such as slap, or a push, it can hurt anyone, but a physical touch individual… It leaves a lasting burn that can stick with them forever.

Quality time; they don’t always need some there coddling them, but constant rejection to things such as parties, or group events, or people being “to busy” can be very saddening and will wear down a relationship over time.

Acts of service: from my experience, these individuals are not generally the ones to ask for help for anything, but if someone hits the point in which they feel they need help, then not giving them the support they need, can crush faith in you.

Words of affirmation: any negative or disparaging comment, off handed, or direct, is extremely damaging to ones self esteem.

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2. Take a financial course

Statistically, money is one of the greatest causes for divorce and separation. A certain level of debt at times is a necessary evil, but learning how to manage it, budget it, build credit with it, is all something better to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences. Credit is also something every couple should learn about. No matter where they are in their marriage. A credit score can make extreme differences on anything you loan as well as help payments and lending opportunities.

3. Plan out a vacation together

When you and your significant other think you want to make the final commitment, plan out a vacation, preferably somewhere none of you are familiar with. Having to budget and plan out funding, how to communicate and compromise on where to go and how to get there and all the nitty gritty will show for sure if you and your significant other can make married life work.

4. Learn how to communicate

Learning how to communicate is more than just learning to talk to each other. Wether you take a course or look up how to communicate on Google, learning how to communicate is extremely important in marriage. Communication can be very hard when the both of you are stressed, or angry, or going through some tough event. Everything from tone of voice to when to, and not to, say anything at all.

5. Talk about goals

Know where your partner wants to go in life, talk life plans, # of kids, size of house, city life vs. country life, types of cars you like, career plans. Know what you both want. Know where you want to go. These plans don’t have to be permanent, they just need to be stated in a full disclosure fashion so you and your future spouse know what to kind of expect as you begin your lives together.

Feel free to comment and let me know of any additional things you can think of.

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