A wedding is just one day, but a marriage is supposed to last forever.
Unfortunately, for around half of all couples, this isn’t the case.
For whatever reason, between forty and fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce, and unless you want yours to go the same way, you need to build a secure relationship and foundation for marriage before you get hitched.
Of course, every couple and relationship is different, but, for most, there are certain experiences that you need to go through to form a strong and lasting bond.
Here are eight things you and your partner should do.
1. Be Open About Your Pasts
Marriages are built on trust and honesty, which is why it’s so important that you’re open with your partner about your past.
Unfortunately, there will probably be a few things from way back when that you don’t particularly want to discuss, like the awful haircut you got in college or the unstable family life you had to deal with in your childhood, but it’s important that you speak about these things.
After all, whether you like it or not, they helped to shape who you are today, and your partner loves who you are today, so they shouldn’t judge you for anything.
2. Understand Your Values And Beliefs
Although this may seem like an obvious point, too many couples get swept up in the moment, fall for someone, and then end up disappointed later on when they realise that their core beliefs simply aren’t compatible.
Of course, you aren’t always going to have the same values as your partner, and that’s okay, but it’s crucial that you find a way to mesh them together and make things work.
If this isn’t possible, and you massively disagree on things that are important to you both, then it will become incredibly problematic somewhere down the road.
3. Discuss Your Goals And Dreams
Whether you have a bucket list a mile long or prefer to live in the moment, everyone has at least a few goals or dreams they want to accomplish in their life.
These might have something to do with your career, where you want to live, what you want to do in your free time, or something else.
It’s important that you speak about these goals, as they could affect your relationship at some point in the future.
You need to ensure that both you and your partner have the chance to chase your dreams or you’ll both end up miserable.
4. Meet Each Other’s Loved Ones
Introducing your partner to your family is a big step, but it’s one that needs to be taken if you’re to show that you’re serious about each other.
If possible, you should spend a lot of time with each other’s families and really get to know them. After all, when you get married, they’ll be your family too.
It’s also important that you get to know each other’s friends, as those are people that you have each chosen to spend time with, rather than simply been born into.
You might not like everyone you meet, but you should be friendly and polite nonetheless.
5. Go On A Holiday Together
Travelling together is really important in relationships, as it shows how each of you deals with stressful situations.
It also means that you have to spend entire days together, without any time
apart, which gives you an idea of what life would be like if you were to move in with each other.
When planning a holiday, you need to consider each other’s wants and needs and compromise to create a trip that you’ll both enjoy.
This is a skill that comes in handy in many situations in relationships and marriage, so it’s important that you learn it early.
6. Successfully Resolve A Huge Argument
You might be completely happy with your partner right now, but every relationship has its hurdles, and you are going to argue at some point.
The last thing that you want is to fully commit to someone and then see their spiteful and ugly side the second that you have a problem.
You need to ensure that you can argue in a respectful way and that each of you can get your points across without blaming, attacking, or getting defensive.
If you can work through an issue and come to a solution that pleases you both, it shows your maturity and secure bond.
7. Talk About Finances And Budget
As uncomfortable a conversation as it may be, you need to sit down with your partner and have an honest chat about money. After all, when you live with each other and then get married, your money will blend together.
You might also want to discuss prenuptial agreements and research family law solicitors to talk you through your options.
Money can be a huge cause of conflict in relationships, so it’s vital that you can discuss it openly and maturely.
You may also want to deal with any of your own financial problems, so you don’t burden your partner with them later.
8. Live Happily With One Another
One of the best ways to test your compatibility with your partner is to live together, so you might want to move in with one another before you tie the knot.
Of course, this won’t be for everyone, but it’s a good way to see what your partner is really like. After all, most people are on their best behaviour on a date, but that doesn’t mean that they act the same way in the comfort of their own home.
Sharing a space also means that you have to learn to compromise and work as a team to get things done, which will show you just how strong your relationship actually is.
Getting married is a huge commitment, but, unless you’re ready, it’s one that won’t last. Because of this, it’s important that you and your partner build strong bonds before you tie the knot.
Of course, every couple is different, and some of the advice above won’t apply to you, but if it does, and you listen to it, you should find yourself in a more secure relationship.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.