After two years of dating you may feel that it's you time to commit to each other and “tie the knot”.
You may realize that marriage has its advantages as well as its downfalls, and it seems easier to resolve the differences along the way, rather than to evaluate the pitfalls ahead of time.
Beyond the roses and wedding cake is the “forever” of marriage. After the wedding day has come and gone, you are left with the task of building a relationship with your partner.
How will you know if you and your partner are both ready for a lifelong commitment?
Here are some tips that will help you identify whether you and your partner are ready for marriage – or whether you should end the relationship and seek another.
1. How well do you communicate together?
There are several levels of communication, from shallow chit-chat to deep “under the surface” communication. To understand how well your partner communicates, look for situations where he or she is under pressure, even if you have not ever had troubles together. The way your partner handles issues of anger will reveal the real heart of their character.
If they are able to clearly communicate to an aggressive person without becoming angry or aggressive themselves, you may safely trust that they have specialized communication skills which are suitable for marriage.
2. What are your common interests?
Marriage survival experts indicate that having a set of common interests outside the bedroom assists you with your relationship, as it helps you to have fun together. These interests strengthen your relationship and add flair to life.
If your interests are too wide apart, or non-existent, then you may find it difficult to stay together. If you plan to stay married for any length of time then you will not want it to be a chore to be involved with your partner’s hobbies or sports.
3. What are your thoughts about children?
Only half the people that get married have a plan for children in their relationship. The other half just “let it happen” along the way.
Sooner or later you or your partner will bring up the question of having kids. When is the right time for children in your relationship? When will you be able to afford the extra cost of child rearing? Have you got a strategy for their education?
Having children means taking on extra responsibility as a parent, and moves your relationship from husband and wife to father and mother. This added dimension has shown to be the cause of many separations in today’s society, so it is best to know how you expect to handle this with your partner before you tie the knot.
4. How will you work out your finances?
The last major factor affecting marriage is the use and control of finances. Ironically this is one of the most under-planned issues in marriage, as the old adage pervades most peoples thoughts, “Two can live as cheap as one.” But this is only half correct!
Investigate with your partner how much income you both receive. Will you both be working? Will you have a saving account? Are you getting a mortgage as well? Can you set a budget for daily living and household expenses and keep to it?
If you are like most families, there is no budget that controls the way the finances are spent. As a result there is pressure to work extended hours or multiple jobs in order to survive.
You will need to make your partner aware of how you expect finances to be spent, and find out how they expect to set up finances after the big day.
These questions need to be answered at the time you accept or decline your fiancés request for marriage.
If you are able to honestly work through these questions together, you will be able to determine whether it is the right time to say, “I do.”