Posted on | October 16, 2012 | 6 Comments
This is the fifth of the series on Building a Strong Foundation for your marriage even before exchanging “I DO’s”.
We started with the question of BELIEF. It’s the first thing that would-be husband and wife should be reconciled into.
I can’t stress this enough, If you can’t agree on this first question, DO NOT go into marriage at all, you are just setting yourself up for a tumultuous relationship, one you will regret later on. You might say, “you cant possibly be sure about that?” Maybe. But statistics would agree that what I am saying is true. Would you like to be a footnote on a statistic report?
Secondly is the issue of worship. Third is the question of being husband and wife itself. The fourth issue is to talk about in building a strong foundation for your marriage even before you get married is CHILDREN.
The Fifth and the last of this series: Building a strong foundation for your marriage before saying “I DO” is the issue about LIFESTYLE.
1. Shall we own a home or not? If yes, why? and If not, why?
The questions seems innocent at first but if you dig deeper into it and start to talk about it will reveal many things about your preferences and the kind of person and home each of you grew up with, which in the process will help you understand each other better.
Choosing a home is never easy. As I have mentioned above, it will reveal some things about yourselves and how you grew up to view things in a very particular way.
Why would you want or not want a Duplex vs. single detached? With lawn or without lawn?
Explore your preferences and that of your significant other. Listen and see where you can find your middle ground. Do not forget that the aim of all these talks is to build a strong foundation for your life together as married couple. One that will stand the hurricanes of life.
2. Another thing is the issue of neighborhood. What kind of neighborhood? why? Urban, rural, countryside, skyscrappers? Near school, far from school? Near market, away from market or just about the middle. Low-lying area, elevated area?
Believe me, up until now, we are still talking about these things. We haven’t even yet settled on what kind of neighborhood we want as we grow old.
Of course there were ideal places we each wanted separately, and a few of those conversations we have had about owning homes were literally in disagreement. I wanted this, she wanted that. I prefer this but she would prefer the other way.
The third lifestyle you might want to explore is: Cars. How many cars? new? Old? Big car vs. small car. SUVs vs. Sedans. Do you need to each have a car of your own or just one car for the two of you. How many is too many?
4.How do you view your money? Or better put it, how do you view money in general? Is it a means or is it a way to a means? Is it a solution? Or is it a means to a solution? How do you connect money with happiness?
I once heard a sad lady exclaimed when asked what seems to be her problem? And she said loudly, “Money!”
A lot of people see money as a problem or a solution to a problem or the cause of a problem. What do you see in yourself about money?
How about giving to a church? How much should you give? Explore these questions together.
I often overhear people saying that if they should win LOTTO, they would donate half of their winning to a church or a charity.
But I have not heard one single winner that went on to fulfill that.
You see, money can change a persons character in one single blink.
Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, attempts to quantify that risk in his research.
His finding: Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
Professor Dew looked at responses from about 2,800 couples surveyed in 1987 by the National Survey of Families and Households. In this survey, both husbands and wives were asked, separately, about how often they disagreed with their spouse over chores, in-laws, spending time together, sex and money. These same respondents were then contacted again several years later, in 1992, and asked if they were still married.
Of all these common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce.
Don’t tell me it is nothing important to talk about. Money is so important that you should talk about it.
5. Another thing is money decisions? Who makes the decisions? How do you make money decisions? How much money to help a relative in need or a person in need? How much to a business venture? Who takes care of the checkbook.
6. Another lifestyle issue you might talk about is buying clothes? Where to buy? When to buy? What kind to buy? Department stores? thrift stores? In between? Why?
These are little issues that when not properly understood and revealed between the two of you as you prepare for marriage, can really cause friction in your relationship. And the more you have this hidden and unexplored, the more it will give stress to your marriage relationship.
Do not hide something that the other party is going to find out sooner or later. Do not underestimate it.
One familiar line I have always heard people says about their ex husband or ex wife is this, “I thought I knew him/her, I thought he/she was a good guy, I thought we really understand each other, BUT…”
That big 3 letter word “BUT”, is the real picture of our marriages across America today and across the world.
Find your middle ground. Listen to each other. Be honest and forthcoming with each other. Build your foundation as strong as it can be. Remember, this is the same person you are planning to spend the rest of your days with.
It is for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, in want and in plenty. Till death do you part!
That is the promise you will make, and that is the promise you will want to keep.
It has been a wonderful journey writing my thoughts and sharing our experiences to you. I hope and pray that with the grace of the Lord, the wisdom you learned from our experiences gained through our marital journey of almost 18 years will be blessing for you and your significant other as you build a strong foundation for you marriage even before saying your “I DO.”