Too many people marry before they’re actually ready, or fail to make the changes necessary to make the marriage work. As a result, relationships fall apart and divorce is often the result. Rather than allowing our feelings to lead us and guide us into a lifelong commitment, we need to examine our situation in the relationship practically to determine if the changes that need to be made are really worth it in the long haul.
You Need to Stop Blaming Others
Many who live the single life are used to having complete control over their lives, their schedules, their actions. As a result, anything negative that happens outside of their own perimeters happens as a result of someone else’s behavior. While this may be true, it gets people in a bad habit – there’s always someone to blame; they’re never at fault. That’s like living with blinders on, you only see what’s in front of you. Living like that in marriage is disastrous. Why? If you’re never at fault, who is? Your spouse. Whether it is their fault or not, they’re going to get tired of your defensive and selfish behavior in blaming them for every little thing. Prove that you can get beyond that way of thinking by starting to accept responsibility for things before you ever marry, and realizing that even if you’re right – it may not matter in the bigger picture enough to point it out.
You Need to Learn to Pick Your Battles
Speaking of the bigger picture, have you ever heard the expression, “a hill to die on”? It’s referring to a battle, one that’s fought to the death. People can be picky – they like the dishwasher loaded and unloaded in a certain way, they like their mornings filled with silence until the coffee has been consumed, they prefer light paint over dark. Are you someone who nitpicks over these little things? If so, you’re not ready for marriage. You need to pick your battles and learn which ones are worth it – is loading the dishwasher incorrectly really a big enough deal to fight about? Maybe you should just be grateful the effort was made in the first place.
You Need to Stop Seeing Your Significant Other as Perfect
Those who are completely smitten often see their significant others as perfect. There’s that dreamy “honeymoon phase” where life is perfect and there’s never any fighting and the world is just a wonderful place. Simply stated, that’s not real life. You’ll need to let the honeymoon phase run it’s course, and then you’ll need to let it go. That’s not to say that you can’t still be madly in love with your partner (you should be), that’s to say that you shouldn’t ever hold them to the standard of perfection. To do so is unfair to them and invites distress and negativity into your relationship via your own lofty and unfair expectations.
You Need to Stop Partying All the Time
You cannot have your cake and eat it, too. So many people want to keep that precious relationship, but also want to spend their weekends partying with friends. Priorities change when you marry; partying excessively without regard for responsibility and how your actions are affecting someone else? Well that’s a quick way to run a relationship right into the ground. While occasional nights out with the guys or girls is always a good thing, these should be treated responsibly, not as if you’re 21 and in college again. Also, your partner should be taking the place of your friends, anyway. Hit the town with just the two of you (responsibly), if you’re eager to go out one night. That’s one friendship that you want to have for life, so nurture it more than you do others.
If you can do these few things in preparation of marriage, your relationship will stand a chance. To fail at making these changes though? Almost always disastrous.