You know that feeling you get when something gets off to a bad start? You feel annoyed and start to question whether or not you can make things right. I know that feeling and it sucks. Improving the direction of a day, situation, or relationship gone wrong can feel like so much work. It’s not impossible to change the direction of things, but wouldn’t life be so much sweeter if we got off on the right foot? I think so.
Getting married is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Life has been a series of ups and downs, and without a trusted partner by my side who is also one of my best friends, I have no idea how I would not just survive, but thrive. This marriage thing is definitely some good stuff.
But let me be clear. There are bumps along the way for sure. Moments where you may feel like, dag… this should be a lot easier. Those moments are natural, and they are also much more manageable if your marriage got off to a good start.
Are marriages with rocky starts doomed for failure? Of course not. Those marriages can thrive as well. But when you get off to a rocky start, as with anything in life, you spend so much time trying to survive that thriving feels impossible, even when it’s not. Starting a life together in a good place will help you stay in a good place for years to come. And, even if you end up in a place that isn’t so good, you won’t wind up living there. You’ll just learn the lesson that comes with the experience and keep it moving.
If marriage is in your future and you want to enter your union with a stronger chance of making it to the finish line (aka happily ever after) here are a few tips that may help.
1. Be clear on why you are getting married
Clarity about why you are walking down the aisle is key, because if you are getting married for the wrong reasons you will come to regret your decision. Ask yourself important questions, like:
How do I really feel about this person?
Are we only getting married because we have a kid together?
Am I only getting married because I am getting older and I want children?
This is a not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. If you are unhappy with your answers talk to your partner, confide in a friend or counselor, and determine if this marriage is the right thing for where you are at this point in your life. It’s a huge commitment and if you are unclear when you enter it, you will be unclear throughout your union.