With the exception of those widowed (my love, thoughts and prayers to you), multiple marriages (per individual) seem to be a fast growing phenomenon.
With the divorce rate in our country being at nearly 50 percent, second, third and even fourth marriages for many individuals don’t seem that unusual. It appears that old saying “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again” is ringing true for many. But this leads me to wonder why aren’t couples succeeding in their first marriage.
Marriage is one of the most serious life commitments, and some simply aren’t ready. As a result, unions seem to end for a variety of reasons. Sometimes couples rush into them without completely understanding the level of sacrifice needed. They may also enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations, leading to disappointment and frustration. Or perhaps a spouse turns out to be an entirely different person once the “I Dos” are exchanged. Whatever the reason, couples are throwing in the towel and moving on to the next and the next and the next.
Getting married is one thing, staying married is another. Here are a few suggestions and questions to ask to help you make your first marriage your only marriage:
Understand the responsibility of the title “spouse”
Do you have a clear understanding of the expectations of saying “I do”? It varies from marriage to marriage, so it’s important to have some questions answered. What does your spouse deem important in marriage? What are his or her needs or expectations? Are you able to meet or even exceed those needs? Will you ever grow tired of fulfilling those needs? Will that responsibility ever become too much? Carefully consider your answers to each of these questions. A marriage will fail if there is a lack of understanding regarding the requirements.
Create a plan for marriage success
Nothing succeeds without a plan—not a business and definitely not a marriage. How do you plan to make your marriage work? How will you handle the challenges that may surface? How will you disagree? What will you do when your marriage isn’t as fun anymore? What solutions do you already have in mind for making your marriage last? What will you be willing to sacrifice to save your marriage? What resources will you use when you need guidance? Creating a blueprint for your marriage increases the chances of its survival.
Know the deepest truth of who you are and why you are
Taking a self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is needed prior to sharing your life with someone. We take us wherever we go. What are your quirks, bad habits and pet peeves? Why do they exist? Could they possibly impact you being successful in love? Are you jealous, possessive or sensitive? Can you admit your weaknesses to your partner? Is there a plan to correct the behaviors you’re not as fond of? Are you willing to make those corrections? Is your spouse worth making a few personal development changes? Being honest about the baggage we bring creates an awareness and a better opportunity to make the necessary changes for our marriage. Additionally, take inventory of your strengths and be aware of your worth. You’re less likely to marry the “wrong” person when you have confidence in yourself; love yourself enough to choose a mate who will love, care and respect you.
Again, marriage should never be entered into lightly. Careful thought has to be taken when deciding to share our lives with someone. Not every day will be easy, and we must recognize whether or not we’re cut out for this. We can get marriage right the very first time by removing divorce as an option, investing in it, making sacrifices and being honest about who we are.
BMWK, what are you doing to make your marriage last? And singles, what are you doing to prepare for marriage?