There’s something about a great proposal and you want in. You’ve seen couples who are doing marriage right and you think you’ve met “the one.” After seeking out marriage advice on google, from your pastor, and your closest married friends, you took the next step. “Will you marry me” has been asked and answered in the affirmative and you’re preparing to walk down the aisle. But the time period between “will you marry me” and “I do” is tricky. If you’re not careful, the short term excitement can mess up the long term goal.
3 Engagement Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Marriage
Our society accepts certain behaviors during the engagement period that, quite frankly, sound the death knell for any marriage. Marriage can be a beautiful thing. It’s no secret it’s tough. In fact, the divorce rate for first-time marriages mirrors its rate of retention at 50 percent so it catches a lot of flack. We hear such snide remarks as “let’s see how long this will last” at engagement parties and even weddings. While it’s unfortunate that the strength of your relationship is in doubt, it serves as a testament to something evident between you and your mate.
So, while there are a plethora of engagement behaviors you’ll want to keep out of your marriage, the following three are among the most damaging.
All about me, me, me
For certain, evil bride syndrome as I like to call it is big business in Hollywood. I have yet to see a successful “reality” show where the bride-to-be was all sugar and spice and everything nice. Under the guise of “keeping it real,” these women are allowed to go off the rails and forget whatever home training they had. That TV mentality has spilled off-camera into the psyche of soon to be brides and grooms who think that behavior is normal.
They display a pervasive selfishness that is beyond belief. It makes you wonder what they found attractive in each other in the first place. That kind of narcissism, self-indulgence, and greed is one of the fastest ways to kill a marriage.
If you want to make your marriage work, you no longer think in terms of just me or mine, but us or ours. It’s our home. It’s our family. It’s our money. If you start this way of thinking before walking down the aisle, your chances at a successful marriage will exceed the 50/50 odds exponentially.
Family ain’t what it used to be
One of the toughest things to navigate in a relationship before marriage is the input family members have in your business. I’m primarily talking about parents and/or siblings. Before marriage, it’s easy to run to your sister or your dad and tell them the dirt on your Boo. After marriage, no can do – not if you want to stay married anyway. I’m not talking about if your life is in danger. Assuming your typical marriage problems, understand that “family” now refers to the two people on your marriage certificate.
Your parents don’t get to butt in when you and your spouse have an argument. Don’t run tell that to your sister or your auntie when issues arise in your relationship. Family is now you and your husband. On occasion, you may need some marriage advice from your pastor, your therapist, or a trusted friend. The minute anyone else gets in the middle of your union and starts taking sides, then you should probably start packing your bags.
Money, money, money, money
To have the wedding of a lifetime, you spend money like water rushing down Niagra Falls. It’s a big day so why not throw caution to the wind. In marriage, that wind becomes a tornado that can tear your house down. You and your partner have to get on the same page financially if you don’t want to wreak havoc in your relationship.
Now, every couple is different. Some share bank accounts. Some don’t. Regardless of how it plays out in your relationship, make sure you each have access to every account you own. It keeps you honest, for one. And two, you’re protected should anything happen to either of you.
The journey from engagement to marriage can be fun. However, it’s wise to get good marriage advice as you travel down that road. By keeping these three behaviors in check, you give your marriage a chance at being on the right side of the statistics.
BMWK, what engagement behaviors are killing your relationship?