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Yup you read that right. Amongst the whirlwind of excitement that “Will you marry me” brings, I want to take it down a notch.
Are you sure you should be getting married?
We like a topical debate in the Mr and Mrs Nu Bride household.
Since we have been married, we have witnessed a handful of friends go through divorce fairly prematurely into their marriages. Always makes me sad.
I was really surprised when one of our mutual friends announced their divorce, took me by complete shock, but Mr Nu Bride wasn’t surprised at all. Which lead to our debate.
So how do you know you are marrying the right person? How do you know you should be together and should be getting married?
I’ll tell you what, I struggle to answer that question articulately. Surely you just know, right? It’s a strong overwhelming feeling in the pit of your very being, right?
Because I’ll tell you something, none of our friends who are in this situation thought they would be signing a decree nisi. I bet they all thought they should be getting married too. But in hindsight with all of them, they noticed the warning signs were there, they just didn’t recognise them at the time, or perhaps ignored them.
I stumbled upon this article in The Times that I wanted to share with you. It talks about some of the fundamental questions we should know the answers to, or at the very least be asking each other, way before we embark on “I do”.
I want to concentrate on 6 of the 13 points raised in the article:
Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose
A relationship’s success is based on how differences are dealt with
For the most part I imagine most of us will know the answer to this question in our dating years. How do you both deal with pressure, adversity, loss, challenge? Do you shut down, or do you open up and let each other in?
Whether we like it or not our ability to cope (or not) is shaped by our families values and ‘isms’ instilled into our subconscious over the years and can effect relationship dynamics.
Is my debt your debt? Would you be willing to bail me out?
The psychology of money ladies and gents can be a killer!
Do you know how much debt your partner owes? Do you know each others spending habits?
Is there a huge difference between your incomes, if so, who pays what portion of bills?
What happens if your financial circumstances change?
Do you take responsibility for each others personal debts accumulated pre-marriage or Post-marriage or not at all?
If you’re flush and blissfully financially independent and your other half isn’t, does that mean you are responsible for their share of the bills?
Ask questions. Work it out. Find your own rhythms and goal posts that work for you both. Make sure you are both on the same page from the offset.
Do we like each other’s parents?
I mean it helps doesn’t it. LOL!
Of course you want to be loved if not liked and accepted by your partners parents and vice versa. I am incredibly close to my family, so I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t adore my family, it just wouldn’t work. But that’s not the same for everyone.
Explore where your boundaries lie with this. If you are always in the middle of choosing between either / or, this can be very very difficult to manage and adds an immense amount of pressure to the most robust of relationships if you are not on the same page about how to handle family disputes especially if you’re in the middle of them!
Do you know all the ways I say “I love you”?
Oh, this is a good one. Sounds obvious, but people express love in different ways.
A Nu Bride reader highlighted this when giving advice to a successful marriage. To recognise that you both will express love in different ways and to understand and accept that, especially if you have been together a long time.
Some express verbally, others through gift giving, some through physical affection, others through acts of service like cooking or doing things around the house! We need to be aware of and accepting that we may express, expect and receive love differently.
How do you see us 10 years from now?
If you can’t answer this one, I despair. lol!
Supporting each others aspirations in your relationship, but also individually, with your own personal and professional goals and supporting each other to grow is so important. You don’t stop wanting to develop, grow and achieve just because you’ve tied the knot, you’re not a write-off and neither is your partner. Keep growing, keep discovering new things about each other, grow together, it’s fun! That 10 year vision may change and that’s ok too.
Can you deal with my doing things without you?
An extension of the above. The article asks;
Do you share hobbies or friends and if not what dynamic might that have on your relationship?
Aside from our work patterns, Mr Nu Bride and I are pretty much always together. Hate spending time apart for that matter. I went to Italy this year without him, it was agony. lol!
Where as some close friends of ours are often separated due to work demands and they also enjoy having very independent social lives which includes holidaying separately with friends and also coming together to spend time as a couple. This dynamic works brilliantly for them, for Mr Nu Bride and I that amount of time apart continuously, it fundamentally would not work.
You might relish time apart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that!
The key thing here is not to compare yourself to others and find out what works for you both. If there is difference that may cause conflict, figure out ways to find a happy medium and consider if it is temporary or not and what lifestyle changes need to be made to accommodate and be mindful of each others differing needs.
You might be getting married, but you’re still two completely different people and your ‘cogs’ work differently and that’s ok!
So there you have it, some homework for you! What do you think. Are any of these familiar to you, do you have any others to throw into the mix?
Header image: Katch Silva | Heather and Andrew