What are “loose ends,” you say?
Loose ends are distracting and have an amazing way of biting you in the butt, especially if you wait until you’ve already married. They take your focus off of doing what it takes for a marriage to be healthy and to succeed.
Tie up loose ends or find yourself in knots. ~ Jason Dorsey
Before marriage is the right time to learn as much about each other as possible so you can enter this union confident your marriage will last a lifetime. I’m sad to say that statistics say that more than 50% of marriages dissolve during the first five years. When a relationship ends, there are all sorts of loose ends and areas of life that end up changing depending on how closely connected you were with your partner. The same is true when you decide to get married.
Money problems? There’s a lot of deception that goes on between couples when it comes to finances. No secrets! If you have bad credit that could affect your partner’s credit after you are married, you owe it to the relationship to talk about it before you are married. No surprises! If you have any unfinished business, e.g, like paying off a credit card balance, etc., take care of it now. Separate or joint checking accounts? It is YOUR money, MY money or OUR money? Who pays the bills? You decide. . . before marriage.
Anger issues? Addicted to porn? Negative about most everything?
Are you a TV addict? Late night TV watching can become a habit which translates to less sex or intimacy between partners which can ruin a marriage. Here’s a “new rule:” No TV set in the bedroom.
Does your partner drink and party too much? Is alcohol and/or drugs a problem? If so, you can usually count on it getting worse after marriage. If they won’t get help, perhaps you should make a new choice about staying in the relationship. Alcohol and drugs can derail a marriage very fast. Never marry someone who you know has a drinking or drug problem.
She smokes. He doesn’t. Will there be smoking in your home or on the back patio?
If you have young children, it’s important to discuss how you will handle discipline. Will the new step parent discipline them? At least one-third of all children in the U.S. will be part of a stepfamily before they reach age 18. According to Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D., “Blending families in second (or third) marriages is one of the greatest causes of divorce. It is common for each spouse to put his or her own children’s interests first. It is often in an effort to compensate for the trauma children experience when there is a divorce. But when the children’s interests are first, the interests of the other spouse and the other spouse’s children are found somewhere down the list, and that’s a formula for marital disaster. Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse.”
Emotional infidelity? People in this kind of affair do not have any physical forms of intimate contact. However, they fail to understand that emotional attachment to someone other than their partner can drive a wedge between the two of them. Emotional cheating breaks the trust in your primary relationship resulting in the destruction of it. A broad rule of thumb is anything that you are doing with someone with the opposite sex that you would not want your partner to know is cheating. It’s a matter of integrity and trust.
Prenuptial agreements (also known as premarital agreements) usually are associated with divorce, but they also can play an important role in estate planning (and tying up loose ends). A prenup can help preserve your estate by protecting your assets against creditors and help ensure your property is distributed as you intend.
Take time to really get to know each other. Make sure it’s love and not lust. I know. Long engagements are old fashion, however, the redeeming factor is that during a long engagement you get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. It gives you both time to discover the things you have in common and the things – or issues – you both need to work on together.
It is not okay to continue to do some of the same things you did as a single. Continuing to have your flirty beerfests at the local bar with your buddies needs to change. You are a couple now. Couples make decisions together. Couples should hang out together. That is not to say that – provided your trust level is great – that an ocassional night out with the girls or the boy is wrong. However, it is wrong to do some of the same things you did when you were out with the girls and the boys when you were single. You know what I mean, I’m sure. Avoid – at all costs – temptation. You both must be in total agreement on what you do when you are not together.
Trust is the very foundation of a healthy love relationship. There can be no trust without conversation; no genuine intimacy without trust. To have an intimate love relationship, love partners need to feel the freedom to live their lives together in ways that satisfy each of them individually and still meet each others needs.
Never be afraid to talk about your feelings. Never take shorcuts hoping to avoid talking about a problem you know exists. Get to the point. “We’ll get married and everything will be fine,” usually doesn’t work.
Problems in relationships are not there to break us, they are there to make us stronger as a couple. Talking openly about them helps avoid relationship boredom. Clearly define both of your expectations to each other. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. Give up your expectations and communicate what you “need” from the relationship. Healthy communication between partners is essential to maintain a good relationship. Take the time out to talk to your partner on a daily basis even if it is across the breakfast table or a late night dinner together. Daily communication can help to gain a better understanding of your partner.
“Blaming others for the pain we feel each time someone fails to live up to our expectations is no different than burning our tongue on coffee that’s too hot to swallow, and then calling our cup an idiot!” – Guy Finley
Taking care of unresolved issues of the past will free you up to move ahead with confidence. Get help before you get married. Unresolved problems often get worse after marriage. When a relationship breaks down, there is often an understandable desire to sort things out as quickly and cheaply as possible, so that those involved can get on with their lives. Pre-maritial coaching can help.
The results of a survey in four states in the U.S., strongly suggests that couples who received premarital education or coaching had a 31% lower chance of divorce.
It is very important to tie up any loose ends before you tie the knot, otherwise it most likely won’t be long before you’ll be flying solo again.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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