Advice for engaged couples usually centers around wedding advice. While that is certainly helpful for wedding planning, it does not do a lot for the coming marriage. I love a beautiful, romantic wedding as much as anyone but I tend to agree with the statement that too much emphasis is put on preparing for the wedding and not enough emphasis is put on preparing for the marriage. Advice for engaged couples is valuable when it can help them prepare for the realities of marriage. I hope that the following pieces of advice do just that.
1. Find a Mentoring Couple
Long married couples would tell you that you need a mentoring couple to help you along your way. This is good advice for engaged couples because you do not know it all when you first get married. A mentoring couple should be a couple that has been married a good length of time and has a happy, stable marriage for starters. It is good if they share your faith and a lot of your beliefs. A mentoring couple can coach you and guide you through some rough patches in your marriage as well as help you learn about marriage in day to day living.
2. Don’t Take on Too Much Debt
Debt is not good for any marriage. While some people choose to live debt free and some people believe that achieving things through debt is the only way to go, there is no question that debt can bring stress. It can also place stress upon your marriage. If you do choose to have debt to purchase things, do so wisely. Do not get in over your heads.
3. Keep Dating
Dating should not stop at the altar. Some of the happiest, longest married couples I know credit their happiness to a standing weekly or monthly date. Dating is fun and keeps you connected. It is also a set aside time when you can focus solely on your relationship and later, your marriage. In the midst of all that life throws at you with careers, children, family and everything else, dating can be a key to your marital success.
4. Go to Bed Mad
You know, I think that when you can, it is always best to resolve an issue immediately. But there are just some times when you are both emotional and upset that you may need a timeout. Sometimes that means that you leave things unsettled overnight. This is nothing to panic over. In fact, you are both usually a lot calmer by morning and can deal with things in a more logical way.
5. Do Your Own Thing
While togetherness is really important and your marriage should be the number one priority in your life, it is also important not to forget that you are two unique individuals. Don’t completely lose yourself in your marriage. It can be a difficult balance to achieve. It helps to look at it this way: have many things that are involved in your marriage but don’t forget to cultivate your own interests and friendships too. You will have more to talk about when you come back together at the end of the day.
6. Share Your Day
One of the things I love most about my marriage is that time when we reconnect at the end of the day. I love sharing what has happened to me in the time we have been apart and hearing all of the stories about my husband’s day. Do more than say hello. Take time to sit and catch up with each other. Those can be some of the sweetest moments in your day.
7. Don’t Speak Poorly of One Another
It can be difficult for an engaged couple to imagine ever speaking poorly of one another, but it is best to keep this advice in mind when you encounter the temptation to do this after marriage. Marriage means that you know each other in a way no one else does. It also means that you know all of each other’s annoying little habits. It means that sometimes your feelings are hurt. Those things need to stay between the two of you.
These little pieces of advice from long married couples can make a lot of difference for engaged couples if they take them into account from the start of their marriage. What advice would you give an engaged couple to have a happy, healthy marriage? I would love to hear your valuable input.