The fact is, so much thought, energy and planning go into the actual wedding – but it’s equally important to give your marriage the same level of consideration to be sure you’ve set a solid foundation as you enter the next stage of your relationship.
Talking together about this will help you understand each other’s expectations and set intentions for the kind of marriage you’d like to share. While you might worry about opening up sensitive conversations at the risk of souring the happy engagement period, rest assured because sorting out the big questions about what a committed life together will look like can lead to some of the most intimate moments – bringing you even closer during this exciting time.
Here are four topics to delve into before your wedding day.
All of us have different styles of communicating in relationships, whether it’s about raising an issue or expressing our wants and needs. At times, our differences in communication styles can clash and impact how our partner understands our signals and messages. If you can understand your own, as well as your partner’s communication style, you’ll be better placed to avoid misunderstandings in the future. When discussing communication, try asking each other these four questions to better understand what you both need when talking about sensitive topics: How do you tend to raise an issue? What can you worry about when raising an issue with me? If I have something I need to talk to you about, how do you prefer I raise this with you? And what do you need from me to feel emotionally safe and to stay present in the conversation?
Consider conflict resolution
Usually, in most relationships when conflict occurs, one partner will prefer to ‘talk it out’ until a repair is made, while the other partner will prefer to ‘move on’ to avoid arguing further. Both strategies have a similar intention – to stay connected and protect the relationship. However, the more one partner pushes to talk it out, the more the other partner can feel overwhelmed by emotion and pull away. Consider what move you usually make and why. Share this with each other and discuss what you both need in order to resolve conflict together.
Be clear on children & parenting
Whether you’d like to have children together or keep things just the two of you, it’s important to be clear on what you both want. If having children and becoming parents are something you both want for the future, find out more and ask each other: When would you like to have children? How many children would you like to have? What are your expectations for each of you as parents? And what would you want to do differently than your family of origin?
Share your marriage expectations
We can all carry expectations about love and marriage that can greatly influence our relationships. It’s common for problems to arise when these expectations are not aligned or when our partner isn’t made aware of them. Think about some of your own expectations for marriage or being in a relationship. Take some time to share these with each other as well as discussing why these are important to you.
Keep in mind that if the idea of starting these conversations together seems awkward or tricky, you can enlist the help of a counsellor through a Pre Marriage Counselling program. A Pre Marriage Counsellor will help you plan for your marriage by guiding you through these conversations, as well as equipping you with the necessary skills to talk honestly and openly together in a way that brings you both closer.
Image: Eve Byers
Header image by Angus McKern Photography via Sidney & Chris’ Sunset Engagement At Mount Canobolas
About Natalie Claire King: Natalie is a relationship specialist trained in couples therapy, providing a customised Pre Marriage Counselling course that helps couples build a solid foundation for a powerful, fulfilling and intimate life-long relationship together. Natalie tailors the course specifically to each couple’s goals in order to bring out the best in them – so they can bring out the best in their relationship. As a trained and licensed therapist, Natalie is unbiased in her approach and provides a balanced service – which means each partner has equal opportunity to express their unique perspectives without Natalie taking sides. Book a complimentary Intro Chat to see if a Pre Marriage Counselling course could be right for you.