Having butterflies in your stomach whenever you’re around your partner might make you feel like you’re in a Disney film or romantic comedy brought to life. Being physically attracted to your future spouse is a nice perk. However, these things don’t create a strong enough foundation for a marriage to last.
In classic romantic films, we rarely see what happens after the two lead characters get together. They share one passionate kiss at the end of the movie and essentially live “happily ever after.”
What films don’t show is the messiness that often comes with long-term relationships and marriage. They certainly don’t show some of the critical factors to a healthy marriage, including knowing your partner inside and out, trusting them wholeheartedly, taking an interest in their hobbies, and determining if you both have the same goals in life.
If you’re engaged to be married or you think that’s where your relationship is headed in the future, it’s essential to keep these factors in mind. They’ll allow you to create a firm base for a long, happy, healthy marriage.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it will cover some of the critical factors that can set you up for a strong marriage. Let’s dive into it.
Having a hobby or something you’re passionate about is great. Hobbies are known to boost mental health and provide people with a sense of purpose, and they’re a great way to let your personality shine with something you’re truly interested in.
You don’t necessarily have to have the same hobbies as your partner. You’re both unique individuals with different likes and dislikes. However, showing interest in your partner’s hobbies can help to bring you closer together. It’s a great way to bond, and if you ask to join them it can be a fantastic way to really learn more about them while doing something fun together.
Common hobbies include things like:
If you’ve never participated in any of their individual hobbies, one of the best ways you can show love to your partner is to not only support these hobbies, but to engage in them as well. For example, if your partner participates in hunting and you have predisposed opinions about the activity, your partner may feel that you don’t support them. As a way to show your love, consider going on a hunting trip with them for a day to show that even if you don’t understand their hobby, you want to know more about it. Have your partner prepare you with some basic safety steps and provide you with the right gear. You’ll learn a lot about something new, and even more about your partner.
Money is often touted as the greatest area of contention in a marriage. It’s true that people often argue about finances, but you can reduce your risk of getting stuck in those arguments by being transparent about your money before you walk down the aisle.
Having at least a basic idea of your partner’s financial situation can offer you peace of mind as you get married. Are they in debt? What do they have to pay back? More importantly, what are their financial habits? Some people have no problem making big purchases on a whim, while others like to research and save up for months.
While you might not necessarily care about your partner’s spending habits, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their finances so you’ll know what you will become responsible for when you get married. While you won’t take on things like credit card debt, you’ll be responsible for anything you co-sign together as a couple, including future vehicles or homes. If you know your partner has a hard time paying things off, it’s worth it to have a discussion about your financial situation before getting married to avoid frustration and arguments later. Building financial understanding together can also help build trust with one another over every matter — including finances.
If you’re about to get married, hopefully you’ve talked about the future with your partner more than once. But, if you’ve never been able to accurately tell each other what you want or what your plans are, you could run into some serious challenges over the years.
Your future goals need to line up. While people (and their desires) can change over time, if you’re not on the same page about certain things, you might end up feeling like you sacrificed what you truly wanted out of life. That can lead to frustration, anger, or even resentment of your marriage.
If you haven’t yet talked about your future goals, needs, and wants with your partner, start with some of the “bigger” subjects, including:
Knowing that you both want the same things or are willing to compromise can make a big difference in how much you look forward to your future together.
Opposites attract, and it’s perfectly fine to have opposing views from your partner on different subjects. However, some topics of conversation always tend to get people fired up more than others. Things like political views and religion are two of the “biggest” ones. People tend to be very passionate when it comes to their feelings and opinions, and while marriages with opposite views can work, it’s important to lay everything on the table beforehand to make sure you’re both willing to accept the other person for what they believe in.
That might mean making a “vow” to avoid those hot-button issues around each other. Or, suggesting that you’ll always listen to your partner’s views with an open mind. Find what works for you, and you can have a successful marriage even if you disagree on certain topics.
Planning the perfect wedding is exciting, and having a beautiful ceremony and reception is something you’ll remember forever. However, your wedding is only one day. Your marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. Make sure you’re putting just as much time and dedication into ensuring you have a healthy marriage as you are putting together your dream wedding.