Seven Things to Learn Before Tying the Knot

Whether you’ve got a “save the date” reminder stuck in the corner of your mirror or you’ve snagged enough to make a collage, it’s hard to forget it’s the season of “I do’s.” But before you start daydreaming about your own walk down the aisle, stop for a short reality check for a lesson in preparation for what College Gloss hopes will be a lifetime with someone special.

Problems don’t vanish at the altar
Hopefully, this is not news to you. Your flaws and your partner’s flaws will walk with you down the aisle. Expect that most qualities you observe about your partner to be what you’d find in a marriage together. If you’re dating a slob, you probably won’t marry a neat-freak. Expecting that these quirks will disappear once you two are hitched is a recipe for disappointment.

Check finances
Start by discussing your financial history. This includes any purchases, investments or issues that could arise later and make your marriage difficult. Uncover any issues before marriage in order to track and prevent them from happening in the future. It’s also important for you to know how to budget. When you’re married, you should figure out about how much to spend eating out, donating to favorite charities and on shopping sprees.

Do you want kids? 
If you two aren’t on the same page about having children, you may be facing a lot of stress or even a deal breaker. If you two want different things, yet decide to stick together, someone’s going to have to compromise.

If you welcome a visit- or many- from Mr. Stork, it’s a good idea to talk about parenting techniques. Will the child or children attend private school or public school? Who will be the disciplinarian? Will you allow physical discipline? No worries, a comprehensive plan for the next 18 years of teaching and loving isn’t necessary, but do figure out the basics with your partner.

Learn basic household concepts
No one is asking you to become a sous chef or master carpenter. However, you should learn a little about the kitchen and a toolbox. This will give you a sense of empowerment and will keep you from shouting out to your spouse every time you need something done around the house. Learn basics like cooking oil and grease should not be disposed of by way of the sink drain -- it should be soaked up (like with paper towels) and then thrown into the trash. Also, understand cooking measurements, keep track of your favorite recipes, find the right cleaning supplies and learn how to hang a picture.

Set aside pride
If you think you’ll never have to practice patience or deliver an apology, you’re in for a surprise. Your partner is not perfect -- no one is -- so they’ll make you upset. Watch some "Full House" reruns, and learn how to hug it out and admit when you’re wrong. Marriage and family therapist Jeff Cohen said, “It’s better to think of an apology not as a simple, quick fix, but as part of a conversation about what happened. Delivered with sincerity, an apology conveys a willingness to understand the other person’s point of view and a desire to address their frustration.”

Support your partner
If you haven’t learned how to encourage the people you care about, start working on that. Your partner needs to know you’ll be supportive. This means that you shouldn’t complain to friends about your partner. Stand by your man’s side, and build him up in public as well as in your home. He needs to know that he can talk to you about anything and that his reputation won’t fall apart because of you.

Who are you anyway? 
Don’t lose yourself just when you get a ring on your finger. If you’re naturally an introvert and know that you need plenty of personal time, don’t change that when you say your vows. Don’t forget about your hobbies, friends, family and personal goals. Just because you’re sharing your last name and life with someone doesn’t mean that you have to completely lose your sense of self.

We’ve been indoctrinated to believe in love and even in fairy tales. Just make sure that you don’t make the mistake of believing that “happily ever after” doesn’t take a little effort. Before you accept the ring, make sure you’ve taken the time to ask the tough questions about the past and your future together, as well as preparing to support your partner in the home and beyond.

By: Jasmine McCain | Image: Source

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