What everyone wishes they knew before they said “I do”

5 Feb

“It’s easy to behave for three hours on a Saturday night,” (John Hagee.)  So often, I hear stories from friends about all of the romantic dates that they went on with their now husband, and how they were swept off their feet with flowers and five star dinners.  They ate only at top restaurants, took lavish vacations together, and went on amazing dates.  So what is wrong with that, you might ask?  Well, it’s easy to be on your best behavior under these circumstances.  But the scary thing is that if you’re only taking romantic dates with you and your sweetie, how do you know if he gets along with others?  When she’s eating not eating gourmet sushi and shrimp tempura, and instead ham and cheese, is she still a pleasant person to be around?  How will you know how he behaves when he’s annoyed?  …You won’t if your dating life never tests their true nature.

Once you get married, life is not all about five star restaurants and amazing dates.  Sure, you can do these things too, but you will have to compromise, work together, and tackle rough situations together.  Does your spouse know how to be committed in the good and the bad?  How do they react under pressure? If all you did was focus on the romance during dating, you may never know. Then you get married, and find yourself in a whole heap of trouble. Here are a few ways to figure out someone’s real nature when dating them.

Hang out in groups sometimes.  You’ll see if they get along well with others, since it’s easy to put on a front when it’s just you and them.  Do some volunteer work together.  Does this person know how to give back?  Or can they only be happy when the date or outing revolves around them?  If you want kids, see what comments they make about children, or how they act around kids.  Do they ignore children and act annoyed?  Or do they give a baby a little smile and a wave?  These little things tell a lot.

Most importantly, talk about real issues.  Where will you live?  Will both partners work?  Will mom stay at home with the kids?  Does the female have to do all of the cooking and cleaning, or will you split up the chores somehow?

It’s easy to forget reality when you’re walking along the beach drawing hearts in the sand.  But it’s also important to get your hands dirty together BEFORE marriage.  Find out who they really are before you say “I do.”  Then you won’t be surprised once you say “I do” and find that you have absolutely NOTHING in common.  ;p

If you’re wondering if I did these things before I got married, the answer is “yes.”  But the reason that I wanted to write about this was because many of my friends did not, and now they are paying for it after marriage.  Keep in mind that even if you do get to know the other person on a real level before marriage, you will still have problems from time to time.  But at least you can agree on many of the fundamentals.  🙂

Just a few more words of advice when married. Hang in there!  Fight for your marriage.  Get counseling if need be.  Don’t use the “d” word.

Marriage is a wonderful thing when both people are seeking God and willing to compromise.  Don’t believe the lies of the world.  When Jesus is at the center of your marriage, it can be a WONDERFUL thing.  🙂

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