Lifestyles And Relationships: How To Work Out Differences Before You Get Married

Couples should work on issues that could become major problems before they marry to increase the chances of a long and successful life together.

You've finally met the love of your life, and you and your fiancée are planning a wedding. This is one of the most exciting times of your life, and you want everything to be perfect! Many times, however, couples in love easily overlook issues that could turn into major problems once the newness of love has worn off.

With divorce rates as much as fifty percent, pre-marital counseling sessions are becoming more common. In the past, basically the only people who received counseling were couples whose marriages were already in deep trouble. Today, more and more couples are seeking out counselors and clergymen to offer advice on how to maintain a strong, healthy marriage.

If two people marry, and neither of them has been married before, the major issues they will probably need to work on will include learning to adjust to the process of living with someone else. That may not sound so difficult on paper, but it can be extremely trying if one or both have a few annoying habits or idiosyncrasies that drive the other partner crazy.

In the beginning, these habits may only be amusing or endearing, but as time goes by, they may become the source of resentment and even anger. Pets can even cause extreme angst if one person is a pet lover and the other suffers from pet related allergies. What happens when they come together to form one big, happy family?

Ideally, issues such as this one should be resolved before the couple marries. How they resolve the issue will give the couple an indication of how well they will be able to work through other conflicts as they arise. If they simply argue with finding a resolution, then there isn't any doubt that the reason for the conflict will rear its ugly head again and again. If they just ignore the problem, eventually resentment will build, and the problem will morph into an even bigger issue.

If one or both couples have a previous marriage, and step-children are part of the picture, there will be a whole new set of potential problems. Not only will the couple need pre-marital counseling or at least need to work issues out prior to the marriage, but the children may also need to be a part of at least some of the decision making process.

If one partner has children, but the other doesn't, the future step-parent needs to understand what his or her role will be as a step-father or step-mother. These are not issues that should be made as split-second judgments. Instead, the step-parent should know what is expected of him or her regarding responsibilities, such as support, punishment, etc. In return, the step-child should also understand what is expected out of him or her in regards to the role her new step-parent will take.

If both parents have children, there can be additional stress simply from combining two families with several, very different individuals. Each child should understand what is expected. Rules should be discussed, and both parents should strive to treat each child as fairly and equally as possible. If the children are old enough, they should be able to put in some of their opinions and wishes before the marriage takes place.

When couples work diligently to smooth out some of the possible problems before the marriage occurs, there should be less reason for strife and stress later. If a couple really can't discuss problems before they get married, they may need to seriously reconsider or at least allow more time to go by before they enter into matrimony. Pre-marital counseling doesn't mean a couple should have a pre-nuptial agreement. It simply means that a couple in love plans on taking their vows seriously, and they want to do everything in their power to ensure that their marriage is a success.

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