Marriage: Communication, Preparation, and Counseling
It is without the slightest hint of doubt that everyone will agree to the fact that being married is absolutely challenging. The problems that you face in married life are not the kind that you can sleep off and wake up okay. Sometimes, it could be particularly hard to shake ill feelings off when you are sleeping beside who you have identified as the problem, and everywhere you turn has something that reminds you of that.
Married life is sadly not for everyone, especially for those who do spur of the moment decisions to walk down the aisle. Well, it could work out for some, but statistics support that a lot of these kinds of marriages just end in divorce. In the first place, divorce is not and should not be the primary recourse for marital problems. It should be the last option when every other option was already exhausted. Think about this: If people who waited and planned for their married life still encounter rough spots along the way, what makes you think that anything short of the right time and the right preparation will yield better results?
If you are thinking about getting married, this post is not intended to discourage you. No. This is meant to inspire you, to inform you about what lies ahead with the hopes that you will then take the necessary steps to ensure that the marriage that you are going to have will not be just another number to add to the surveys of those who tried but failed.
There is actually one aspect similar in all kinds of relationships that has to be particularly nurtured between couples, specifically married ones. This is the aspect of communication. As early as before getting married, assess your and your partner’s way of communicating with one another. Do the both of you talk in a constructive manner? Can you say the things you want to say without having to consider a million times before you actually do? What are communication patterns that seem to do more harm than good?
The way you interact with each other at present will determine the kind of relationship that you will have as husband and wife. Take it from a lot of licensed marriage and family therapists’ experience, a lot of the couples who walked in and out of their offices all had (or have) the same, prominent problem: dysfunctional communication. Do not bank on the hope that things will get better once you get married because you will face a lot of different—and difficult—problems with your spouse then. Working on having a way to resolve your issues through effective communication channels will spell a great deal in keeping the marriage together.
In case you are unable to make ends meet at present, do not lose hope. This does not mean that you are never going to get along. This is only evidence of how limited your knowledge is on how to resolve certain issues. Luckily, counseling is highly advised of two individuals who decide to get married. There are licensed marriage and family therapists who are available to guide you through the different methods of getting to know yourself and your partner more. Do not think of counselling as something that happens only when problems are already present and are getting out of hand. Think of this as a preparation, a phase of conditioning, and a declaration that you are taking the decision of getting married and what it entails seriously.
Though therapists have a lot to offer, they can only do so little when a couple has each decided to close their minds to reason and understanding. One long-standing barrier to communication is having no communication at all. Make sure that you do not reach the point where talking things over only makes things worse. Start assessing which areas of your life need to be worked on now and proceed from there. If you feel that something is beyond your capacity, seek therapeutic help. More heads are better than one anyway.