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4 min read

Are We Ready for Marriage? A Comprehensive Guide for Healthy Relationships

a marriage

A successful marriage is about more than simply two people in love having a big party and saying vows in front of friends and family; it is a understanding that you can be compatible with someone in a way that bodes well for your future life. Before you have a healthy marriage, you have to have a healthy relationship. In this article, we'll take a look at some factors to ensure that you have a solid foundation for a happy marriage, and avoid unrealistic expectations before taking that huge step into matrimony.

Assessing Your Relationship

The first step in determining whether you are ready for marriage is to think about how well you truly know each other. Do you genuinely see each other for who you are? Without trying to change your partner? If you are counting on your partner being any different in the future, or after you're married, you may not be ready for marriage. People rarely change without a lot of work, and marriage isn't going to make that change for you.

Do you each understand each other's strengths and challenges? Conflict resolution can be much easier if you know what you are working with personality-wise.

Have you built a successful relationship by sharing your inner life with each other, and have you created space to listen and accept each other for who you are? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be ready for marriage.

Building a Strong Foundation

Once you have decided that your relationship is founded in a true knowledge of the other person, and that you can accept and love them without changing who they are, it's time to work on building a strong foundation on which you can build your married life.

Are You On the Same Page?

You don't have to have the same personality or interests to be a perfect match (after all, often opposites attract), but you should support each other's goals and interests.

Also, it's important to be open and honest about your goals and values. Some misalignments may not be surmountable. For example, if your partner wants to start a family and you adamantly do not, then a wedding day won't change those feelings. No matter how in love you are, if you can't agree on a major life goal like that, it's likely that this is the wrong person to marry, because that's a conflict that can't be resolved down the line.

By being open and honest, and discussing your goals up front, you can avoid frustration later. You should also be comfortable being your true self around your partner. In married life, there will be good and bad times, and if you are unable to let your partner know who you are in both, then there can be unpleasant surprises.

Navigating Challenges Together

Because we all face challenges in life, it’s important to be prepared to face them together. For example, if you or your partner were in a previous marriage, you may have to contend with family dynamics. Learn to resolve conflicts, and build strength and trust with strong communication skills. If one or both of you have difficulty communicating, a marriage or couples therapist may be able to help.

Evaluating Your Readiness for Future Marriage

So, you know you have a foundation based in mutual support, you agree on the children's question, you talk about important issues like money, and you spend time together with your partner as themselves and not an idealized version. Next, it's time to determine whether you are ready to be a husband or a wife in the long term.

Ready for a Lifelong Partnership

Many people who run to the altar are more focused on a wedding, than a marriage. Those who are ready for marriage think about what happens after the wedding, and are looking at a life after the wedding with their spouse. You should be prepared for your relationship to last for the long haul, and be willing to put in the work that being married requires.

Presenting a United Front

Marriage is a commitment, and you want to make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons, not just to acquire wealth or to justify a mistake. Sit down and talk with your future spouse about why you desire marriage, and what that commitment means to both you and your partner. Don't take it for granted that you are on the same page about what marriage means, and then find out after you're married that your partner was doing it because they felt pressure from their family.

Preparing for Married Life

Before you get married, sit down with the other person and talk about one of the most important topics that will come up in your marriage: money and family expectations. Often, in a relationship, these are the biggest conflicts, so if you are prepared with plans of how you will tackle these questions, you can avoid a lot of problems in the future.

Discussing Finances and Responsibilities

You should be comfortable discussing money with your partner, and coming up with a budget together. Before you marry, this can seem like a prosaic and unromantic thing to discuss, but if you don't have a plan with your future spouse, you can be caught off-guard. To be ready for marriage, you need to talk about your financial responsibilities and how you will handle them. Also, be aware of the cost of your wedding, and how you will handle any debt.

Envisioning Your Future Marriage

Before marriage, you should also have discussed with your partner what you both want as far as family. Do you or your partner want to be parents? How many children do you want to have? Are you in communication with your own parents, and do you have mutual friends? What does family mean to both of you, and how do you plan to spend your time together when you are married? A big part of being ready for marriage is understanding what your life will look like after marriage.

Becoming Ready for Marriage in Austin, TX

Marriage is a big step in any relationship. Therapy during your engagement can be crucial in guiding you and your partner come together to discuss important topics like family, friends, finances, and more.

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, our team of doctoral-level psychotherapists offers evidence-based therapeutic approaches and techniques that can help you learn to resolve conflict, share healthy communication in your relationship, and build a healthy marriage based on mutual respect.

Give us a call today and our patient coordinator will help you find the right Austin therapist to offer the relationship tools you need to build and maintain a strong marriage and family life.

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