If you’re engaged and planning to get married — amazing; congratulations! As exciting as this time can be, planning for a deep commitment like this can also be pretty stressful. As a couples counsellor, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different couples. Naturally, everyone is after the same thing: a great marriage.
In this article I’ll be sharing with you five crucial things you can do as a couple, in order to ensure that you have the most successful relationship.
Schedule One-on-One Time for Each Other Every Day
Make this a ritual. For example, it could be a daily intimate conversation between you and your partner — either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. Something that is designated solely for the two of you. In successful relationships, couples intentionally create time for one another and invest in each other on a daily basis.
This is something you should start doing even in the premarital days. If distractions often get in your way, remember the importance of putting your phones on silent, or turning your TV off. This will help the two of you to truly connect during this shared time — even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day! It definitely makes a huge difference.
Communication Your Needs & Wants
Just because you’re engaged, it doesn’t mean that your spouse all of a sudden magically knows your deepest needs and desires! You need to be proactive in communicating with your significant other. In other words, you need to know each other’s love languages.
It also helps to know the “little things;” like what your partner’s favourite chocolate is, what their hobbies are, or what their biggest dream is. This kind of stuff further deepens intimacy (as well as friendship) in a relationship, and it helps you stay grounded when times get stressful. Don’t ever stop being curious about your spouse.
Be Intentional About Having Sex
If you find that you haven’t been connecting enough physically for whatever reason, be conscious about scheduling time to have sex. Even though this might feel less romantic, it’s crucial to set aside time for intimacy in your relationship.
In the beginning stages of your relationship it might have been more spontaneous; but as your relationship grows over time — and especially during marriage — it’s critical to be intentional about making time for sex to ensure that both of your needs are being met.
Talk About Your Sex Life
It’s also important to be straightforward and speak openly about sex with your significant other. Talk about how you plan to sustain intimacy throughout your marriage. Talk explicitly about what each of your sexual needs and desires are. Talk about your fantasies or new things you want to try together. Try to be as specific as possible.
Couples who openly and frequently communicate about sex usually have a better better sex life and far more intimacy than couples who don’t. Having these kinds of conversations before marriage can help further such conversations well into the rest of your marriage. If you’re nervous to talk to your partner about these kinds of things, you might want to consider trying The Love Flame Method! 😉
Discuss Your Finances
If this is something you haven’t already done, schedule some time to sit down together and have a conversation about budgeting and how you plan to manage your money. It might even be helpful to meet with a financial planner in order to discuss setting collaborative goals together. Things that work for both of you. You need to be open and real with each other about your credit scores and any existing debt you may have.
Here are some questions to help kick your discussion off:
- Is wealth important to you?
- What are your thoughts on debt?
- Do you save more or spend more?
- How should we divide our financial responsibilities?
- What are your thoughts in terms of planning for retirement?
- How do you plan to finance big purchases and investments, like a car or a house?
Remember that you are marrying someone as they are; not as someone you want them to be. Love your partner for the person they are. Don’t judge them — try to understand them — and remember why you fell in love in the first place. So many couples want their spouse to do things their way, or change their annoying habits — but things are not quite as simple as that.
Accept your partner for who they are (even their eccentric qualities). If there are any issues and behaviours that need to be addressed, remember to engage in healthy, productive negotiation and communication.