Marriage throws up some big life questions and often a wedding is just the starting block for making a lot of major decisions in very quick succession. Wedding planning discussions also invariably lead into deeper, more long-term topics. Things like if you want kids, where you want to live and what career paths are you’re each going to take. It’s no coincidence that lots of couples seem to move house or one spouse has a career change pretty quickly after saying “I do”. Making this kind of commitment often encourages us to start thinking seriously about these other things too.
2. Deal Breakers
While you might not have ever thought about it while dating, things like if you want children, where you want to live, your feelings on fidelity, how often you like you see your family, sex, money, and vices can all come up unexpectedly during the wedding planning process.
It’s important to acknowledge these gaps in your knowledge of each other as you discover them. In the haze of infatuation it can be difficult to imagine that anything could ever drive you apart, but if you don’t both lay your cards on the table before getting married they may be the things that ultimately do.
Before Gareth and I walked down the aisle, we went on a short marriage course. Perhaps an old fashioned concept but it was a requirement of the church we wanted to be married in. We dragged our heels to the first class but quickly came to understand the only motive to the classes were to strengthen our relationship. They gave us the opportunity to talk about some of these big-life-questions. We married relatively young and at 24 I hadn’t really been thinking too hard about the future until then.
Although we share all kinds of details about our day to day lives, from what we’re planning for dinner to holiday snaps, Gareth and I make a conscious effort to keep the really personal stuff offline. At a glance, it can seem as though our whole lives are documented for all to see, but it’s really only the trivial stuff that gets put out there. A few pictures of our cats walking on their leads doesn’t actually reveal a great deal about us as a couple. The real story is in the detail like how we agreed, together, to get two maine coons, for example.
I feel somewhat exposed doing this but I’m diving right in to a ten part series covering some of the most important love lessons Gareth and I have learnt since becoming husband and wife. We’ll be sharing some of the mistakes we made as well as some of the break-through moments that we’ve had. But most importantly I really want to give you the opportunity to think about these things and hopefully discuss them with your partner afterwards.
I know that if I was where you are right now this is the kind of content I would have really loved to see from a wedding blogger. After all, your wedding is just one day, it’s all the days after you say “I do” which really matter.
1. On Selfishness
As human beings we are intrinsically selfish. We naturally think about ourselves first but when you’re married you need to consider the other person’s feelings just as much as, if not more than, your own. It’s no longer about looking out for number one or having your own goals and life path, it’s about the two of you thinking and acting as a team.
Although in many ways Gareth and I are really similar – our outlook on life and our plans for the future – in others our tastes couldn’t be more different. I love sushi and Thai food, he prefers burgers and chips. I like nothing better than sitting down to a True Blood or 24 marathon, he detests any kind of American drama. My idea of a perfect Saturday is raiding the aisles of Topshop and H&M, he hasn’t bought himself any new clothes in years… You get the picture.
It might sound obvious but when you promise yourselves to each other for life you need to consider the other person’s feelings in everything you do, much more so than you would have while dating. Let’s be honest, you’re going to be with this person forever – you need to make sure you’re both happy!
It’s not something we ever want to think about, but the likelihood is that everything won’t go perfectly to plan on your wedding day. A couple of weeks ago I actually asked via my Facebook page if anyone had anything go wrong and I was blown away by the response. I even had people emailing me separately to tell me their stories of woe! While I was at first a little nervous that all those comments would be scaring the bejebus out of you brides-to-be, I think it is important to realise that while things may not always go to plan, it will all be OK in the end. Whatever happens your wedding will still be awesome. Pinky swear.
Some of these hiccups will be minor, others could be quite major, but instead of trying to second-guess the future and stressing yourself out about it, here are five tips on how to handle anything that might go a little pear shaped.
1. Accept that things might go wrong… and be OK with it
If I learnt anything from reading all those Facebook comments it was that more often than not something does goes wrong. Accepting that fact and being OK with it is ultimately going to be a lot less stressful than worrying about something you can’t control the whole time. Realise that for most people (well, maybe except Bridezillas but I haven’t got any of those reading my blog do I?!) it’s the little hiccups actually end up making for a great story after the wedding.