Marriage is one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever make. It impacts your life in so many different ways. Here are a few things to consider prior to saying “I Do.”
Marriage: A History
The Genesis account in the Bible walks us through what God’s intentions for marriage were. It’s a beautiful union where children come, families grow and legacies are established. However, some people find the fairytale only to leave a nightmare.
The American Psychological Association says 40 to 50 percent of American marriages end in divorce. According to the Census Bureau, both marriage and divorce rates are declining. Generally speaking, people divorce due to finances, religious disagreements, infidelity, arguing and more. Because we know these things can impact a marriage, we know we can do our part to lay a good foundation prior to getting married.
Money is a big stressor in marriage. If you’re not careful, you won’t be able to make your mortgage payment. If you don’t communicate, one person may drain the bank account before all the bills are paid. Sometimes, it can just be hard to get on the same page!
If you’ve been around the blog for a minute, you know we’re Dave Ramsey fans. You can read more about how we implement his principles here. Let’s take a few of his tips and see if we can’t lay a good foundation for our marriage.
Are you and your soon-to-be-spouse on the same page about expenses? Do you both have debt you’d like to get rid of? Is creating budget and sticking to it something you’re both willing to do? What about investing?
Marriage is a long-term play. So your financial planning needs to be long term. Start thinking of habits you’d like to develop so you can start your marriage off strong. And not all of those habits are financial. Being able to effectively communicate about your finances is just as important as having a healthy relationship with finances.
Religion in Marriage
In a study published in 2016 by the Pew Research Center, findings concluded one in five US adults were raised in interfaith homes. According to the same study, 44 percent of adults considered same-religion marriages to be important to the marriage’s success.
Why is that? Religion can be a driving force for several things. Child rearing, division of labor, how you spend your money, who makes the final decision in your home, how you spend your time and more.
A subset of married people in the Pew Research Center study found their spouse’s religion wasn’t a topic of concern prior to putting a ring on their finger. Is it a concern for you?
Infidelity in Marriage
According to a 2013 study, an estimated 84 of 100 Americans believed extramarital affairs to be morally unacceptable. However, some studies say an estimated 20 to 45 percent of marriages end in divorce because of infidelity. Some studies also suggest infidelity happens because of lack of love, age and even the internet.
With something so specific to each couple, it seems difficult to try and list reasons how we can fight against something like infidelity. But knowing my love for communication, that’s exactly where I go back to. I believe effective, consistent, strong communication from both parties can be one of the many building blocks that can protect against infidelity. One great way to begin is with Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages.” Understanding how someone feels loved lays a great foundation in your marriage.
The baby is crying. The bill is past due. You don’t know when you last dated your spouse.
Stress and tension from jobs, children, in-laws and your self-imposed expectations can be an explosion waiting to happen. Again, strong communication between both spouses can lead to a great foundation and a safe place to express some of those stressors. Ultimately, it may solve problems as well.
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