To Have and to Hold – and Hold On Tight!

Before you and your beloved commit to a lifetime together, make sure you're on the same page about what marriage means to you. Photo by Laura Yang.

I read something in the news yesterday that floored me. I mean, eating-carpet floored me. Here is is, straight from an article in USAToday:

“Many young American couples can’t agree on whether they’ve decided to have sex only with each other, a new study shows.”

Okay, so I could understand how this might happen in a college dorm setting where some promiscuous teens mix up booze and boyfriends into a dizzying array of concoctions. But the couples in this study included married adults. Wouldn’t you think, by default, taking those marriage vows means any rational person realizes s/he has just committed to a life of having sex only with that one legally-bound significant other?

While it would never occur to me — or my husband, for that matter — to think a marriage might be construed as an open relationship, this study highlights the need to make sure you and your intended are truly on the same page. No, not just about sex — whether you both think marriage makes you an exclusive couple requires a simple yes or no answer. But there are plenty of other issues you might think you agree on, only to find out when you’re knee-deep in the much of married life that your differing perspectives create quite the quagmire.

So take the time to talk through some of the things that have been your hot-button issues and make sure — beyond a shadow of a doubt — that you have them resolved before you exchange your vows.

How, when and where you’ll interact with your families; where you see yourselves in ten years; when you want to have children and how to raise them; the way you want to manage your finances; how you plan to prioritize work and family life — all these things, and so many more, can turn into monster issues and rear their ugly heads when you least except it. Talking things through early on will at least let you know where the other person stands, and will build a solid foundation for your next . . . ahem, discussion . . . on the topic.

Good luck — marriage, and even preparing for marriage, takes a lot of hard work and more energy than you might think you have. But a happy marriage is worth every moment of frustration and every tear. So keep that goal in mind and keep working toward happy compatibility.

~ Laura

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