What You Can Expect in Planning For Marriage
What is marriage to you?
What does it mean to be a wife?
What does it mean to be a husband?
You must set expectations for a marriage.
Answering these questions starts the process of setting expectations. Expectations are very important and voiced expectations are far more important. When you internalize your expectations, meaning you don’t share them, you assume your mate, spouse, intended partner knows them. Unmet expectations are the very thing that breaks a relationship or marriage apart, so to start on the right foot, vocalize your expectations.
Expectations give us a heads up on the areas in which we should plan. Remember a person who fails to plan, plans to fail. A person who has no plan for their expectations, will have expectations that go unmet, they fail.
Here are a few common expectations:
1) I want to be happy and I want you to make me happy.
2) I don’t want a relationship that ends up like everyone else’s.
3) I want a biblical marriage and not a common-day (worldly) marriage.
4) I want our marriage to be the model marriage that doesn’t end.
While I’m tempted to elaborate on each of these, I will refrain. I’m not saying these are good expectations. However, I will say this, everyone has some sort of marriage and relationship expectation, whether they’re good or not. The more we define them and discuss them upfront the better.
Speaking of expectations, there are zero couples who expect their marriage to end in divorce. Are you beginning this relationship with plans for divorce? Of course not, no one plans on getting divorced at the start. However, it’s hard to stop divorce when you never planned on or made plans to be married either. Divorce for the most part is a couple who failed to plan to be married.
You must define marriage or a relationship to have a successful one.
In fact, most couples have very little idea of how to define marriage. Often, each individual will more than likely have a different definition or perspective. This must be resolved. In this content, we will define marriage, what it means to be partners in life, and begin this new venture called “This Couple INC”.
What can you expect beyond this introduction?
This is how we will do it. If we were allowing you to sit in on our coaching sessions with couples, there would be five sessions in all. Allow me to give you a brief description and a summary of what you can expect to come over the next several weeks in these five sections:
- Relationship 101 – The Life Cycle
I won’t say this is my favorite session, I’m not sure which I enjoy the most, but this first one is a good one. Most people don’t know that a relationship goes through cycles. It would be good to know the cycles, some call them seasons, but at any rate knowing them will give a clue on how to prepare for the upcoming cycles. By the way, these cycles repeat over and over at different rates and durations, so it’s good to be prepared for them. This is what we help you to define so that your relationship can be cycle-proof.
- The 7 Levels of Relationships
Pamela and I did a study on the relationship types, we’ve discovered seven classifications that can sum up all the relationships one will encounter in life. As a result of this study, we found out that each relationship level has a direct impact on every marriage. When individuals are in the appropriate relationship-level, all goes well, but when they don’t you find the normal problems that place a strain on a relationship, specifically a marriage.
- The Intent of Marriage
For some reason, we can never shake the topic of “the intent for marriage” no matter how many times we tried to leave this one out. In this section, we talk about why two people should desire to bring their lives together appropriately. In other words, we help couples define a purpose for the marriage.
- An Uncommon Love
The biggest mistake a normal person makes is assuming they understand what love is and what it means to be love. The average person doesn’t know two pieces of information: 1) how to love another, and 2) how to be loved by another. That being the case we must make sure we have a better understanding of the word “love.” I know you think that people get married because they love each other and the truth is most people rarely get married out of love.
- Putting It All Together
The last step we take is helping the couple put it all together. This section will even include sample ceremonies. Pamela and I believe that a ceremony should be tailored to the couple and we include a few samples. Lastly, we will discuss how one can keep their marriage healthy by having regular relationship check-ups.
As we bring this opening section to a close, we’d like to offer this assignment to you before you proceed to the next lesson, “Relationship 101 – The Life Cycle.” Keep in mind this will be an individual assignment designed to be completed separately and not shared.
Here’s your assignment: how do you define marriage?