Marriage season - ensure your license never expires
Susanne M. Alexander, Euclid author, relationship and marriage coach, and character specialist, just learned that her book, "All-in-One Marriage Prep: 75 Experts Share Tips and Wisdom to Help You Get Ready Now" (Barringer), is a 2011 finalist of the Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Books (www.Allinonemarriageprep.com) She was a contributor and the lead editor for the book that includes experts giving their best advice to couples about how to prepare for marriage and how to be successful after the wedding. Alexander is president of Euclid-based Marriage Transformation LLC (www.marriagetransformation.com).
It’s wedding season! In the hunt for a life-long mate, it’s hard to know where to turn for answers without coming to a lot of dead ends. When marriage is on the mind, most of the focus is drawn to planning the wedding: which guests to invite, where to have the honeymoon and which dress is the perfect fit. In the excitement of getting ready for the special day, couples can get lost in the buzz and neglect continuing to get to know their partner. The whole goal of thorough preparation is to ensure that both know each other extensively and are certain that each person is the right one for the other. Divorce is painful and can be avoided through really knowing a partner and having the right tools before saying “I do.”
To ensure that a couple enters marriage with the knowledge to create a strong, life-long, and happy bond with their future spouse, here are a few key things to consider before drifting too far into the clouds of love.
Visit www.euclidobserver.com to read what I learned from Alexander to help you and those you love succeed at marriage. >>>>Jump to web site<<<
Knowing character qualities
Our character qualities define us. They shape how we speak to and treat others, how we respond to situations, and how we define our strengths and weaknesses. By knowing your partner’s character qualities, you can positively reaffirm their strengths that mean a lot to you. When we notice each other’s qualities and express our gratefulness for them and the specifics of what our partner did that we appreciated, we open up a door for growth, encouragement, and strengthening of our relationships and personal interactions. Often, love and adoration for our future spouse can blind us from the truth of each other’s characters, so outside input and observation, such as from parents or close friends, can be helpful for keeping us as a couple on track. Don’t worry; you can still remain madly in love while keeping your feet closer to the ground. In the long run, you’ll be happier for it! You have the rest of your lives to be overwhelmed by love, but only one solid chance to make sure you’ll be able to get and stay there.
Proper communication – using your words
We’re all human. We all make mistakes. However, we often make the big mistake of assuming how our partner is feeling and what they are thinking. No one is a mind reader. When a couple gets stuck due to poor communication skills, it serves as an introduction to discord, unhappiness, and misunderstanding. Proper communication can keep a relationship functioning smoothly and focused on love and joy rather than negative memories and faults. Tone of voice, knowing how to carry on dialogue, and good listening skills will help couples express differences, properly express love for one another, and keep each other fully informed on feelings and needs. Understanding how partners respond to difficulties will help you know how to help them through times of stress without becoming an additional burden. Good communication in marriage makes the difference between a sincere apology and sleeping on the couch.
Spending time together – not as easy as it seems
A first reaction to this tip may be “We see each other all the time. How is this relevant?” It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that just being together makes a difference. While this is true, it’s important to recognize the difference between quality time together and just breathing the same air. Taking time to plan special outings and dates can create opportunities for you both to be in public together, try new things and have fun with one another. Sitting down for in-depth conversation shows the person you love that you want to hear their thoughts and feelings, and you are able to express yourself. Talking on a daily basis provides an opportunity to express appreciation and catch up on the little stuff from the day. Finding activities you both enjoy, whether it be sports or crafts, can help you to bond on a new level while integrating that quality time. The best thing about time together is that if you’re apart, you can still talk and share and plan for the future. Then when you’re back together, you can act on the plans and decisions you’ve made. Keep making an effort to know your partner better than anyone else, so that when the time for marriage is right, you’ll be ready to step forward with confidence.
By taking the time to prepare and know yourself well, you will understand how to know your partner best. Rather than leave the future to chance and just give things a shot, the opportunity is available to be ready to make a marriage last and make your special day the best – and the only one you’ll ever need. Marriage season may be now, but your season of love should last a lifetime
Susanne M. Alexander offers PREPARE assessment and coaching to premarital couples to help them assess readiness to marry. The coaching includes knowledge and skill building. The company website is www.marriagetransformation.com.
Hannah E. Yanega, a Cleveland resident, is a writing and art major at Houghton College in Western New York. She has been published in Properties Magazine, blogcritics.org, and cleveland.com.You can keep up with her thoughts at her blog, Pensive Ideation.