In many cases people go into marriage without having slightest idea of what they are going into. By the time they realize this after they must have contracted the marriage it would have been too late. This leaves them with the statement: Had I know. Before going into marriage, there are number of factors that need to be known, failing which the marriage may be dead even before it is contracted. Some of the factors include, but not limited to, the ones explained below:
One of the principal factors that determine whether a marriage will withstand the test of time is finance. Marriage requires quite a lot of money to be sustained. Its adequacy or otherwise determines if the marital experience will be exciting or not. This will also say much about whether the marriage will succeed or not. There are several things that will require money before, during and after wedding. Some of them include, but not limited to, baby care, medicare, housing, car, clothing, and others. This therefore requires that couples going into marriage should give a primary consideration in their quest marital union to the issue of finance. No matter how small the family budget is, lack of money or inadequacy of it can cause serious crises in the family that will turn what would have been memorable and exciting experience to an unpalatable one. Lets avoid it. Let us plan ahead.
Sexual Desires & Concerns
Are you guys sexually compatible or not? If you are not then you guys need a rethink. Discuss it and dont feel shy. Be bold and courageous to discuss your sexual preferences with your partner. Dont pretend. Say it exactly the way it is. If you dont tell him/her then dont blame him/her. Many people go into marriage as pretenders, not willing to declare who they are sexually. And when their partners could not fathom what such desires and preferences are, then they remain unattended to. Frustrations arising from this could lead to communication gap, marital crisis and this may lead to eventual crash of such marriages.
Extended families are very important because they are the big trees from which our individual conjugal families come from. In other words, they are the sources of various nuclear families as we have them today. No doubt these families need their respective extended family members for one reason or another. But they should not be over relied upon. They should be dealt with cautiously. They should not be allowed to have over bearing influence on the nuclear families in such a way that they will start hurting the expression of the huge potentials that abound in the families. Couples should be careful at the beginning to ensure that what is happening in their homes are not dictated from outside in the name of extended family.
Both couples have friends, males and females. Some with good intentions, and others with bad intentions. You can hardly differentiate who is who because the holy book says, The heart of man is desperately wicked. Who can know it? Couples should take charge of what is happening within and among them. They should learn to treat their matters with minimum reliance on external parties called friend. Cases abound of where the so called friends took advantage of the gap between couples to scatter their marriages. Empathic communication among couples help removed such unpleasant experiences.
Household Chore Delegation
Who does household chores among the couples? Big question, right? Traditionally, one would say that this roles automatically goes to the woman of the house. But things have changed so dramatically since the modern industrial and technological era. As a matter of fact traditional roles of genders have been altered significantly. So caution is the word here. We have to face reality. Gone were the days when the woman will be doing all the house chores and the man will be sitting in the palour, reading newspaper or watching television. Both couples should make themselves available for domestic chores to help one another and to reduce tension in the family. This is a clear demonstration of love and spirit of helpfulness.
What does your marriage mean to your career plan? Death or growth? You need to sit down to talk about this. Everyone has lofty dreams before marriage. The question is, what happened to those lofty dreams after marriage? Will the woman still be allowed to chase the dreams or she will be asked to abandon them and stay at home all day long? Both couples should organize themselves in such a way that they can both pursue their respective careers to the glory of God. No one should be made to abandon his/her dreams. This is the least they could do to help themselves, their family and the society at large. 50/50 rule should apply here.
Parenting is a major aspect of family function that needs to be handled with great caution. Couples must agree on the belief and philosophy that will be deployed to guide childrens thought process and world view. If the parents are looking in different directions in this regard there will be confusion as the children may be lost as to which philosophy to adopt. The children may be left with no option than to chart new courses for themselves. This new direction may not be what the parents wish to have.
Relaxation Time (what they like to do in their free time)
This may sound funny but it has to be given all the seriousness it deserves. Having an idea of how, when and where you want to spend your spare time and sharing same with your partner may be a very powerful way to get yourself understood by your partner. This may in turn create room for mutual understanding and trust. For instance, if you have never told your wife that you enjoy attending night club at your leisure time and she discovers that you always go there, this may create trust issues and brewing point for crisis. Such crisis may shake the marriage to its foundation if it is not well managed.
Do you know the personality traits of your partner? Is he/she short tempered, gentle, aggressive, etc? Is he/she gentle, harsh or calm? People are not the same on all these traits. And the traits each of the couples has will go a long way to affect his/her approach to the other partner. This in turn may have serious implications for the marriage.
Similarities & Differences of the Families couples grew up from
The Similarities between the families the couples come from may go a long way and overall stability of their homes. Although this is not a guarantee but the chances of success could be high. This explains why people are often afraid of going into inter-ethnic marriage.