Marriage is undoubtedly one of the most important things in a person’s life, some would even say that there is nothing more important in the world than a successful marriage.
Everyone has their own take on marriage, but one thing that everyone would agree on is that a marriage must be based on transparency, trust, and mutual respect.
However, that’s not all; a marriage is infinitely more complicated than that. So, that begs the question; what are the things that you need to know before getting married?
Physical attraction is a must
Some might think that because physical attraction doesn’t last forever so it’s not important for a successful relationship.
However, you can’t eliminate the importance of being attracted to your spouse. Physical attraction is something that goes way below the level of consciousness, it’s mysterious and not everyone understands it.
There are a lot of inexplicable and mysterious things that determine physical and sexual attraction, and it is imperative to have some of that mystery in your relationship.
A relationship devoid of physical attraction becomes boring very soon, and once a relationship is not fulfilling, it falls apart.
So, if you want to be in a successful relationship, finding someone that you are attracted to is a good place to start.
You need to be able to envision a joint future with your spouse
You should know someone well enough so you can start to envision a joint future that you can both look forward to with enthusiasm and confidence.
That means that you have to ask yourself questions such as, do you have a sufficient number of joint interests, how are you going to handle your joint careers, and what about the possibility of having children.
You have to start considering your life together from the perspective of practicality and economics.
This means it can’t just be that massive erotic attraction that’s associated with love, it needs to be deeper than that.
You need to be able to envision your life together at the level of detail; how will you handle your finances, where are you going to live, what are your joint plans going to look like, etc.
Your relationship has to be predicated on mutual trust
No relationship can survive unless it is based on unwavering mutual trust.
You can’t marry someone you don’t trust, because if you don’t trust your partner you can’t be sure if they would always love you and be loyal to you, you won’t be able to rely on them, confide in them or feel safe.
Trust is a fundamental necessity for any relationship, and a relationship devoid of mutual trust is not worth pursuing.
So, in order to sustain a healthy relationship that is fun, exciting, and fulfilling you need to make sure that your relationship is predicated on mutual trust.
Make a mutual effort towards conflict resolution
Conflict is a necessary part of life and no matter how good you think your relationship is, there is inevitably going to be conflict and disagreement.
So, before you get married you need to lay down a strategy that would determine how you’re going to resolve conflicts.
One of the things that many couples get wrong is that they try to avoid conflict, which is a fundamentally flawed strategy because if you don’t talk to your partner about what’s bothering you, over time you will become resentful and bitter, and when you eventually have a conflict, it will spiral out of control and there will no chance of reconciliation.
So, the takeaway is that you should never shove your problems under the rug, you need to talk about them and resolve them with mutual effort in order to sustain a healthy relationship over an extended period of time.
Cherish the seemingly trivial things
For the first year of marriage most interactions between a couple are overwhelmingly positive and exciting, however, once the honeymoon phase is over there needs to be a constant effort to maintain the same level of positivity and excitement in your interactions.
John Gottman conducted a study that essentially explained how a marriage can last longer.
He suggested that if a couple can appreciate and cherish the tiny and trivial things in their relationship, it is likely to last much longer.
So, make sure that you appreciate the small things in your relationship that may seem trivial but make you happy.
Strive for a well-rounded life
If you want to have a successful relationship you need to have a well-rounded life. You need to make sure that there is a balance between your social, professional, and romantic life.
If you focus solely on your career you can go a long way, however, that means that you’re stacking everything in your career in an effort to become exceptionally well at what you do, but that comes at a very high cost, you don’t get to have a healthy social or romantic life.
So, if you want to have a healthy romantic relationship, you cannot make one facet of your life your primary focus.
It needs to be oriented in a way that everything stays balanced.
You must be truthful with your partner to the highest degree possible
Truth is empowering and it makes a person charismatic and formidable. One of the most important things in a relationship is trust, and the only way you can genuinely trust a human being is if you know that they are truthful.
Truth, therefore, is not only important, it is absolutely imperative for a relationship to survive because otherwise, you will be in a relationship where there is no trust and a relationship devoid of trust is worse than hell.
You need to be willing to go all-in
A marriage can never work unless and until you are fully committed and ready to go all in. If your relationship is predicated on the idea that one of you might leave whenever they want to, then there is no point in getting married in the first place.
Famous Clinical psychologist and professor Dr. Jordan Peterson calls marriage “a form of voluntary enslavement.”
This idea of voluntarily shackling yourself to your partner comes partly from Carl Jung. Jung suggested that unless a person has made a serious commitment to that they cannot back out of, they are not going to take the relationship with the seriousness that is necessary to make it of the highest quality and sustainability across the course of their life.
So if you want your relationship to be a healthy one that lasts over the course of your life, you have to be all in because there are some games that you just don’t get to play unless you’re all in, and getting married is one of them.
Romantic interactions aren’t always spontaneous
At the start of a new relationship, romantic interactions take virtually no effort, but physical attraction goes away with time, and romantic interactions don’t stay the same.
Many couples make the mistake of thinking that all romantic interactions should always be spontaneous.
If you walk into a relationship with that presupposes you are setting yourself up for failure because once you have kids and you both have a job, you become so busy that the probability of spontaneous romantic interactions decrees to zero.
So, you have to work constantly to keep that romantic spark alive and if you don’t make that a priority, you slowly drift away from your partner to the point where you would just give up hope for any romantic attractions at all, and there is only one way a relationship can go from there, and no couple wants that.
You can’t be too much alike
You need to find someone who is interestingly different from you, not so different that you can’t communicate but different enough that the relationship doesn’t get boring once the honeymoon phase is over.
You might think that you want to get along perfectly with your partner, but that isn’t necessarily true because if you’re too similar you will get bored and then you go looking for trouble elsewhere.
If your spouse is interestingly different from you, they will be able to express their opinions which will maintain a healthy level of tension in your relationship. So you want a little bit of trouble, mystery, and combativeness in the relationship because a relationship devoid of that is never going to be fulfilling enough to last your entire life.
Relationships are complicated and every couple is different.
However, a few things that every relationship needs to have is trust, transparency, reliability, and love that goes beyond mere physical attraction.
Although the importance of physical attraction is not to be underestimated, because it is as important as anything else in the relationship, you need to make sure that your love for the person that you are going to mary goes deeper than just physical attraction so that you can maintain a healthy relationship over an extended period of time.