As it has been said over and over again, the concept of marriage cannot be over-emphasized. Marriage is a life-long affair and it’s disheartening to know that many people spend YEARS studying Cats and Lizards in the University, spend MONTHS preparing for wedding and did not even take time out to prepare for marriage. In preparation for marriage, there are books you need to read, effectual fervent prayers to pray, lives you need to study and above all things you both need to talk about before you say “I DO”! Communication is a very essential factor if there will be understanding between 2 or more individuals.
Therefore in preparing for marriage, here are a few things you need to talk about. If these things can be TRUTHFULLY discussed, then the decision that follows will be in the best interest of both parties. Let’s take a walk as we go through some of these itineraries:
Ø Intelligence Level: You will be discussing issues together in marriage so you both must consider each other’s intelligence level. Communication cannot be effective if the husband is talking in one direction and the wife is talking in another direction. Intelligence level however is not a function of academic qualification, but of attitude towards mental development.
Ø Family background: How will it affect your relationship? Family is something you both cannot do without even in your relationship. Make necessary findings about each other’s family background and trash out every necessary detail before proceeding. No time for shock discoveries after wedding.
Ø Formal Education: What is the height of Education attainable and obtainable. How further do you wish to go. Let this issue be discussed before proceeding. No time for strange ambitions later on in life. It may cause damage in the home.
Ø Verbal Skills: How vocal is your spouse? Are you the talking type? Is your wife also the talking type? No one wishes to talk to an image or deaf and dumb. Communication is effective when both parties are deeply involved. Also when you attend functions, if your partner is the talking type, be ready to also talk. Desire for verbal intimacy – Women love to talk, can you comprehend such as a man?
Ø Expected Goals: What do you expect of her as the mother and father of your children. No room for shockers in the future. What is the drive behind those goals of his/hers. Let everything be clearly spelt out and accepted before consent is given towards a future together. Values and Goals. Your controls. How best do you control yourself?
Ø Submission views: What are her views about being submissive? If she won’t allow you talk, air your views, succumb in an argument, etc. Brother, take heed, it’s possible she’s not the submissive type. Learn and make a decision if you are still willing to go ahead.
Ø Number of children: When married, how many children are you both willing to have? What Family planning methods are you willing to adopt. Are you both willing to have a child immediately after marriage. If not, what happens if she immediately take-in after wedding.
Ø Child rearing views: We were all brought up differently, so we all have different views about Child up-bringing. Never assume that your ideas about the issue is the same to avoid clashes in marriage. It won’t be nice if the husband is training the child in a way and the wife is bringing-up the child in the other way, you’ll be causing factions in the family.
Ø General Views: What are your Mental, Psychological, Social and Emotional views of life. How does life situations affect you both. There are people that can cry their heart out just because there was earthquake in China, to avoid amusement during marriage, discuss these things thoroughly.
Ø Sense of Humor: What appears as a joke to you, does he/she see it as a joke too? Do you have the same sense of humor or you both don’t even have a sense of humor. Then get ready for dull moments in the house. Your children will seek fun elsewhere or keep to themselves much if there is never a lively environment in the home.
Ø Punctuality: This is a very vital issue that needs to the trashed. You’ll both be attending functions and events. What’s your view about “African timing”? There are situations where the man drove to an occasion that both of them were planning to attend just because he has been waiting in the car for the wife for over 30minutes.
Ø Dependent Level: Are you the dependent type. How dependent will you be on your spouse. If you are the highly dependent type, then that means your partner must not stay away from home for too long (if at all he/she will need to travel), else there will be a collapse.
Ø Conflicts: Occasionally there may be conflicts, talk about how to resolve it. What are the things you both can handle? Talk about your strengths and Weaknesses. What are your fears? What can your spouse do to appease you when you are angry. How can he/she increase the anger.
Ø Handling friendships: How do you both handle relationship with the opposite sex even after wedding. Jealous things. Are you the type that your husband must NEVER hug another lady after wedding? Are you the type that your wife must not wink at an old friend? Talk about these things.
Ø Multidimensional relationship: With God, Spouse, Parents, Siblings, Friends, Academic pursuit, Vision, Goals and ambitions. What’s your threshold for lack of attention from your spouse for some minutes. Talk about your dedication to each of the above listed individuals/commitments.
Ø Attitude about weight and body posture: He/She might not remain a “lepa” for life, she might double/triple in size very soon. Will you still love her for who she is even after she has ‘inflated’?
Ø Religious and Spiritual beliefs: The God you believe in determines how you behave and relate with people. What are your beliefs. Amount of church involvement. How many times a week? What’s your opinion on service in the house of God, iron these things out before saying “I do!”
Ø Hobbies and interests: Type of music enjoyed, things you do for relaxation. Obviously, if the husband is the Barclays English Premier League type and the Wife is the African Magic, Hi-Nolly Yoruba type, then there will be conflict. Choice of cars, size and style of house.
Ø Income Distribution: Total amount of income to be spent, saved, given out, etc. Joint or separate accounts? Money issues can destroy homes, it’s better to discuss such things before going ahead with the wedding. How much should be allocated to vacation, church, relatives, etc. Investment risks.
Ø Cleanliness: Attitude to odour, dirty environments, etc. While some individuals do not see any wrong in living in a house not swept for three days, others can’t bear the thought of staying in an unswept environment for a day. If the husband is the type that wears clothes once and wants them washed whereas the wife is one that can wear clothes twice or thrice before considering a wash, there may be a problem.
Ø Sickness: Ways of handling illness. Are your methods Spiritual, Medical, etc. and in what order of priority. What are your individual health standards – do you visit doctors regularly? While some individuals depend totally on God for divine healing, others can’t do without their monthly check ups and visits to their doctor. Consider these things before saying “I do!”
Ø Interpersonal and social skills: How she relates with God the Supreme being, the poor, rich, mighty, elites, weak, sick, waiter, doorman, security personnel, family, friends, colleagues at work, etc. Don’t be fooled, human don’t change, attitudes are only suppressed into oblivion when the Spirit of the Lord takes over.
Ø Geographical standards: Where can you live/reside? You two might have views world apart as it concerns residential areas. While your spouse prefers quiet and reserved areas, you might not have a flair for silent areas, but for lively areas, where you don’t get to miss all the happenings. Remote and secluded areas might be some people’s favorite. House chores, cooking and living standards – furniture and decorations. Travelling frequently and method of travelling – Water, Air, Road, Rail, etc.
Ø Occupation: This is a variant of how much time spent you want to be spending together. Who can you marry (occupation-wise)? Ofcourse if you are marrying a Medical Practitioner, Petroleum Engineer, Politician or a Pilot, the time spent together will obviously vary when compared to getting married to a Lecturer, Clergy, Government Worker, etc.
Ø Bed time and Rest time: When to go to bed. When to wake up. To some people, night prayers will be the last activity for the day, whereas to others, it’s a movie that puts them to sleep. For such a couple, the lady wants to sleep immediately after prayers, but the husband still wants to watch the movie, surf the internet, play games, etc. Time for morning devotions, what time do you wake up for your devotions?
Above all, trust and faith will make you both triumph over any of such circumstance. Trust absolutely in God and all will be well.