We all want a lifetime of love, support, and faith but sometimes we need a little help. Many of us want to create strong, secure relationships but this isn’t always easy. Relationships take a lot of work, a lot of communication and a lot of compromise. A thriving, healthy relationship requires some give and take, but is absolutely within your reach if you and your partner are willing to do the work. Communication is a key part of building strong relationships and can either make or break the success of your relationship so having the right conversations are imperative to making things work. If you are looking to take the leap of love with the one you love, it’s crucial that you talk about these things first. Here are seven topics every Christian couple should discuss before marriage.
Conflict is a word that often incites fear. Yet, all relationships have it. Maybe you or your partner gets loud and excitable when you fight but it’s part of how you deal with conflict in your family, so the fight burns bright. But as soon as it’s over, it’s forgotten. Or maybe you and your partner get quiet or become closed off when you get angry and neither one of you realizes it’s a danger zone. It’s important to talk about how you deal with conflict. It’s not the conflicts that cause problems in relationships – they’re inevitable. It’s how two people deal with conflict that can make or break the relationship. This requires a level of self-awareness. If you know there’s something that you say that really gets your partner’s blood boiling, choose to not take it there when arguments arise. If you don’t, you will run into conflict again and again.
Visions of Love
Throughout our lives, we compile a picture of what we think real love should like. As we grow older, we often imagine finding a soul-mate, that perfect person who we were destined to spend the rest of our lives with. The trouble is that the reality of love is not quite as simple as the fantasy picture we create in our heads. Love isn’t generic. It’s not a one size fits all. Love looks different to different people and is expressed in different ways. It’s important that you know what your partner’s definition of love is and that you honor their views. Your ultimate expression of adoration may not be the same for your partner and that’s ok.
Threats to Marriage
Let’s face it, we all have raw spots. We’ve all been wounded and these wounds leave scars. It’s important that you and your partner know each other’s sore spots. Has past infidelity made your significant other super-sensitive to what he or she perceives as flirtatiousness? Has a past bankruptcy made full financial disclosure a must? Has an overbearing ex made your partner wary of attempts to get closer? The problems that most couples meet show up because they tend not to have these conversations. If your relationship is going great, but you still find yourself not feeling secure enough to trust your partner completely, it’s imperative that you find that security. It takes work, but when you’re able to get there, you will be rewarded with a great deal of happiness and joy.
Encouraging your partner is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. To do this, it’s important to look at the positive in your partner, develop a sense of humor and give honest praise. Let them know what you appreciate about them. Also, schedule time for your relationship to come first. Don’t allow your relationship to become an afterthought. Start by doing a calendar review. If your job, overcommitted friends or visits with parents or extended family members gets in the way of time with your partner, your relationship will have problems. When you make your relationship a high priority, it will grow.
What’s Healthy For the Relationship
When it comes to any important decision in your relationship, don’t just talk about whether it’s good for you or your spouse. Make it a point to talk about and think about whether it’s good for your relationship and avoid situations that could be toxic and harmful. If you stop and ponder it, the answer will generally come intuitively. This may come down to how much time something will take away from your time together, whether it will make things stressful between you, or if it involves people who in some way threaten your relationship (lunch with your ex is a great example of this). If you don’t even want to ask this question, that’s a red flag.
Taking about the future is important. Sometimes, the best conversations are the ones that aren’t forced. The conversation should feel natural. For example, you may be interested in how many kids your partner wants. When you hear about his or her siblings and you learn that he or she comes from a big family, you might ask something like, ‘Do you enjoy being in a big family?’ The more effortlessly you can allow information to come out as part of your normal conversation, the less pressure your partner will feel.
Your Biggest Desires
Knowing your partner’s desires for the relationship will not only help you discover where your partner wants or needs the relationship to go, but also what has most affected your partner’s life thus far. What happens in our past ultimately forges our future. Discover what your partner wishes for the two of you. Is it to be financially secure? Is it to remain best friends forever? Find out where their emotional roadmap is taking them. You might be surprised by their answers and where some of these wishes have the potential to take you two together.
Communication is the keystone to a great relationship. These conversations will open up stronger communication with your partner. Whether it’s simple questions about the past or understanding your partner’s goals, ideas about divorce and the future, these conversations will bring you closer in the long run. If you’re thinking about marriage, begin having these conversations. They will take your relationship a long way.