Plan for a marriage not just a wedding

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We spend months and sometimes even years planning every single minutiae detail for that big day is finally with upon us and we finally say those two life changing word... "what now?" Many of us have fallen into the trap of spending more time planning our wedding day than we spend planning our actual life of marriage. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be meticulous about whether white roses or ivory tulips would make a better table centrepiece, I'm sure those options may be a challenge for some couples to overcome, however, by keeping the bigger picture in full view it can help put things into perspective and help prioritise your planning. Here are some things every couple should seriously consider spending some quality time planning together.



What's the greater purpose?

It's important to first establish what the greater purpose of your union is? It seems like a silly question to even ask but think about it, other than some of our innate human desires like sex and attaining a sense of belonging, who else does our relationship benefit? Sometimes we look at our marriage from an insular perspective. We look at what we can get from it. "How will it benefit me?" Start thinking about what you have to add to the relationship for the long-term and how does that impact your partner and your greater circle of influence. There is a greater purpose in giving so consider what your marriage will provide for your children and even your community.



What are your Relationship Goals?

Goal setting! Put some milestones in place from now and keep the wheels in motion. If there is nothing to strive for then there will be no need for ambitious thinking and the relationship will become stale and stagnant because of a lack of progression. I made the mistake of only planning on buying a car, a house, getting married and then having kids. I didn't think beyond that. Once I ticked most of these off of my check list I was left thinking "what now?" but I can honestly say that at first I didn't have a clue. So I had to start growing my capability to have a vision beyond today and start making some plans and setting some real relationship goals.



What's in the pot?

Get a financial budget together for where you currently are financially and where you aim to be to facilitate your goals. Sit down together and put it all on the table. Your individual incomes, outgoings, debt... all of it. Put it all on a spreadsheet and then start to think about possible scenarios that may arise in the future. Challenge yourself from early on in the relationship to take on the financial commitments so that you put yourself in a position of being the bread winner. Some would lead us to believe that this is an egotistical approach to finances within a marriage however it is very much for the benefit of the family. If you rely on a joint income then, unless your wife has her own self-generating business that doesn't require her full-time attention, taking time off of work to care for a newborn may create a financial struggle. By becoming a breadwinner it will allow you to create a financial shield for your family when they need it most. 



What are your parenting practices?

We understand the importance of becoming a husband before we are actually married as this acts as our training ground for marriage, however, we often miss the opportunity to take the same approach when it comes to having kids. Most couples have an idea of when they would like to start having children (most, like me, get that completely wrong) however we can sometimes fail to take the time to practice parenthood before we become responsible for another life that % reliant on us getting it right. If your parenting styles are not in agreement then you risk raising children who will become conflicted as a result of the discord within your parenting styles. Try having an open line of communication with your partner about how you were raised and enquire into how she was raised also. This open discussion will highlight your areas of strength and weakness and allow you to put a plan of action together and come to an agreement before taking on one of the biggest responsibilities you may ever have in life.



What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.


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