Getting married is such a beautiful experience.
It’s such a beautiful thing.
I remember when I was preparing for my wedding, I was so excited and the day of the wedding and all the things, it’s such a beautiful thing.
But also preparing for marriage is beautiful as well, and it can be beautiful, but I feel like a lot of times, we don’t really prepare.
We just think about the wedding day, or I’m gonna have my husband, I’m gonna have my wife, and we don’t actually spend time preparing.
In this article for You, me, and Jesus podcast, we are gonna talk about it. Today we are gonna talk about how to prepare for marriage.
Now I will give you a disclaimer.
I’m not married, I’m divorced, and I know you may be saying, “How can you tell people? How to prepare for marriage when first of all, you ain’t married. Second of all, you divorced.”
Well, it’s because it’s my article and I can do that .
Okay, so let’s talk about it.
So being divorced or being single does not mean that I don’t have wisdom and knowledge on how to prepare for marriage because.
Since I’ve been divorced for over eight, nine years, I can’t remember how many years it is.
I have been preparing to remarry the entire time, not necessarily looking for somebody or expecting God to bring somebody, but I have just been preparing by doing a lot of different things in order to be able to prepare.
And so I wanna just talk to you through like what it is that I feel like you should do to prepare for marriage.
Let’s visualize here, I’m holding two pens.
A pink pen and a black pen. One of the first things to understand is that you’ve got you–the pink pen, and you’ve got the person you’re gonna marry–the black pen.
Now you could be single, and if you’re single, then this still applies to you.
But if you’re dating and you are looking forward to marriage, then you know what you have.
So you’ve got you and you’ve got the person that you want to or going to marry.
Outside of the couple of you guys there is you two.
There is you, that was born from your mom, born from your dad, raised in whatever household you were raised in, dated whomever you’ve dated, married, divorced, or whatever you did before.
This person comes along here.
So there is you, there’s all of your life circumstances, there’s all of your, uh, church upbringing, like.
What you believe about God, what you believe about the Bible, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, what you believe about marriage.
All the things that you have been taught and that are inside of your brain about marriage.
And so then this person comes along and you’re like, “Okay, here is how I was raised. Here’s all of my experiences, my hopes, my dreams, and here’s all my expectations.”
But then also, we got this person and this person was born from their mom and their dad.
Raised in whatever household they were raised in.
Believe what they believe, all the things as well as their expectations.
And so then what happens is that you are pink.
And you’re born this way.
All you know, all your experiences.
And then this person is black.
So you guys have gotten who you are, and now what you’re doing is you’ve met and you’re dating and you’re like, “Oh my God, I love you.”
“I wanna spend the rest of my life with you.”
But a lot of times we don’t really realize that one of the things we need to do is we’ve gotta unpack how each person was raised.
How each person thinks about marriage, what were the experiences that you had with your mom and dad, your aunts, your uncles, your cousins, experiences you’ve had in your dating relationships, or if you were married and divorced.
The experiences in your marriage and then what were you taught about roles in marriage.
What were you taught about the opposite gender?
What were you taught about kids and working and home experiences?
Who cooks? Who cleans?
What were you taught about all of that?
And what are your expectations?
Because you both have them and if you haven’t had these deep level conversations and set the expectations of the relationship, of the marriage, of roles and all that type of stuff.
Then you’re kind of setting yourself up for failure.
And so one of the things that you need to do before you go down that aisle, before you set that wedding date is you’ve gotta sit down and go like, “Okay, like we say we wanna be married, but what does marriage mean to you?”
Now, this is some of the non-sexy conversations.
The non-sexy parts about being with someone and dating someone and getting engaged.
You know, when I think about this, obviously I’m not in this situation right now cause I’m not dating someone to marry.
This is hypothetically what I would want to do, especially because I’ve been married and divorced and hindsight is 20 20.
There’s some things I would just do differently.
One of the things that I feel like you should do is set up this time where you guys have got these questions and you talked about it some.
You guys have both created this list of questions that you want to have answered by the other.
About expectations of roles and gender roles and what happens in the home and the expectations of marriage.
Y’all just have these questions that you wanna ask.
Here’s what I would do.
This is what I desire to do.
But we’ll see what happens when that time comes.
But I just think it’s a good idea.
Both of you, y’all come together and then you all combine the questions.
So y’all not answering them right then and there, but he’s made a list, she’s made a list.
And y’all made this list of questions and then together y’all combined them into like, okay, so you had 40 questions, I had 30 questions.
But we both have some similar questions. So combining them, we have about 45 questions.
So now you’ve combined them. What I feel like you should do is you guys should go off on your own and he should write out his answers and she should write out her answers.
And then you choose a time where you’ve got a couple of hours and you are like, okay, so let’s talk about this.
So then she may ask him, “Well, how were you raised? What, what were you, what was like, how was, what was the household like? When, when you were raised was your mom, there was your dad there were both of them there. What was it like? Who worked, who cleaned? Who did the grocery shopping? Like who? Who washed the clothes?cWho folded the laundry?”
All of these particular questions.
What were you taught about having children?
What were you taught about how to discipline children?
First of all, just what were they raised in? What was it?
And then asking the questions of, so here’s how you were raised, what do you wanna keep doing according to how you were raised?
And what is it that you wanna do differently according to how you were raised, as it pertains to gender roles?
What do you feel like it’s a woman’s responsibility to do inside the home?
And what do you feel like it’s the man’s responsibility to do?
What are your thoughts on one person being at home and one working or both working?
What are your expectations if both people are working?
Like who’s gonna come home and cook? Who’s gonna grocery shop?
What are your expectations about children?
What are your expectations on how you discipline children?
How were you disciplined as a kid?
What did you love and not love?
These are not sexy conversations, questions, or what have you.
But it really helps you understand your partner.
When I think about my previous marriage, we didn’t do this.
I didn’t really know that this is something that people do or that we should do.
But now that I’ve gone through so much therapy, I mean, I do therapy all the time. I love therapy.
The more that I ask myself hard questions on a regular basis.
I’ve already said to myself, “I know all of this about me. And if I’m gonna combine this life with somebody, I’ve gotta know what is going over there with him.”
What is he thinking? What is he feeling like? What is he expecting?
Because I don’t know what that is before I choose to say, yes, we can spend our lives together.
Because it could be that he says, I want my wife to be at home cooking and cleaning.
I’m like, I don’t mind cooking, cleaning, but I also run a business, does that mean that I can’t run my business?
I met a couple who said that he wanted his wife to always have her hair a certain way, her body a certain way, and everything needed to stay the same.
And I said it myself, “That sounds good today, but what happens if that can’t happen or whatever.”
So it’s like having those conversations to understand where it is that he’s thinking.
Not to mention I’m 41 years old and when I meet someone, I’ll have to say, “What is your desire for children? Do you want to have children? Do you have to have children?”
Because if your answer is you have to have children, I may not be your girl.
I may be able to have kids.
I’m not sure cuz I’m 41 and I don’t know. Hopefully that could happen.
But I need to make sure that his life wouldn’t be ruined if my body doesn’t produce a child.
Like how do you feel about adoption? You see what I’m saying?
Not to mention if we choose to have kids, what are your thoughts on discipline?
How were you raised? Like we were beat when we were growing up?
We were beat and because of that I’ve been through so much therapy, I realize that’s actually trauma and I’m like, okay, that’s bad.
That’s not a good way to discipline a child.
But I don’t know if he’s gone through therapy or what he believes about being beat as a kid or if he’s someone who’s willing to have these hard conversations with a child. Child’s level, time out.
If he’s willing to do those things.
These are the things that I am strongly encouraging you to do.
Again, it’s not sexy, it’s not fun, and not everybody’s gonna encourage you to do these really hard things.
But the truth is that a lot of people are not doing these hard things and then they are getting married and then everything just–Kaboom!
And people are like, “What in the world? This is not what I signed up for!”
A lot of times it’s because there was no communication.
I remember in our marriage, I worked from home, I had my business and my husband had this unspoken expectation that I was always gonna want be the one doing the laundry, folding everything, putting everything away, doing the grocery shopping, cooking and running by business and cleaning, you know, all of this stuff.
And I was like, “What?” you know what I’m saying?
Not to mention like if you’re someone and you have been abstaining from sex.
Let’s just say if you’re a virgin, like when I met my ex-husband, I was inexperienced.
There was just so much that I did not know.
And he was frustrated at times and I was like, I didn’t, you know, and the Holy Spirit had to go to him on his own and say, “Hey, uh, you should be grateful that she’s inexperienced because you’re her first teacher.”
And he had to come to me and he had to apologize, which is very painful.
But anyway, it’s just like a tangent.
It’s just having these really, really hard conversations.
Because just think about it.
When you have really hard conversations with a person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with, and you learn how to navigate things, you learn what their expectations are.
You expect that we’re gonna engage in sexual seven days a week.
Okay. All right. That’s great.
So that means that we have to make sure that our lives are not to the point of stress where we’re just exhausted when we get home.
Because if one person has the expectation of seven and one has the temptation of one, then it’s like, you know what I mean?
I know it sounds kind of dramatic, but I’m just saying I know a couple who is six days a week, sometimes seven, which is awesome,
But they have set up their lives in a way to make sure that like from the moment that they wake up, they’re constantly just loving on each other.
It could just be through a text message.
It could be just through your coffee or whatever.
They’re just always just kind of setting up for what it is they want at the end of night.
They also set up their expectations on sleep, like the time that they normally get it on is at night.
But he normally goes to bed earlier than she does.
So they have it set up like, right around this time our lives start coming down.
We have dinner. You too. We take a shower, we go get it on. We watch a little bit of tv. He’s gonna go to bed a little bit earlier than she is and then she’s going to bed.
But they have this routine so that way, what they both want is being met.
She wants to watch her reality TV. He wants to get it on six, seven days a week. Great.
They’re both happy with it. but they’re just setting that up.
So I just wanted to share that. That’s one of the things that you could be doing to prepare yourself for marriage is cuz remember it’s just y’all two.
I don’t care who your mama, daddy, cousin, grandma is, it’s just y’all two.
When y’all in the house, y’all got bills, y’all got responsibilities, stuff hits the fan. It’s just y’all.
And if y’all learn how to communicate before you get married, set expectations and all those different things.
Then when y’all decide to get married, y’all are on the same page, y’all are literally on the same page no matter what’s going on with everybody else.
That is how you have a healthy marriage, you know?
There’s a lot of things that go on in marriage.
But that is one way to have a healthy marriage.
I cannot wait to introduce you to my man once I get one.
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