Are you thinking of getting hitched to the love of your life? Congratulations, that’s so exciting! But before you embark on this new adventure, you should take a look at our practical advice. These pearls of wisdom can make all the difference; for example, did you know you’re more likely to stay together if you are happy about your partner’s good news? If they win big playing online casino games or get a promotion at work, the more excited you are for them, the better it is for your marriage. To learn more of the essential facts that you should know before entering wedded bliss, read on below.
Social Media Can Be a Huge Problem
New York City-based marriage counsellor and relationship expert Rachel Sussman says the number of couples fighting over each other’s social media use has recently gotten much bigger. The biggest issue seems to be how much time is spent on platforms; if someone is scrolling through newsfeeds all day, how present can they really be in the relationship? They might also constantly be searching for the perfect happy-couple shot to post online, which can feel less than genuine to their partner.
A lot of people also keep up with their exes by following them on social media, which can definitely be a bone of contention between them and their current significant others. The solution here is relatively simple; discuss the way you both use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other services before you tie the knot.
The Importance of Financial Independence
Did you know that when you’re financially dependent on your spouse you are more likely to cheat? This is what researchers at the University of Connecticut found, and it certainly seems logical. Having one partner earning significantly higher wages than the other, and therefore controlling the money much more, can create a skewed balance of power that can really mess with relationship dynamics.
First prize here is to maintain your own funds and bank accounts, and contribute equally to shared assets such as mortgage repayments on your home. If this isn’t possible, discuss the division of tasks within your marriage. If one person’s job does come with a bigger salary, for instance, it makes sense for them to work while the other stays at home with the kids when they’re young – if everyone is happy with this arrangement.
Sharing Chores Eliminates Resentments
We’ve already said that sharing responsibilities is vital to a successful romantic relationship, and divvying out chores is the perfect concrete example of that. If you don’t tackle chores together, or share them out fairly, resentments can build up faster than you can say “I do”. A poll in the United States found that over 60% of responders said taking care of chores was a crucial part of their marriage.
Paula Szuchman, co-author of It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes suggests dividing household tasks equally, but according to each person’s strengths. If one is better at weeding the garden and the other loves to organise the pantry, that’s what they should each be doing. This will maximise efficiency, Szuchman explains, which can save the two of you a lot of collective time.
Best Friends Have the Happiest Marriages
We’ve all heard people say how lucky they are to be marrying their best friends, and they’re completely right. In 2014, the United States Bureau of Economic Research found that the main reason marriage increases individuals’ well-being is that they have a strong friendship with their significant other. After controlling for premarital happiness, the researchers concluded that friendship could be a key mechanism in explaining the causal relationship between life satisfaction and marital status.
Over-23s are Less Likely to Divorce
A 2014 study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro reported that USA-based women who cohabitate or get married at 18 have a divorce rate of 60%, while those who wait until the age of 23 have a rate of around 30%.
As you get older, you become more mature and, hopefully, more sure of yourself and tolerant of others. At 23 you’re still young enough not to be completely set in your ways and unaccepting of differences, but you also know who you are as a person – before walking down the aisle. If you’re 22 or younger, delay your nuptials for a few years.
Smaller Age Gap, Better Marriage
Being over 23 before getting hitched is important, but being close in age to your partner may be even more so. In the United States, 3000 subjects were polled and asked what the age gap between then and their spouse was. Those with a 1-year discrepancy were 3% more likely to divorce than those who were the same age, and the likelihood of a split-up rose with larger gaps.
Couples with a 5-year difference were 18% likelier to separate; this percentage jumped to 39% when the gap was 10 years. Consider how old you and your potential fiancé are before you make or accept a proposal.
Adaptation is Key
Possibly the most important piece of advice to know before going into a marriage is that both parties have to adapt in order to survive. Everyone’s opinions and behaviours will change over time, and no one stays exactly the same person that they were the day they said “I do”.
Be prepared to roll with the punches, and be grateful that your spouse is doing the same with you. You might find that the changes are at odds with the way you currently live your life, but if you don’t adapt to them you’ll just keep having the same arguments over and over again for the rest of your life.
The down-to-earth advice we’ve given here will go a long way to laying a solid foundation, and you’ll need to apply it and put work into the relationship that you build every day for the rest of your life. Nobody ever said that marriage was easy, but those lucky individuals who are in good ones say that it’s most definitely worth it.