Things to know before getting married: Generally, marriage is the voluntary union of one man and woman to the exclusion of all others for as long as either of them lives. However, there are also in existence, mostly in African countries (as Bigamy is a crime in most countries) polygamous marriages where one man is at liberty to marry more than one woman and Polyandry, where one woman has more than one husband.
Marriage is a Life-Long commitment and a very important one at that. Absolutely no one goes into marriage expecting to divorce after a few years. The goal always is to have beautiful kids, a good career and make the union a long happy one with that one person till death does them part. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find long lasting marriages these days.
The divorce rates are higher than before, mostly as a result of infidelity, abuse, irreconcilable differences. This is the sole reason for this article. Everyone deserves to find love and live a happy life with the person. To do this, the parties are expected to make very deliberate decisions and ask very life changing questions.
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The following are things you should know before making the life changing decision of getting married:
1. Know them: Knowing is a deliberate act. You know people by getting close enough to have a well-defined view of them. This is done by reading their words and actions, and more importantly, ensuring their words match their actions.
This is one of the importance of making the friends. When you are friends with the person, it requires you to engage in activities that bring you together often and you are able to notice how they react to things, how they reason, their vies about life , their values, their character flaws, secrets, occupation etc.
The people that coined “marry your friend” definitely didn’t lie. Take for example, it is important to find out what your partner thinks about working class women, if he wants his wife to be a stay at home wife.
2. Create an atmosphere free of Judgement: Fear of judgement prevents people from being free with others. This fear restrains them from exposing themselves to people, from allowing themselves to be free with others. There is always the desperate urge to cover themselves up, to look good that in the process they hide certain parts of themselves from people in order to create that impression.
It is up to you, as a prospective spouse to make sure this never happens. There should always be an environment free of judgement between you and your partner. This way, you ensure there are no secrets left unshared that could cause havoc to the marriage. Your marriage partner should be your best friend.
3. Sex: We live in a world that is becoming sexually expressive. You should move with the flow. You need to communicate with your partner about their fetishes, the way they love to be fucked, their favourite sex styles, how long they last in bed.
This is not an article encouraging fornication, but it is always good to taste a sample of the food of a particular vendor before entering into a contract for them to supply your establishment food for a certain period of time. I mean this as a metaphor with regards to sex. If however, you are conservatives, it is important to talk this through.
Your partner should care about you reaching orgasm, he or she should be down for monogamy, if you are planning to enter into a monogamous marriage, he or she should know things that catch your fancy; if you like sex toys to be used on you, if you love anal sex, if you like to be choked or whipped during sex etc.
In most marriage, sexual differences are one of the reasons marriages break. This is because this topic was not brought up during courtship.
4. Kids: Motherhood is something that is life- changing for a mother. It changes her entirely and hence should be a decision she is willing to take, not one she would be forced into.
Before marriage, the parties should reach a consensus as to whether or not they want to have kids, and the number of kids they want to have. In certain marriages that have undergone divorce this is usually one of the underlying differences; the man wanting to have for example, ten children and the woman wanting just two.
5. Medical Tests: Okay, tests should be run on their fertility; for the woman if she has any condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome, or perhaps has due to a careless abortion is incapable of having kids. For the man, it is important to know if he has low sperm count, if any of them has sicknesses like Hepertitis or Herpes or even HIV.
Furthermore, there is the need to check the blood group and genotype. For instance, if the parties are both AS, it is not advisable for the, to get married. This is to prevent either or all of the children from being sickle cells.
6. Finances: Marriage is a long ride. There are going to be kids, ups and downs, living together and buying a new home together.
Each partner should know how much the other earns. It is marriage, there should be accountability. This will help for adequate strategizing and planning of finances and running of the home.
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7. Know their Family: Whether we admit it or not, marriage is not just about the individual getting married. It is not just about the two individuals exchanging promises of ‘till death do us part’ at the altar, it is also about a union of families. Marriage unites both families together, that is, the family of the bride and that of the groom.
It is important for each partner to know the kind of family he is being married into. This means he or she has to find out the families core values, history of sickness (for instance if they are known to having mental illnesses or if Diabetes, Athsma runs in the family).
8. Love languages: People have different love languages, they have different ways of expressing love and how they expect to be loved.
It is important for you, as a prospective spouse to find out what their love languages are (for most people, their love languages is more than one). For example, it could be receiving gifts, it could be food, attention, reassurance etc. It could even be all of them, depending on the individual.
Also see: How to show someone you love them
9. Trauma: This is part of the “get to know them” thingy. You should know if they have traumas probably from their rape experiences, abuse or caused by parental absence.
It doesn’t just stop at knowing if they have traumas or mental illness, you should encourage them to go into therapy. This is important especially before marriage. Those baggage should not be imposed on the children in the marriage. The children deserve to have parents invested in their welfare.
10. Live with them: Living with someone hits different. It is when you live with a person that you know how compatible you are with the person. Living together helps you know certain things about the person and leaves you to decide if actually you can stand living with this one person for the rest of your life.
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In conclusion, marriage is a very important decision. You should ask yourself if you really want to make that decision, If really you are ready, and with whom. Good luck!
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.