REAL Couples – REAL Issues – REAL solutions.
This blog is in a series inspired by real conversations between real couples preparing for marriage. The words they have spoken were inspired by using one of the guided conversations that comes from a self-guided course available at www.OnlineMarriagePreparation.com.
STEP ONE: How do we define our issue?
How we expect our life to be as married couple. We’ve never lived together and I know it is not going to be easy, so we need to know how we can compromise when it comes to decisions for our household and family.
STEP TWO: Why is this important to me/us?
Bride: We were raised in very different households. So when it comes to our family there will have to be guidelines and expectations of our home. I guess the issue is us figuring out how to go about the changes in our new life. The way we handle this issue now will effect how we will live out our relationship. Every time it comes to making big or small decisions, we need to go about it together, not leaving the decision making to one person but rather working together. I’ve been putting all decisions on myself which is extremely stressful, since we have had so much time apart from each other.
Groom: I have never lived with someone else. It is going to be something new for the both of us – leaving our homes and joining our lives together. We are going to have to decide things not only for ourselves but when we start having kids we will be deciding as parents together. It is going to affect the both of us. I never want to overstep or make you feel like you choose or think differently. I want us to be able to make decisions together and if we have a disagreement I want us to be able to compromise. I think if we come to a disagreement on anything, we can stop and talk about it without fighting. I know every relationship has it’s ups and downs, but I know we can get through anything together with God in the center of it all.
Bride’s Feelings: hopeful, open, willing, positive, tense, optimistic, confident, lonely, afraid, overwhelmed
Groom’s Feelings: hopeful, open, willing, excited, positive, optimistic, confident, peaceful, encouraged
I am thinking positive of this because I know it doesn’t have to be a hard decision as long as we communicate and are open to what the other has to say.
STEP THREE: What will a better future look like for us when this is resolved?
Bride: I think I will feel that I have accomplished a large task. I will better communicate with you my wants, and at the same time I will be a better listener. I will need God to help me not to be so tense. I think it would be better for me to hold my opinions, and to think about your wants and needs. I could also pray to God and be in a state of grace each day. By doing self-reflection, I might not get bothered by small things and more able to be even though the conversation might make me upset. I need you to be patient with me like you usually are, and to allow yourself to dialogue with me. It might help to meet other catholic couples and discuss this in a casual setting or even to talk to a priest if things ever need spiritual counsel. I need to pray and enter deeper into our faith about any of the issues we are having. I think we might ask for help from a priest or other marriage couples. Other ideas are learning new ways to communicate, talk to our parents and getting marriage counseling.
Groom: I know I can trust you with anything. Anytime we have a big or even little decision to make we can just talk and compromise without fighting. I need to be more open and understand that you are not always going to agree with me and that I am not always going to agree with you but as long as we continue to communicate we can get through anything. I need to think positive. I do not want you to ever get too stressed so that it puts a toll on yourself. I want you to be and feel confident in talking to me about making any decision together. We need to talk more. And if we feel like we need an outside opinion we can talk to someone too. But I feel confident and positive knowing will be able to make decisions together without fighting, because being open and understanding will help not only ourselves but each other.
STEP FOUR: What are our best ideas?
Idea One: Get some outside opinions
Idea Two: Trying one way and if it doesn’t work try the other persons way.
STEP FIVE: What will I/we actually do?
Bride: I am willing to not always think I have the best idea. To have an open ear and be humble in situations that conflict arises. To respect you as my husband. And we’ll both keep being open minded to every situation that arises, neither of claiming to be right and communicating to end up with a decision.
Groom: I am willing to try your way first and if it doesn’t work we can try mine or vice versa. As long as we remain open to the other person’s decisions we can accomplish whatever we decide.
STEP SIX: How will we know that we’re making progress?
Set rules are made for our household and we better understand what it means to share all of our lives together as a married couple. We will both feel confident knowing we can talk to each other about anything even if it is something we both disagree on because we will be able to talk to one another and come to a decision together.