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dating well

I’m interested in knowing from some of my married friends the answer to the following question:

What did you do when you were dating that has made your marriage better as a result? Conversely, you could tell me: what do you wish you had done when you were dating that might have helped make your marriage easier?

I’m wanting to hear from couples that have been married just recently, couples who have been married longer than I’ve been alive, and anyone in between.

Of course, if you’re not married (whether you have been in the past or not), and want to throw in on this conversation, feel free.

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  1. Show them who you really are as quickly as possible. This not only good for getting to know the truth about someone, but also prevent the other from thinking that you’ve since changed who you are.

    Cherish and I started off pretty quick with telling the other what we were like. I was very clear with my views on personal dependance as well as what dating relationships are good for*. I also told her that I forget thing a lot which is why I can’t remember what she said to me.

    Also, when we were talking about marriage it was firmly established that 1) divorce is NOT an option and that 2) yelling at each other is NOT allowed. Honesty is the best policy. We have a great marriage because of that very thought process.

    * I say they’re useless unless marriage is the ultimate goal. Would you date someone you couldn’t marry? I wouldn’t.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts, Gordy. I really appreciate your thoughtful input here. I think not having divorce as an option from the beginning is awesome. I also really like the “no yelling” agreement!

  3. I speak from the perspective of a marriage that was in SERIOUS trouble for the first five years, and by the grace of God and a LOT of hard work, am now in a wonderful, marriage where we honor each other and God (most of the time, at least), and have been for about two years.

    First, I’d say that,yes, love is important, it’s a choice and a must, obviously. But Michael and I have personally learned that respect is HUGE. It’s something that our culture tells us is earned – even most Christians feel that way, I think, but it’s not true. Respect in a marriage has to be treated just like love from the Christian perspective. We must offer it up, even if it’s not offered in return. And chances are, that eventually it will be reciprocated. Respecting the other person’s gifts, contributions to the marriage, etc., and making allowances for their flaws is crucial.

    I’d also advise getting a GOOD marriage counselor before getting married and taking that time seriously to work through as much baggage and junk as you can (because everybody has some, and some people have a LOT). If there are red flags, call them like you see them, and work through them together. Having the mentality that things will be different and better and fixed once you’re in this committed, final relationship can be detrimental. Work on any issues before you tie the knot. Then it’ll be an understood, expected continuation of what you’ve already been doing, rather than being shocked when a lot of expectations fall through or are disappointed.

    This may not make much sense to you or anyone else unless they’ve been through some rough times, but they’re things I wish I’d known up front, that may have saved us some heartache!

    Marriage is tough, but it’s wonderful and so rewarding when you’re both on the path together, following God’s plan.

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