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There’s a lot that happens when a couple has their first baby

Sleepless nights. 

Endless, life-impacting decisions. 

The world being turned upside down.

Re-creating a “new normal.”

A constant fear of things going wrong.

The steep learning curve for both parents.

The list could go on, and on, and on. And I’ve heard it all… The good, the bad, the ugly, the astoundingly beautiful… And it’s all made me a little worried.

Reality Check

First, let me back up for a second. My husband and I have been married a little over a year, and we are not hoping to have kids for another two years or so. That being said, I’m fully convinced that I was brought into this world to be a mother. You can ask any friends or family. That whole “motherly instinct” has always come very naturally to me.

But for my husband… not so much. Although we both want kids someday, the timeframe and the number of kids differ just a little bit (or a lot, depending on the day). Even though we don’t have kids yet, the conversations around our future kids have already caused some division between us. And it’s caused a little bit of fear for the day that we do become parents.

And as we watch friends around us start to have kids and we hear the stories they share about all the challenges that come with starting a family, our fear has only grown…

“Wait, WHAT happens during delivery??”

“Are you SURE you want to go through that?”

“When we have kids, you can’t ________ anymore.”

“Why don’t we wait till we’re 40 and just adopt?”

“We’re cranky enough in the mornings on 8 hours of sleep.”

“There are very few parts of parenting that sound like a good thing…”

These are just a few pieces of conversations we’ve had about our future. The fear is real. And it’s for good reason.

But the desire to have kids is also real. Very real. So how do you balance the fear of parenting, the fear of having kids, the fear for your marriage—with the desire to have kids? Well, I can’t fully answer that for you. That’s something you and your spouse are going to have to work through together. But I can give you a few tips on how to have that conversation!

Here are a few questions to ask each other before having a baby:

  1. What are you most fearful about when it comes to having kids?
  2. In what area do you think having kids will cause us to have the most conflict?
  3. Is there anything we can do now to work on that area before we have kids?
  4. What tendencies do you see in me that might be a problem for you once we have kids?
  5. How will we share responsibilities so that one spouse isn’t totally overwhelmed?
  6. Are you willing to start our routines completely from scratch?
  7. How can we work together as a team and rely on each other’s strengths?
  8. What are your top 3 expectations of me as a parent?
  9. What roles did your mom and dad play in your life growing up? Are there ways you want to be like them? Not be like them?
  10. What are things I can do right now to help us both not fear becoming parents?

Prioritize Your Marriage

Having kids rocks your world. I don’t know that from experience, but I’ve been told that what seems like a bajillion times, so it must be true. Kids are a lot. They come with new responsibilities, new challenges, and new things to argue about.

And if you let it, being a parent might overtake being a spouse. But the key is to always prioritize your marriage first. Yes, kids require a lot. But they grow up. And after they’re grown, you’ll still have your spouse by your side.

So, choose today to strengthen your marriage. Actually, choose every day to strengthen your marriage. And the rest, even babies, will fall into place—a wonderful place.

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Bringing hostess gifts, preparing a side dish, pulling up a makeshift chair to a coffee table for dinner are all things I love to do. I’m all about surrounding myself with friends and family, hugging each other’s necks, and seeing each other whenever we want. The pre-quarantine life seemed perfect for my extroverted self.

Unexpectedly, however, as we seem to be moving back toward “business as usual,” I’ve noticed I’ve changed. I’ve found myself already grieving the loss of what some people may call too much time with their spouse, too much time to think, and too much time to spare. I don’t want to downplay the lives COVID-19 has claimed too early and the hardship it’s caused for many families. However, I do want to reflect on the silver linings I discovered in quarantine.

Just like some of you are surprised by people who are dying to return to normalcy, I’m just as surprised reading that someone isn’t looking forward to it. But, my life during COVID has been simplified, which has been exactly the change of pace I didn’t know I needed. My life has always danced on the fine line between chaotic and the perfect storm. 

The majority of the almost 7 years we dated, my husband Tyler and I were on different schedules. If I was in class, he was out. If he wanted to have a date night, I had other responsibilities to the high schoolers I was mentoring. I would go into work as he was getting off. Goodness, even during our engagement we only saw each other once a week. (Which let’s be honest, was probably spent on wedding planning.)

Once we married and moved in together, I started a new job. He had one year of teaching under his belt when all of the standards changed, which by the way, only change once every six years. So as I was navigating my new normal, he was redoing all of his lesson plans from the year prior. As a result, our time together wasn’t exactly quality. My dad died unexpectedly. Someone wrecked into Tyler’s car. Both of our cars needed repairs. We went to small groups on different nights of the week. I had work events on the weekend… our life was nonstop

We felt like we couldn’t catch a break. And if we got a break, it didn’t feel like we had the time to take it. We spent our evenings preparing for the next day. 

Now vs. Then

Fast forward to now. I’ve spent more quality time, not just time, with my sweetheart. It’s been more intentional, romantic, purpose-driven time than we’ve known what to do with. We kiss leaving the room, catch up on how we are doing during meals, cuddle more and nag less. 

We’re like two best friends who are co-workers for different jobs but under the same roof. We have worked so well together and kept each other motivated. The thought of returning to work and “business as usual” under different roofs just makes me want to… be a little dramatic and shed a tear. (Notice, I did only say a little dramatic.) 

I don’t want to give up any of this unprecedented, long cravedfor quality time. 

I feel like I’m in a period of transition and growth, and I never thought my social-butterfly self would be sad about giving up alone time. Prior to this quarantine, the thought of not having someone to see or someplace to go on my schedule made me feel like I was doing something wrong. 

Now, I’ve redefined “busyness” as exhausting instead of a measure of my importance. (I have used my busyness to measure how valuable I am as a person since high school.)

I’ve been learning to love Tyler better and how my extroverted-self needed permission to be “selfish.” Now I use the energy I normally over-poured into others for myself and for Tyler.

As I sit here typing on my couch in practically pajamas, I know with a slight turn of my head, I can catch a smile from Tyler and that I’m a few steps in my pink fuzzy slippers away from a kiss.

I’m treasuring this. I want to hold onto what I’ve learned about myself and how my life has changed for the positive because of this standstill.

I think the question we will all ask ourselves as our country pulls up its bootstraps and heads back to work is, “Will I change the way I live my life, or will I snap back into the place I was?” 

We are all wading in unknown waters, but one thing is for certain: We have the choice to sink or swim. To choose what gives us life or choose what drains it. I want to choose what gives me life.

Looking for relationship resources for COVID-19? Click here!

Image from Unsplash.com

After you say “I do,” there’s a lot that changes and there are new things to get used to when it comes to friends and family. Add the holidays to a new marriage, and it’s easy to feel incredibly overwhelmed. It quickly becomes obvious that friends and family influence your relationship.

As a married couple, you’ll have a different dynamic when it comes to your friends and family because there is an added measure of checks and balances. Your marriage is the one friendship and ultimate relationship that should come first. It’s very important to wean off relationships that could potentially cause problems in your marriage. Now, you can’t just all-out ditch family because you don’t get along, but you can definitely set boundaries and determine how much time you will spend with those “problematic” members.

Here are 5 ways friends and family can influence your relationship with your spouse.

1. You are who you hang around.

Remember when every adult used to say this to you no matter who you were spending time with growing up? Well, it’s true. For better or for worse, your friendships can lift you up or tear you down – and now it’s affecting more than just you. What if you or your spouse has a toxic friendship that is negatively affecting your marriage?

How to deal: Talk with your partner to see if they are even aware that they are hurting you or causing tension in your relationship. Be gentle, don’t accuse, and be open to hearing their perspective as well. After you bring it to light, assess where to go from there, such as less time spent with that person? A discussion with that person about behavior that you want to change/ have an issue with? You have to decide together what the best thing to do for your marriage is. And remember, friends should be encouraging you to be better every day and lifting you up to be the best you you can be! Invest in strong friendships for both you and your partner!

2. Your parents are just too intrusive:.

Just like on that old sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, your parents or friends may feel a little too welcome in your life. “If you have parents who show up uninvited, or who spend too much time with you, you might have too little time to be alone with your new partner and formulate your life as a couple,” says Susan Newman, Ph.D., a social psychologist.

How to deal: Set some rules – and fast. “You need to clearly define your boundaries in regard to visits and time spent with your parents,” Newman says. Once you and your mate agree on the ‘rules,’ tell your parents you love them, but they need to call before they come by, or even ASK specifically before they just decide to do something that affects you and your spouse. Set whatever guidelines you need to set for the sake of your marriage.

3. They make a mountain out of a molehill.

You picked your sister-in-law’s wedding over the annual family reunion (insert your own situation where you had to choose between two family or friend events) – and now your parents aren’t speaking to you, or they’re being nasty.

How to deal: Gently remind them that you now have two families and lives to consider when you’re making decisions. “They have to learn that you have a new family now [and new relationships] and that you’ll [still] be connected, but not joined at the hip,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., a psychotherapist.

4. They bad-mouth your partner.

You know the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, sometimes family and friends don’t really listen to or apply that.

How to deal: Explain that the snide comments upset you – and firmly tell them to stop. Always stand up for the person you have chosen to spend forever with. Be their #1 advocate! Most people will stop after being directly confronted. If they really care about the relationship – at least an effort will be made. But if they continue, you need to show that you mean business. “When your parent [or friend(s)] starts, simply say, “I’m not going to listen. I married [them] and I’m happy,” Newman advises. If friends continue to speak poorly of your partner, reassess your relationship with them. Then decide if that’s really someone you want a part of your new journey.

5. Sometimes, your in-laws (or your own parents) AND/OR your spouse’s friends can create marital problems simply by being who they are.

Different personalities sometimes just don’t jive.

How to deal: Talk it out with your partner to see if you can sort out why there’s an issue. Seek out resources to help you determine what the problem is and how to work through the conflict. Combining two families + friend groups with different backgrounds and lifestyles is not easy, but it’s not impossible. Strengthen your relationship with your spouse by being at peace with each other’s “people,” and sometimes agreeing to disagree.

Looking for more engagement resources? Click here!

Image from Pexels.com

Weddings are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

Buying a house is one of the most stressful things that you can go through as human beings. Especially if you’re newlyweds! Yes, it’s even more stressful than planning a wedding.

Not only do you have to decide on a house together, but once you do that, there’s also a *TON* of legal jargon, paperwork, and timely responses you have to work your way through, a 60-page inspection report to worry about, and a never-ending list of improvements you want to make. These things can wear you down to the point that you’re nearly ready to sell it before you even own it. THEN, you have to pack up everything you’ve stuffed into your little bitty apartment, and likely argue about what you should and shouldn’t toss out.

It’s. A. Lot.

Luckily for me and my husband, we had an awesome realtor, lender, and support group throughout the whole process. But we still had a plethora of challenges, especially since we’d only been married 7 months before we made this huge life change! Over the two months that we were deep in the house-buying process, we made a lot of mistakes. But you don’t have to!

Below are 4 things you can do to sail through the process without going crazy (unlike us)!

1. Schedule a date night every other week at minimum. 

When you’re meeting with tons of people, packing up all of your stuff, reading through a 120-page document that puts you to sleep, and somehow managing to be a functioning human being, the weeks fly by. And date night is the last thing on the list of things to do. My husband and I literally made Google calendar invites for date night to make sure we set aside the time!

2. Get a good look at the big picture. 

When we first started looking at houses, I was looking for our dream house while my husband was looking for our starter house. This caused a bit of miscommunication about what the non-negotiables were. Even if you’re able to afford your dream house right now, still do your best to keep your big picture in mind! Flooring can be changed, light fixtures can be updated, and any house can become your home with enough love and work. This is likely the biggest decision you’ve made together, so don’t let tunnel vision creep in.

3. Get a notebook/folder to store allllll of your everything in. 

This is something I wish we did, looking back. There were a few deadlines we missed and fees we had to pay because we were a bit disorganized or never finished that conversation about who was in charge of talking to what utility company. If you keep a central location for all of your information (even if it’s digital), you’ll have a better chance at keeping up with it all!

4. Make sure all your finances are in order. 

Buying a house costs more than just the down payment. There are a billion fees that are tacked onto the purchase, usually totaling anywhere from 2-7% of your total loan amount. And on top of that, you’ve got a bunch of moving expenses, too, from renting a truck to hiring movers. AND I won’t even mention the cost of paint & buying yard equipment & tools… you get the picture. It adds up. Even if you have it all ready and are fully prepared, go over each piece of it together. Every. Step. Of. The. Way. Money is one of the biggest causes of arguments in marriage, and with a large purchase like a home, tension can rise pretty easily. Taking the time to sit down and talk through all the little details of every expense will save you from some arguments down the road!

Having a home to grow in together is a great step for a marriage! Not only can it help you grow closer as a couple, but it can also be a great launching point on which to build the rest of your forever. It’s worth the stress, the many (many) decisions, and the late nights! Because now, you’re on your way to building your home together.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Looking for more marriage resources? Click here!

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Being engaged is a season of anticipation! You feel all kinds of excitement, right? You can’t wait! Before the wedding arrives, that and the honeymoon are all you can think about! (Plus, you can’t wait for all those wedding questions to stop!)

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You’re in love with your total opposite. Is this your true love? Can your relationship last forever? Do you guys stand a chance? You’ve heard “opposites attract” and you’ve definitely felt that attraction, but you can’t deny how opposite you are either. (Your friends and family constantly remind you…)

Then, maybe in quiet moments, the nagging questions creep in…

How different is too different? Are we total opposites? Maybe opposites attract, but can opposites also drive each other crazy? Is there a point where you are so different that you are forced to concede that you aren’t compatible? Does it matter how different you are if both of you are willing to accept each other’s differences? Can there be a “balancing act” between the differences? He has this one t-shirt that he thinks is so cool and it’s all I can do to not burn it! THIS CAN NEVER WORK, CAN IT?

Calm down. Take a deep breath. These are (mostly) good questions to be asking! 

If we start with the idea that EVERYONE is already different from each other to some extent, then the next thing to understand is that the bigger the differences, the more you will have to work to function as one, to be unified, to be a team AND the more you’ll have to work to avoid conflict, arguments, and deal with disagreements. 

This is a key concept. Got it? Bigger differences equal more relationship work.

I’m using “bigger” here as in how important are the differences? (Personality and character, core values like religion or politics, issues like whether to have kids, parenting styles, or approaches to conflict, communication, sex and money.)

Some people get hung up on the little differences and don’t even consider the BIG ones. The little differences are the spice of life. Different taste in music or food. City or country upbringing. Cake or pie? (Pie of course!) Those kinds of differences keep things interesting. But there are Big Differences that can make things difficult down the road. Have you thought about those?

In theory, you’d think it doesn’t matter how many differences or how big they are if each of you is willing to do the required work. (“But we love each other!”) That sounds so nice.

In practice, people have limits, get worn out, or have certain things where their partner just has to be on the same page. Worse, sometimes you can’t predict the impact of the differences down the line. Listen, the rest of your life is a long time.

Give some serious thought to these next little pieces of wisdom:

First, marriage tends to magnify your differences, NOT minimize them. It certainly won’t make them go away. Oh, and you or marriage aren’t gonna “fix” him or her. If it’s a “thing” while dating, it will really be a “thing” when you get married.

Secondly, in general, while they are dating, people tend to greatly underestimate the impact of these differences, while, at the same time, overestimating their ability to look past them. (Read that last sentence a couple of times. I’ll wait.)

Why can’t they see straight? They have these big blindspots called “Attraction,” “Being In Love,” “Infatuation” or “But He’s/She’s So Hot! Then at some point, a few years into the rest of their life, they are like, “Wow, this is really, really hard!” (If children come into the picture, multiply the difficulty level by a factor of at least five.)

Here’s the thing, nobody is going to be able to tell you definitively, “You guys are just too different.” There is something there or you wouldn’t be dating, right? But here is some help seeing around those blind spots…

Are the differences in core values, non-negotiables, or just preferences?

I’ll use my 25-year marriage (That’s twenty-five years. A quarter-century!) as an  example. We. Could. Not. Be. More Different…

Her idea of a fun Saturday morning is re-organizing the kitchen cabinets so she can check that off her List of Things to Do. (That’s an illness, right?) Then she wants to proceed to the next things on her list, all equally as exciting to me. My perfect Saturday is watching some (pretentious) art-house movie, then analyzing and endlessly discussing the cinematography and the significance of the director’s color palette while listening to some obscure Icelandic band.

She is a grounded, list-making Doer. I am a list-averse, head in the clouds.

She is concrete. I’m abstract. She’s about accomplishments, I’m about … not.

All these are real differences, BUT we pretty much completely agree right down the line when it comes to religion, spirituality, and politics. We have the same non-negotiables of honesty and loyalty. We both wanted kids and wanted the same things for them. (But, man, if my life depended on buying a dress for her that she would actually wear, I’m a dead man.)

Do the differences complement or compete?

She is more of an extrovert who loves people and parties. I’m an introvert who is good at faking being extroverted. She loves the crowds on Black Friday. I hate them. But, if she has to return something and has lost the receipt, I will be called upon to talk our way out of that with the manager. I’m just good at that sort of thing.

See, when encountering differences, people often make a judgment as to who is better and who is worse. If you can avoid that kind of thinking and be more like, “Where does THIS come in handy? Where does THAT?” now you are complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Boom.

Are the differences an obstacle or an opportunity?

Religious differences are unique. Now, you can say that in this arena you’ll just agree to disagree. That’s sounds grown-up. Might work for you two. But It will be a thing with the in-laws. In fact, it will be THE thing. If you have children, you will have to pick which traditions they will be raised under. That can cause some serious tension! I’ve seen it. Just sayin’…

Speaking of children, it can be really good for them to have parents who are significantly different but model how to make that work and play to their strengths. Maybe the kids end up being balanced and learn valuable life-skills. Or maybe they grow up seeing their parents arguing all the time because they are so, so different. Are you guys arguing a lot now?

Are the differences a problem to be solved or a tension to be managed?

Some differences might get smoothed out a bit over time so they don’t rub each other so sharply. but they will always be there. These differences aren’t something you solve, they are something you learn to live with the rest of your life. You cool with that? 

I don’t have a wife who enjoys talking about philosophy, movies, music, books, art, or the beauty of the word “oblivion.” She indulges me and works at it and is a really good sport about it. I try not to wear her out and corner her with lengthy conversations about Southern Gothic authors.

She doesn’t have a husband who will ever be organized, be good about budgeting, will jump up to tackle some project around the house, will ever want to go jogging, or organize my day around a list of things to do. I know that stuff is important to her, so I work at it. We both have accepted these thingsWe had to grow into it… It was hard for a long time until we figured it out.

Are the differences equally valued?

This is important. For us, this has taken some time and been tough. When it comes to our differences, she likes to claim, “Hey, at least I get stuff done.” Then I say, “Yeah, but you miss out on so much beauty and wonder and will likely die from a stress-induced heart attack.” (Point, mine. Check THAT off your list…)

We have learned to play to our strengths. Who do you think makes sure that bills get paid on time? Who do you think helps our kid with his Shakespeare project?

Spending the rest of your life with someone doesn’t require uniformity – that would be boring. It does require unity. Whatever the differences, you will need to be able to stand unified. Unified against challenges, problems, hardships, the test of time, and even sometimes things like in-laws and often your own children. It’s gonna be you two against the world. Is there enough common ground for you to stand together?

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

For more resources, see our Dating and Engaged or Marriage pages.

Image from Unsplash.com

Weddings are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

Learning how to lead in a new marriage is hard. Trust me. I’ve got the scratches to prove it!

“WILL!! YOU’RE PUSHING ME UNDER A TREE!!!”

It was at this moment I realized my husband and I should not have gotten in the same canoe on this family trip.

You see, my husband (the most laid-back, easy-going guy ever) and I (an admittedly fiery redhead) had only been married 3 months when my family decided to go on a canoeing adventure over the 4th of July weekend.

Since we both love the great outdoors, neither of us thought it would be a problem! That is until I was pinned under a fallen tree while my kind, loving husband was steering us in the back of this two-person boat.

As I saw three spiders crawl onto my legs and felt my arm scratch up against the branches, I quickly pushed us away from the tree while he fervently apologized to me for not paying attention to where he was steering us. But it was a little late in my book. At this point, I had brushed off the spiders, tended to the scratches on my arm, and built up a wall of disappointment and anger against him.

I thought to myself, “This would be going so much better if I was the one in the back steering us. Why can’t he see that too and offer up his seat??”

Yikes.

You might be thinking something along the same lines about your relationship, too. Whether you’ve had a moment when your spouse pushed you under a tree (literally or figuratively), or maybe you’ve been feeling unsure about your role as a spouse. When should you be the one steering? When should you follow your spouse’s lead? I’ve got a few words for you.

First of all, know that there are times for both spouses to lead! After going a little further down the river, I realized how wrong I was to think that I should be the one steering the two of us. If it were me in the back, my competitive nature would have paddled us straight to the finish line with little to no time to stop and look at the scenery, play around and splash each other with our paddles, or talk with family in the boats around us. But since he was the one leading us, I was able to enjoy myself (outside of the whole tree thing) and embrace a moment where “winning” didn’t matter.

This was his moment to lead, even if he did mess up a little.

It’s also good to see that each spouse should lead in the ways that they are strongest. Will and I have decided that when it comes to caring for things, from plants to animals, or handling the finances and budget, that’s on me. But with planning get-togethers and deciding what we’ll eat throughout the week, he’s totally got those. My husband and I both recognize each other’s strengths and our own needs, so we can lead each other to be better versions of ourselves. And that really is the key.

SO! That being said, here are just a few questions and tips for you and your spouse to look over together and decide how you both can lead in the best ways possible.

  • Ask yourself, “Where are areas that I know I’m lacking something (whether that’s a skill, a way of thinking, etc.)? Can my spouse help fulfill that need in our relationship?
  • When my spouse is leading us, do I ever feel any resentment toward them? In what ways?
  • Define each of your roles in your marriage and decide who gets to lead what/when.
  • Once you’ve set boundaries around leading in certain areas, DO NOT overstep those guidelines! Trust your spouse to do it well and to do it their way.
  • Do your best to gain a little humility. Ask your spouse to lead in ways you know you can’t (or shouldn’t).

Learning how to lead in a new marriage is hard. I promise there will be times you will accidentally pin your spouse under a tree, steer you both in the wrong direction, or maybe sink the boat altogether. But the key to a successful relationship is understanding that, as a team, it’s going to take some time to grow together, communicate strongly, and lead each other well. Thank goodness you get to figure it out together, spiders, scratches, and all.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Weddings are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.

We totally get it. There’s hardly any time to breathe, let alone enjoy this season with your soon-to-be spouse! But that’s why we created Preparing for Marriage Online. This online class will guide you both through the answers to these questions and MORE! And the best part is, you can watch each video in the comfort of your own home and on your OWN TIME – and right now, it’s all for FREE!

During this class, you’ll cover topics like…

  • Clear & effective communication skills,
  • How to handle the in-laws,
  • Conflict management,
  • The importance of dating your spouse,
  • Planning, budgeting, and finances,
  • What to expect your first year,
  • And more!

Okayyyyy ladies… Let’s talk about dating & The One. Does The One actually exist?

You probably grew up believing that one perfect person exists who you had to fall in love with and marry. They are our Soulmate, aka, The One.  And there is this fear that we won’t end up with the one we’re supposed to end up with, so we take this mentality into the dating game and freak out about making sure we pick the right one.

And that’s exactly what I did. I went on a quest to find my Soulmate, the guy that was exactly right for me, have a perfect love, and live happily ever after. Seriously.

I always dreamed that the guy I would end up with or The One would be a tall athletic guy with blonde hair and blue eyes. He would be outgoing, adventurous, and into photography and traveling like me. He would want to live in different countries and live a non-traditional lifestyle and dress like an outdoorsy, granola hipster.

The One can understand all my emotions, read my mind, and know exactly what I am thinking, and I dont even have to say a word. He would do and say all the right things because he was, The One. Duh.

When this didn’t happen…and it didn’t, I would FREAK. OUT.

When Andrew and I first started dating, I freaked out all the time. “OMG, should I stay with him? Or should I date someone more outgoing, or someone that talks more, or someone who does photography too?” (All valid considerations.) I was like “Ugh, is this right? I don’t know…”

But then I started to rethink The One. I noticed it in the little things and I realized it in the important things, that I could really see myself being with him. Instead of figuring out who I’m supposed to be with, I get to choose who I want to be with. I know he is The One because he has become my person. I would like him to be mine for a long time. (But I won’t say he is The One out loud until we are engaged.)

I expected that when I met The One, I would know, and he would know, and that it was meant to be. We had found the one we had been looking for and it happened easily, obviously, and “just like that.”  So I tried to look for all the signs to figure out if this was the guy I had been looking for- The One that was the right one, that I’m supposed to marry, oh, and he knew I was The One, too.

LOL, OK.

Andrew may not fit all the qualities as the one to find by destiny. I instantly knew he could not achieve perfection. But check it out– He is the one that I got to know and build a relationship with. He is the one I want to choose to love and grow a life with. So it never started with, “Yes, he’s The One I’m supposed to stay with.” It was “Yeah, we like this and work to make it work and it’s good.”

There’s a big difference between those two mindsets. Dating isn’t about finding The One; the trick is to find the one who you can make it grow with.

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