“I just want to do it right, I want to know what I’m supposed to do.” I kept saying this to myself while I was getting ready to be married. Plus, I wanted to prepare myself for anything that could come our way. I wanted a rock solid marriage with a foundation no earthquake could tear down. But when everyone started giving us advice, it was overwhelming.
My parents divorced and my amazing mom raised my sisters and me by herself. She taught me unconditional love with her selfless giving and consistent encouragement, but I wasn’t around a marriage relationship.
Luckily, the tantalizing lie that I would mess up or something would go wrong was put to bed once Tyler, my husband, and I took inventory of the relationships we admire.
His parents’ marriage was stronger than ever, a close family friend had been married for almost 50 years, a couple who were our small group leaders, and the list went on. Tyler and I were surrounded by people who loved us and would jump at the opportunity to support us.
☆ There are people in your life with good intentions who will give you lots of marriage advice before and right after you say “I do.” However, there are some people who might not necessarily be the right ones to speak into your marriage. Or it might be better to say that they may not be qualified to give you that kind of advice.
How can you decipher what marriage advice is solid, who to listen to, and who’s a friend of your marriage?
- Do you or your fiancé have a good relationship with the person giving advice?
- Is this someone who you trust?
- Did this person/couple know you and/or your fiancé before the engagement?
- Is this a person who is where you want to be at in life?
- Do you like how they handle conflict?
- Have they already been through what you’re going through?
- Are they supportive of your marriage?
- Will the relationship with them continue in your marriage and not just before it?
There’s no better place to seek marriage advice than from someone who is in the place you want to be. Most people will give advice from the baggage they have had to carry and what they’ve already been through. There is wisdom in asking questions, and pure gold from listening to those who have done marriage well who know you well enough to be open and honest about their experience. Talk to couples who did not let trials cripple their relationship but used the challenge as an opportunity to grow from it.
Ask them questions like…
- What is the most challenging and most rewarding part of marriage?
- What did you all do that has helped you get to the place you are now?
- How do you solve problems that seem irreconcilable?
- What would you have done differently with the experiences you have been through?
- What grace do you wish you had given each other in the beginning of your marriage?
☆ There’s always room to grow-—more in love, closer together, and into stronger versions of yourself. Lean into the support system you have and keep the door open for conversations throughout your marriage.
In addition to talking with your trusted people, here are some resources…
- Conversations Every Engaged Couple Should Have Before They Say, “I Do”
- 3 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently While I Was Engaged
- 5 Things Every Engaged Couple Should Know
- Engaged Couples and Expectations
☆ If you want to take it a step further, check out our free online premarital program!