Another Friday means another day with our resident catwomanizer, Andrea Gunawan in another installment of SweetLove with Andrea! Today's topic gives so much perspective and encouragement to everyone getting married to focus more on the preparing for the marriage journey instead of the wedding day.
The floor is yours, Andrea!
Anyone can be “The One” until proven otherwise. And just like fingerprints, no two marriages are alike, so rather than looking to books and magazines, it’s better to simply ask those who have lived and breathed it. “Till death do us part,” they said, but most of the time, reality isn’t that simple and love isn’t always there. By avoiding some common misconceptions and talking about the important things before even deciding to tie the knot, you can navigate your relationship more carefully and have a bigger chance in living happily ever after.
The most important thing besides getting to know your partner, is to understand yourself—who you are, what you want in life, and what you expect from your partner. Because sometimes you go into a relationship, hoping that your partner will change and be disappointed after finding out they don’t. The romantic phase of a new love, combined with hormones, can make you overlook the things that can break your relationship.
People often put so much effort into their wedding, but sadly not their marriage. To better prepare you for your lifelong journey, I asked my followers to share their stories and here are the five things they wish they knew before they got married.
Couples often have different ideas of whether to live with the in-laws, whether each partner wants to have kids, how many kids they want, what will happen if the kid has special needs, whether the wife is allowed to continue working and pursuing her dreams after she has kids, what will happen if the husband asks the wife to move to another city, etc. You don't want to wait until marriage to realize that your vision of what married life looks like differs greatly from your partner's. Sure, it might feel scary to not be on the same page about such a fundamental thing with your life partner, but it’s possible to adjust your expectations and compromise so it’s a win-win situation for the both of you.
Rarely do couples give love and receive love in a similar way. It can create an atmosphere of frustration when you think you’re the best lover in the whole world and yet, the other person still thinks it’s not enough. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five Love Languages—Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. It’s important to understand your partner’s main Love Languages so you can learn to “speak” in their Language to make them feel most loved.
Besides sex and kids, money is often one of the biggest causes for arguments among couples, that’s why it's good to be open about finances before you actually get married. You don’t want to wait until you say “I do” before finding out about their huge credit cards debt, for example. Talking about it might feel awkward at first, but you and your partner may value money differently, spend it differently, and save it differently.
If you have the privilege to live with your partner before deciding to tie the knot, this might not be such a big deal. You and your partner might not be on the same page about how clean and organized things should be—simple things, such as not washing the dishes right away, or putting your dirty clothes on the laundry basket after you throw them away, might seem insignificant, yet could potentially spark a fight between you two. One way to figure out your partner’s habits is to travel with them.
Getting married is one thing. To stay married is another. It takes hard work and a lot of sacrifice, compromise, and compassion towards one another. These “must have” conversations are the conversations that you both may not want to talk about. These are the conversations that may make you both angry, defensive, sad, and hurt. That’s why it’s necessary to talk about the difficult issues and situations—which often revolves around sex, money, kids, personal beliefs, career plans, unresolved childhood issues, and past trauma.
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