I do a lot of pre-marital counseling in my practice. And I love to see the refreshing, hopeful, and heartwarming look of new love in the faces of my counselees. The sweet tension of eros love is a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have found “my good thing” over 11 years ago.
Among many other points I discuss with the pre-maritals, I just wanted to list a few tidbits of advice, or reality checks, to consider before you say I do. If you and your soon to be spouse have an understanding in these areas, great. If these and other delicate issues have yet to be discussed, ignore at your peril. Here we go:
Sex in the marriage is not an option. It’s a requirement. Set aside at least three nights per week (or three days if this works better for your schedule) to make your hubby smile. More time may be needed if you’re under 40. I cannot go into all of the spiritual, relational and biological reason for this in this blog. Just know that sperm production creates pressure on average every 48-72 hours for a man. If it’s not released through physical intimacy with you, it’s being released somewhere. Sorry guys for blowing the “I’ve been really busy” excuse I hear from some wayward husbands I counsel.
Setting time to listen to your bride share her day is not an option. It’s a requirement for a connected marriage. And she MUST have your undivided attention if the passion the two of you now feel for each other is to last. The minute you close your ears to her sharing her heart is when the bed starts feeling colder and colder.
Support your grooms efforts to support you through his chosen profession. A fundamental need for husband is to be respected and supported by his wife. He was born with a need to be cheered on by a female, starting with his antics to impress his Mommy . It’s the fuel that gives him the courage to face any obstacle. If you are overly critical or abrasive to his efforts, you deflate him faster than a slashed tire. And when a brotha is deflated, emotional connection is nearly impossible.
If you have a problem with wandering eyes, you better get that fixed before you commit to “forsaking all others.” A fundamental need for a bride is to be cherished as your “one and only.” To see her husband ogle another woman strikes at the core of her womanhood, a hurt that’s difficult to overcome. It creates self-doubt in your bride and causes an emotional disconnect in the relationship. Not good. Marriage is a commitment to maturity and self-control brothas.
Bride and Groom:
Lastly, there can only be one “head of household.” Whether you choose who that “head” will be, or one arises by default, there will only be one. To avoid the drama and confusion, follow the biblical mandate in this matter. And there are instructions on how to lead as well as how to follow in the Word. (Deliberate emphasis on lead ya’ll.)
Finances is another hot issue, but this requires its own space. And lots of it!
Recognize that good marriages don’t just happen, just like the beautiful universe created by our Lord didn’t “just happen.” It was lovingly, and with much thought, crafted. As it goes with marriage, you have two individuals with different backgrounds and experiences bringing their lives together. Two different universes on a collision course called “marital bliss.” Unless the two “my” universes are carefully and deliberately crafted into an “our” universe, fireworks will go off and giant, scary, explosions will occur not unlike the Big Bang Story. Follow God’s plan for marriage and co-create a marital relationship that will last a lifetime.
And for us veterans in the art of marriage, it’s never too late to put this pre-marital advice into practice.