Relationships leading to a marriage should be nurtured in a tremendous and intentional way. Marriage is a new and different phase of any romantic relationship. So, to newly married couples or couples about to marry, while the groove is on, spend some time reflecting on the future and how you will go about it.
To old and newly married couples, congratulations on your union! Marriage is a beautiful thing, and it continues to be interesting with total commitment and proper planning. You are now a team, and so, you should function as one.
You are now a family, and hence, there is a need to come together, work together and strategise on the way forward. You must have had some plans. Remember, proper planning and commitment enhances the functionality and outcome of any family.
Love will be sustained when there is synergy, the flow of thoughts, support and contributions from both parties.
In this article, we will highlight some key areas that will be great for newly married couples, couples about to marry and perhaps older couples. If you stick to these actionable nuggets, you will have a smooth start into your marriage. This checklist is not limited to new couples, older couples can ignite the spark in their marriages by adopting this checklist.
#1. Be very open about your finances
Couples ought not to hide or keep anything from each other. Marriage is about unity, and before you made your choice, you must have known your spouse well enough to trust them with your life.
Be very open to your spouse about your finances. Lack of transparency in some areas of your life, especially finances, can lead to serious problems in the marriage. There is no need to exaggerate or understate your finances. It leads to distrust and other issues. Avoid it! If you are struggling with finances, our previous post on managing family finances and how to handle money issues is a great one to learn from.
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You can never have proper synergy if you lie about your income or finances. But, come to think of it, what will happen to the finances you didn’t disclose to your spouse should in case anything happens to you? Or how do you think your spouse would feel upon discovering that you keep some things away, especially money? I leave that to you to figure that out.
Whatever you do, be very open to your spouse! Your spouse is you, and you are your spouse. There’s no separation, period. Being very open about your finances will help you have a smooth flow into the second point on this checklist – budgeting.
#2. Develop a budget
I encourage every family to have or develop a budget. The truth is, no family can progress without a proper budget. Budgeting helps families to keep watch on their finances and strive to be financially independent.
Families can also come out of debt by cutting down their expenditures through proper budgeting. See a great article by Asha Gilliam on 12 budgeting tips for families.
A simple thing such as planning your monthly shopping and subsistence will help families cut off unnecessary buying and spending on wants. With proper budgeting, you will buy things in bulk to save cost and time, fix things in your home gradually according to your budget and live within your means to achieve more.
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#3. Talk about everything
Couples, talk, talk and keep talking! Talk about everything. Have an open mind to learn new things from each other or to agree with each other’s different opinions.
You can’t have proper communication without making an effort to talk about everything. Communication is the fuel that keeps the fire of any relationship or marriage burning unending. See an article on fostering healthy relationships: tested and proven nuggets.
Make out time and talk with your spouse often. Avoid accepting yes or no answers sometimes. Instead, probe further and relate well with your spouse. Open up and talk to your spouse about anything and everything.
Don’t bottle up and expect your spouse to understand your feelings per time. Talk! Open up! I will strongly encourage you to read a lucid article by Yemi Ayodeji on understanding healthy and effective communication in relationships.
Make your spouse your best friend and confidant. After all is said and done, it is just the two of you, and you only have each other. Enjoy your marriage by making your spouse your gist partner.
"Sometimes, some people might get into trouble due to their demeanour around folks who think they should know better. Some might also have been seduced into doing something they didn’t plan to due to such attitude."
#4. Cut off unnecessary distractions
There are some distractions that put unnecessary pressure on your new and fragile family. Cut off those distractions and focus on building a stronger relationship with your spouse.
For some, it might be unnecessary phone calls with your buddies when you are supposed to be spending time frolicking with your spouse or even phone calls at odd hours of the day. Please cherish your marriage and curtail this sort of distraction.
And for others, it might be unnecessary petting of the opposite sex that might cause some issues in their marriage. So again, cut off this sort of attitude towards the opposite sex for the sake of your integrity and marriage. This has nothing to do with being kind to someone. It is about avoiding unnecessary pre-emptive advances to your opposite sex.
#5. Put a check on your relationship with your ex (if any)
Please, for your good and the sake of your marriage, put a check on your relationship with your ex (if you had any). You can still be friends with your ex, depending on the sort of relationship you had, but please curtail your contacts with your ex. If necessary, put a total end to it.
Don’t invite jealousy and perhaps other issues into your new home due to your relationship with your ex. It’s not worth it.
Keep relationships with your ex strictly formal, and also, let your spouse know of every of your dealings with such person.
#6. Watch your demeanour around the opposite sex
Please, as a married person, watch your demeanour around the opposite sex. People tend to assume a lot, so don’t let your behaviour and carriage suggest that you are still single or that you are irresponsible.
Guard your integrity with everything you have got! Especially now that you have picked someone to spend the rest of your life with.
Sometimes, some people might get into trouble due to their demeanour around folks who think they should know better. Some might also have been seduced into doing something they didn’t plan to due to such attitudes.
Please carry yourself with respect and integrity. Avoid scenarios that can implicate you.
"Love will be sustained when there is synergy, the flow of thoughts, support and contributions from both parties."
#7. Set family and career goals
As a family, you need to set both family and career goals. Ask yourselves where your family intends to be in the next five or ten years? What do you hope to achieve together as a family? How do you plan to have an upsurge in your career? What are the plans with the kids, finances and investments? These and more questions are what you should figure out together as a couple.
This is not a decision for your partner or spouse alone but that of both of you. So, sit down and draft some goals for your family and start working towards them.
Remember, nothing gets started until you start it.
#8. Spend quality time together
Please, as much as you can, spend quality time with each other. When you enjoy each other’s presence, you will soon figure out that time is not enough.
Lie around and chat, go out for treats or go for walks together. These are some of the ways you can have a good time with your spouse.
Even with children present, you can still make out time to enjoy each other somehow.
What matters most in life is your family. Do all that you can to protect and cherish your family. Family is everything! As you start a new family, we hope that you will do the needful to keep your family together. Remember other people’s opinion doesn’t really count.
At Dazzling Insights, we care about your physical, emotional and the mental well-being of your family. We hope that as you go through this checklist, glean insights and practice them, they will be very rewarding for your new family.
Let’s continue to dazzle in our families and relationships.