Even if a couple feels perfectly matched and madly in love the truth is they came from different back grounds. Even when you are from the same area, socioeconomic background and culture your individual experience are different. It is important to learn how to see the differences and use them to strengthen the relationship.
Sometimes as a couple people make assumptions and never discuss important aspects of how they view marriage or living together. This tends to cause unnecessary growing pains and sometimes destroys the relationship. There are many reasons the divorce rate is 50 %. One of the main reasons for divorce is not knowing what couples are actually agreeing to when they enter into a marriage contract.
The reasons people get into long term relationships have changed significantly over the past 50 years. In the past people would get married mainly for tradition and financial benefits. Once family agreed with the choice people would go to their local congregation and as part of their agreement of having the ceremony in the church, temple or mosque premarital counseling would be completed. Now day’s people do not have to get married in the context of a religious institution. However we can learn from the wisdom of the religious institutions that having premarital counseling is beneficial to the relationship.
Questions that couples do not tend to discuss prior to marriage or living together are:
- What is your individual argument style and if they are different how will you as a couple handle this.
- What does cheating consist of? Remember that not everyone has the same idea of what fidelity is and not all people have monogamy set as their default. How will you handle infidelity? Let’s remember I’ll kill you is not a great solution. 60% of men and 40% of woman have admitted to cheating in a long term relationship.
- Do you want children? If so who will be responsible for which aspects of raising the child? If you are a same sex couple how are you going to have the child? What are your individual viewpoints of raising children. How will you discipline the children?
- What happens as your parent’s age? Will they live with you as a couple? Will they go to a home?
- What is your individual financial style, are you on the same page.What is your thoughts on cleanliness and who takes responsibility for what household chores.
Having these kinds of discussions with a neutral party can help to improve your chances of success in the long term relationships. Also most couples wait an average of 6 years from the start of issues before they seek counseling. By the time the couples get to counseling they are angry and hurt. This often times leads to, to much water under the bridge, and the people cannot forgive each other.