Notes From Dad: 9 Tips for Couples Before Marriage

While I may not be the authority on marriage because my first did not go as planned, life always does have a silver lining and I'm happy to say I'm a fan of marriage again. There are always good reasons why things don't always work out, but what I remember the most from my first try was that communication did not exist. To my delight, I was lucky enough to find a woman who made my life complete and our marriage has lasted almost 30 years.

The nine tips I am suggesting are just that, suggestions.  What worked for me may or may not workout for you. I can assure you of one thing, marriage is a union of communication during the good and the bad times.  Let's begin.
  1. Find common interests. The old cliche that opposites attract is not always true. The more you have in common the better your lives will evolve.
  2. Be a gentleman. Always open car door, pull out chair, hold their hand and let your mate always be in front. Doing these small gestures show how much you care.
  3. Meet the families and get to know what their expectations are and their beliefs. Parents do not know you and need to build up trust and a relationship.
  4. Set time  aside for quality times. Stroll the beach, romantic dinners, leave notes each day and celebrate important times with flowers or a card.
  5. Compromise, compromise and compromise. I can't stress that enough! By compromising you are saying you care and are acting as a team.
  6. Be open minded. Arguing is going to happen, no one is perfect. However, never say goodnight with anger or frustrations in your mind or heart. Showing each other that you care about each other's feelings is an important message and it is okay to disagree with one another.
  7. Discuss with each other what each one wants out of marriage. Having the same goals creates unity and begins a bond.
  8. Take time to listen. Listening is a skill that requires total attention and shows you care about what is being said.
  9. Never enable your mate. Enabling leads to low self-esteem and puts pressure on a marriage. Empowering each other leads to greater independence and higher self-esteem.
Caution: Following these tips may lead to everlasting and true love. Remember you want to marry your best friend and share each day together to create beautiful memories that you will cherish forever.
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