Getting married is probably the biggest decision you'll ever make. Few decisions that you make have the ability to impact your life for as long and as completely as marriage does. Marriage is an exciting, wonderful, exhilarating, and often difficult adventure.
But, just like any adventure, marriage requires preparation.
As you get engaged and prepare for the big day, it is easy to get caught up in planning the wedding. It always fascinates me how big a price tag goes with a wedding celebration. There is so much time, effort, and money put into starting a marriage that the toll of it often becomes overwhelming. However. How does that compare to preparing for the marriage relationship?
Here's a few statistics (and if you haven't figured it out yet, I tend to use statistics and definitions):
If done through your church, premarital counseling is often free, minus the cost for whatever book is chosen as a resource. If a couple chooses to get very ambitious about it, a full set of sessions with a marriage counselor runs at a maximum of one thousand dollars.
The cost of a typical wedding? $26,542.
To prepare for the wedding day, your average couple in America spends $26,542. This is a wonderful day that goes by quicker than any other (because of how much you don't want it to) but it is also the easiest moment in a marriage. It's easy for a couple to make it through the wedding day.
More than half of couples don't even begin to prepare for the new, changed relationship that will effect the rest of your life. That's right--as best as statistics can agree--less than half of couples getting married for the first time have any sort of premarital counseling at all. I find this astonishing considering how easy it is to get free counseling. Is a little of your time too much to ask?
And let me tell you, you need preparation. It just doesn't matter how open a couple is with each other or how fantastic a relationship is going into marriage. There are so many different things that you would never expect to matter that to do. Some of the conflicts are expected, but other conflicts often completely blindside any couple. So, find a premarital counselor. Look towards married couples you both know for advice (best piece of knowledge we got: more fights happen over who does what chores than anything else).
The need to prepare for a marriage relationship does not begin the day that you both say "I do" to each other. It begins the day that you become engaged.
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