Apr 18, Ashleigh Slater While no amount of preparation would have made me the perfect bride, it could have helped me enter marriage as a more thoughtful, easier-to-live-with spouse.
I have a confession to make. It was then that the possibility of matrimony became a reality and I suddenly recognized the need to ready myself for it. I wish I would have started sooner. Because preparation takes time. The same is true for you.
There are things you can do now as a single to better ready yourself to begin the spousal journey in good shape.
When Ted and I were newlyweds, there was a particular habit of his that stood out to me … in a good way. He never left the toilet seat up. Instead, he adopted it in his adult years as he hosted single events at his condo. It was one way he made an effort to be courteous to his female friends. Just like Ted evaluated his toilet seat routine and made a change before marriage, you can do the same with regard to your daily habits.
Do you have patterns of behavior that may prove annoying, thoughtless or hurtful to a future spouse? These habits may be related to personal hygiene such as where you leave your dirty laundry, or could pertain to poor time or money management. Choose people who know you and your behaviors well.
Fine tune your conflict resolution style. If not, an article from the University of Notre Dame identifies them as avoidance, giving in, standing your ground, compromising and collaborating. What does a team-first fighter look like? When I got married, I was a strict conflict avoider.
It took several years of marriage for me to learn how to exchange my conflict-avoiding ways for that of collaboration. While the bad news is your conflict resolution style is far from healthy, the good news is you can work now to change it. Your single years are the perfect time to identify how you deal with conflict and determine what, if any, changes need to be made.
Think back to how you responded in each instance and what you could have done differently. Learn to not take yourself too seriously. This man knew how to laugh at himself and have fun in the process. If asked, would others say that you take yourself too seriously?
Marriage comes with many opportunities to fixate on the negative, but being able to laugh together has been proven to create healthier marriages.
If laughing at yourself and your mistakes is hard for you, it may be time to develop a more lighthearted opinion of yourself. You can start small by learning to react with levity to little frustrations or mistakes. Lock your keys in your car? Instead of growing angry, figure out a way to see the humor in the situation. Instead, figure out how to joke about it. Recognizing and accepting that can be attractive and liberating.
Seek out opportunities to serve. Sometimes lots of time. But you can begin to develop it now as a single. Start by seeking out opportunities to serve within your community and at your local church. This could be helping elderly neighbors with their grocery shopping, or babysitting at no charge for a single mom. Make servanthood such a natural part of your life now that service will come more naturally in marriage. Take a friendship inventory. These people may include your family, friends, co-workers or classmates.
To find out if you have the right kind of friends , do a simple friendship inventory. Ask yourself these three questions: If your closest friends receive three checkmarks — great!
However, if your friends flunk this inventory, try having a heart-to-heart talk with them. They may just rise to the occasion. You can start now. I guarantee that your future spouse will appreciate — and benefit from — your efforts. Your intentionality may even be one of the things they find most attractive. Copyright Ashleigh Slater Like what you see?