If you are getting married to your Ex, I hope you find these words of advice helpful to you.
In speaking to numerous people about relationships and marriage, the one common theme they all seemed to share is their thoughts and possibilities of the one who got away. The curiosity runs from high school/college sweethearts, to even their former spouses. In the end, what everyone wanted most was that feeling that they once had with that person from their past. That euphoric feeling of bliss. Don’t we all?
Relationships have changed over the last few decades. This includes mindsets and methods in how we choose to find love and conduct our lives.
I had a friend announce that they were engaged to their Ex. After being apart for seven years, they decided to start dating again nine months ago and recently got engaged. Most of our friends gave their congratulations and shared their happiness; I offered some advice that I felt would keep them together this time.
1. Don’t expect them to be who they use to be.
A lot can change in how a person thinks from high school and college days. If you have grown up since the time you were together, then just expect they have, too. They are not the same people, and hopefully, neither are you. If you have found love again, love the person they are now and have become. Don’t look for what you once had together; you will never be able to appreciate what you have now or enjoy your future.
2. With a kid of any age in the house remain a united front.
If you are reuniting with your Ex, there is the possibility that one or both of you have been divorced and have kids. If you have kids in the house, make sure to stay a united front. Kids can be the sure thing to cause marital problems. Especially when it is your kids vs their kids. Try to adopt the ‘our’ kids mindset.
3. Have the money talk up front.
If I had to choose the one piece of advice that is a must, it would be to have the money talk upfront. Decide who will contribute to what, how much, and in what ways. Avoiding the money talk can send you straight to divorce court. You might have different views on how money should be spent and what it should be spent on.
4. Never quit telling each other “I Love You.”
Saying I love you is a very powerful statement. Don’t think of verbalizing it as A love language; think of it as THE love language. People need to hear the words I love you. Granted, as in the book The 5 Languages of Love states we all have our own different love language that we prefer. I, however, know many people who wish they could have one last chance to say those words.
5. Whatever faith your practice… do it together.
If your spouse does not practice the same religion that you do, then it could cause a divided household. This goes especially for expected gender roles within different religious cultures and noticing of holidays. If you choose to get married and have different faiths, then discuss how you will handle these situations. Take a special note of this advice if you have kids. Explaining to a young child why one kid gets gifts and the other does not can be hard. And if you have kids together, whose religion will they practice?
6. Discuss your goals and savings plans.
Believe it or not, I learned that not everyone believes in saving or planning for the future. Some believe you only live once and that you can’t take money with you. They want to just live for that day and not worry about the future. If you are a person who believes in saving, investing, and planning for the future, this topic needs to be addressed. This way if you don’t agree you can decide how and if you will compromise.
7. Stay connected with your friends.
It is not healthy for couples to rely totally on each other for adult interaction and conversations. Yes, it is important to be friends with your spouse, but if you plan on growing old together, there will come a time that one of you will pass away or fall ill. This will be one of the times you will need your friends. Remember, you each had a life before you decided to get married. You have things that you enjoy doing that your spouse might not have an interest in. Your friends that you have in your life can be a healthy way to still participate in the things that you are passionate about.
“The reason our grandparents stayed married for over 50 years is because they had time to miss each other.”
8. Don’t lose yourself.
There will be an adjustment phase for those who are used to being the Lone Rangers. Be patient with each other. During those times of patience and learning how to live as a couple, don’t ever give so much of yourself that you get lost in someone else. Think of all the time you spent figuring out who you were.
9. Learn to accept help.
Letting someone help you is probably going to be the most difficult thing to do. We are accustomed to doing things our way and forget how nice it is to have things done for us. Part of being married is being a team in life.
While I don’t claim to have all the answers in life, when it comes to relationships, I can share the struggles that I have been through and the things that others have shared with me.
If you are getting married to your Ex, I hope you find these words of advice helpful to you. And if you have some questions feel free to reach out.
Photo: Flickr/ Arnaud Chevalier