By Chandrama Anderson
Premarital and Existing Couples: Marriage Rules: Yours, Mine, or Ours?Uploaded: Mar 21, 2019
Each of you has a set of rules that go with being in a committed relationship. I can guarantee that all your rules are not the same, although I hope that many are in alignment.
You each know and can name some of the rules (you probably don't call them rules, either). Many of them are harder to name. Where do these rules come from? Your family growing up, society, cultural mores, and individual temperament and life experience.
I love premarital counseling, since it gives the couple an opportunity to find out what their rules are, discuss them together, and create what they want in their future.
Whatever seems "normal" is not necessarily "normal" to your beloved. Normal is just what you're used to from growing up. You get to figure out what normal is going to be for your marriage.
Here's a partial list of things to talk over and deeply understand with your partner to determine "Yours, Mine, or Ours:"
-What does it mean to be a wife? From her perspective? From his?
-What does it mean to be a husband? From his perspective? From hers?
-What did you learn from your family about being a husband or wife?
-Who is supposed to do what? (In the home/outside the home)
-How are decisions made?
-What does money mean to each of you? Who is supposed to earn it? What will it be spent on?
-Will you have children? How many? Who takes care of children?
-What do your extended families mean to you? How much time do you spend with them?
-What struggles have you seen in married couples? How might you handle those struggles with your own partner?
-How do power issues show up between you? How will you address them?
-What is allowed to be talked about?
-What is not supposed to be talked about?
-What does sex mean to each of you? How often are you "supposed" to have sex? How do you talk about what works and doesn't work for you sexually?
-What is foreplay? When does it happen?
-When and where do you vacation?
-How is faith a part of your lives? Is it?
-How will you face personal and/or professional challenges?
-Would you move with your partner's job?
-What would you like your daughter-in-law or son-in-law relationship to be? What opportunity for richness and connection is there, or could you create?
. . . And so forth
All of these topics and more are opportunities to build intimacy and connection in your relationship. Expect that your views will differ some, and allow yourselves to be playful with the process.