On a previous show, I centered on breaking through the fantasies and jumping to the realities of moving in together or marriage. In a nutshell, most people begin wildly in love, constantly desiring one another. Life is easy and flowing along. The next step, of course, is to move in with one another or plan a wedding. Hell, we’ll do both!
I’m going to cover some key ingredients to wake you up before making this decision so you’re chances of a great relationship are increased. Get your big person pants on!
You’re madly in love and perfect together, but a family member, friend, or both hate your mate. How are you going to handle this? You become torn between family and friend loyalty and your mate. Are you mature enough to handle this situation? How would you handle this situation? Give this some thought. I’m not saying something is wrong with your mate; I’m asking you to explore the whys and how would you both be able to handle this environment around family get-togethers or friend’s events.
Another question I ask in premarital counseling sessions is if they have ever been around one another when sick. I mean puking their guts out, or the other end. Do you know if you can handle not only the sickness aspect can you handle one another with the moodiness that goes along with an illness? I know, kind of an odd topic, though one that often gets ignored until you’re faced with this situation. This article is not to cover every aspect, though only to bring about some crucial situations that are often ignored when making the decision to shack up together.
Expectations, have these been discussed? Have you discussed who will pay for what household expenses? What about holding onto your own individuality? Also, if one of you loses employment or you can’t stand one another after you live together? Wait, that’s right; everything is perfect, so no worries about that happening.
On my show, I spoke about how convenient it is when an argument pops up. You can go back to where ever you were living at the time. Now, you’re living together, and your escape routes are nonexistent. What the hell do you do now, spend hours driving around, sitting at a bar, bashing your mate to your friend? These may be good ideas at the time, though they may not work to get you two back connected. Have you shared expectations of how arguments will be handled when emotions are flying high, not heard, pissed off, hurt, or even feeling crushed? It’s easy to talk about these situations when calm, though what about when the emotional hurricane hits?
This is where you add questions of care, concern, and curiosity into the realm. These will help you become less guarded, and feel cared about, plus reduce the chances of a verbal bashing session. “I’d like to know what made you made, upset, hurt, etc.?” “I care about you, what did I do to make you angry or to hurt you?” are great starting points. You perhaps own or are willing to learn what you did and are taking responsibility. Sometimes it may not have anything to do with you, though you are showing your person you care and are concerned.
Expectation topics are abundant and can overwhelm the most rational and emotionally mature. Discussing those and airing them out before residing together or marrying is huge on my suggestion list. Sex is also on that expectation list. Is sex terrific now and fantastic, rocks both your worlds? If it turns sour, are you both going to start playing immature games and begging, and pleading? How are you going to be able to discuss the root of potential sexual issues? You and your mate are perfect and sexually exquisite now.
Most relationships go through the ebb and flow in this department. What are you going to do to keep the sensual flames going, especially when those flames are dimly lit? When you or your mate is feeling unloved or undesired, emotions may get the best of us. We may say things out of hurt and anger to make our mate feel the same, causing further distance and feelings of relationship insecurities. I’m not being negative here, as my passion is helping others have fantastic, passionate, loving, and healthy relationships. My goal is to educate and bring forth issues that you may be afraid to bring up yourself.
Past traumas can also creep into a relationship after you’re married or living together. Not everyone has endured a traumatic experience, though they can be brought to the surface even years after the event. Sadly, being raped, abused, or raised as if you’re worthless and “should have been aborted” can come back if not dealt with properly and in a healthy manner for you or your mate. Will you feel safe enough to allow your partner to be there for you if these tragic past events creep back? What can your partner do to be there for you, making you feel safe, not damaged or ruined? With every ounce of my soul, I hope those reading this have healed from past traumas! Again, I want to provide insights to guard against shocking situations invading your relationships so they can succeed.
One last topic I want to cover is misperceptions. Many couples in my office setting suffer from misperceptions of one another. Arguments start, and feelings are hurt over these and could be avoided. I remember a terrific older couple that each took one another out of context and were afraid of talking about it. This went on for five years! Each one craved to be touched and held by one another. One felt the other did not desire or want to touch her, while at the same time, the mate felt the very same thing. This went on for five years before seeing me! I was sad that they didn’t or could not talk about this before. Fear got in the way. After all, asking your mate if they don’t want to touch or hold you is scary. What if the answer is true, I don’t? That could be devastating so that fear keeps us quiet and even causes us to misperceive actions, words, and comments. Make sure you clarify and understand one another! If you don’t know or are unsure, ask!
I want to remind everyone that this is not intended to cover every aspect of premarital or living together situations. These are the key elements that often go hushed, pushed under that rug, and ignored. Please do not ignore these insights! Oh, my apology…. have you spent a vacation or even a weekend alone together? And you’re thinking of getting married or living together? Hmmmm.
Stepfamily dynamics entail greater insights. There are kids, pets, and exes to deal with. More challenges exist. Just the simple truth, however, the above will help provide insights into mixing two families as well. Of course, there need to be more in-depth and expansive conversations.
My best wishes and much love to everyone! Remember to catch my LIVE show, The Art of Relationships Show, every Wednesday at 12 noon EST.