There’s something really great about being single.
Sometimes we realize that during our singleness, and sometimes we don’t. There’s a tremendous amount of freedom during this time in our lives. Freedom to do what we want, be who we want to be and live however we see fit. It can also be a time where we avoid the real issues in our lives. With no one pushing us to fix them, we can let these things slide for years, until we meet someone that we realize it will also affect. Then we wish we’d done something sooner. If you have these issues in your single life, fix them now or risk seriously harming your future marriage.
I’ve been that girl with something painful in her past — something that she couldn’t seem to push through on her own. Years would go by with no better result in the matter. I’d try to move past it and heal from it, but quite honestly, I also believed that once I found “the one,” that person would help me heal as well. And so I took a heaping pile of brokenness into my marriage. And you know what? My spouse wasn’t my savior. He couldn’t fix it, nor did he try to. It created bitterness in me in that area of my marriage, when in reality I had no right to bring it in to start with. Truth: It’s your job to work through your past hurts. Seek healing. Seek counseling. But work through it until you’ve done all you can before you marry.
Some of us have never had a single day of guidance regarding money in our lives. We give it no thought because it’s just a thing, after all. We don’t consider how it affects relationships, how we feel about ourselves or our futures. If I can give one piece of advice to the never-before-married, it’s this: Figure out your stand on money, and work through issues you have now. If you know you have poor spending habits and bring them into a marriage, you are weighing the scale against you in an area that is cited as the #1 cause of failure. Grow up in regard to money, spending and your feelings attached to it before you marry.
We have a saying here in the south: “We don’t hide crazy in our family. We parade it around on the front porch and give it a sweet tea.” We all have family issues. And bringing another person into the family isn’t really fair if we haven’t done all we can to rectify any problems that are in our control to change for the better. Once you marry, your time is split between the two families as they are. That can sometimes cause jealousy or hurt feelings. If you have strained relationships to start with in your family of origin, it will only compound those issues and create a rift that your partner is now pulled into without a choice. As far as it is possible for you, work out the family drama before you marry.
None of us comes into a marriage a whole person without flaws. In fact, marriage can be one of the biggest causes of growth for us in every area of our lives. We learn to put ourselves second for possibly the first time in our lives. We learn to carry burdens hand-in-hand with another. And we learn the struggle to keep a relationship healthy.
Give yourself (and your future) a boost in the right direction by getting your single issues in order, so that you can enter a marriage in the best possible way.