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7 tips for the groom-to-be

POSTED: July 16, 2014 5:00 a.m.
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Happy is the man who finds a true friend. Happier is he when that true friend is his wife.

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As young couples prepare for marriage, they are on the path to discovering life at its finest. Marriage is beautiful. It brings to life a type of joy and light that isn’t found elsewhere. However, marriage is hard and takes work. While nothing can truly prepare anyone for what marriage will bring, the following 7 tips can be helpful for the future of the groom.

Marriage isn’t easy
Few things take more work in life than the work required to keep a marriage running smoothly. No matter how much effort is put in, there will still be ripples in the marriage waters. It's a roller coaster full of highs and lows. When the going gets tough, remember marriage is not supposed to be easy. Don't give up. When work is put in, the value will increase.

Hormones are real
Seriously. Whether she is pregnant or just having a particularly emotional month, consider the hormones. She may act different — maybe a little mean. Keep in mind hormones are nasty buggers and be prepared for their occasional wrath. This doesn’t necessarily excuse poor behavior on the bride’s part, but it can help the groom first, understand that she may feel out of control and second, recognize hormonal patterns in her behavior.

Empathy can go a long way
Empathy fuels connection in relationships. It allows her feelings to be heard and valued. Empathy is about validation, hearing, understanding, and vulnerability. With those in place, with whatever is happening in the marriage, hard feelings can be resolved and connections built through the use of empathy.

You don’t need to be the fixer of problems
For one thing, not all problems can be fixed. Not only that, when wives talk to husbands about their problems, they aren’t asking for it to be fixed. They want to be heard and know their feelings are valued. So, rather than jumping immediately to the fixer role, ask what she needs. Hold her, hug her, let her cry. Those actions are invaluable for a woman experiencing emotional pain.

Be honest
When secrets are kept in a marriage, it becomes tough to hold it together. Practicing honesty during dating and engagement is crucial. It will build trust and habits that will keep the marriage together in the long run.

Value her opinion
Sometimes a husband and wife will disagree. That is okay. Disagreements don’t mean the other person’s opinions or ideas aren’t valuable. If she has an opinion about something, make sure she knows her opinion is valid. You don’t have to both agree, but if she feels that you value what she has to say, she won’t be afraid of open communication of any kind. When opinions and ideas get shot down, communication lines — which are crucial to marriage — will be broken down.

Be respectful of her friends and family
Even if you don’t like her friends and family, be respectful. Try getting to know them. Try to see them as she sees them. Just as you would want her to be gracious to those you love, she wants you to be gracious to her loved ones.

As couples prepare for marriage, there is so much they don't know. The joy of marriage is a discovery made through the journey. It's not easy, and it wasn't meant to be easy. But, it is worth it.

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