This is advice on relationships, but you can consider marriage and long term commitments to be the same.
Most advice on relationships will be on how to repair or keep a relationship going because at the beginning of a relationship love conquers all. When the going gets tough though, unexpected differences pop up.
However, this advice is all about avoiding the pitfalls that cause marriages or relationships to fail. A little forethought and discussion could save a lot of heartache later on.
If you are already in a relationship that is falling apart, I suggest as a first step, you get expert advice. Here is a free report compiled by experts on “Breathe Life Back Into Your Marriage Your Marriage/Relationship”
The most common cause of disharmony is finances. Decide right at the beginning of your relationship how the finances will be arranged. There is no right or wrong way, it’s all about what is right for you. Be aware that generally people don’t change, if you are a saver and your partner likes to spend, it’s likely to stay that way.
Set a budget with goals to save, set aside amounts to pay the bills and an emergency fund. Only then look at discretionary spending. Should just one hold the purse strings, should there be a joint account? Joint credit cards, no credit cards, these are all things that should be decided before finances hit a problem.
A common area of dissent are things like insurance; some people don’t see the need for it, while others find it very important for their peace of mind. If you get your finances sorted early on it will stand you in good stead for good times and bad.
Religion can be a problem if not discussed beforehand. Never assume that because someone seems flippant about their beliefs that they don’t care. It can be a touchy subject and in many cases can have a big influence on daily life. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, just be sure you are in harmony about how you will live your life.
In the past it was assumed that children would be a natural part of any relationship, that is no longer the case, some people just flat out don’t want offspring. If having a child is important to you make sure your partner feels the same way. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your partner will come round to your way of thinking over time, putting pressure on generally makes things worse.
If you both want children discuss a time frame and how many you will have. Childcare and education are big issues, make sure you cover the financial aspect of having children.
Finance is often a reason one partner will give for delaying the event. Allow for it in the budget from the start. This would also be a good time to talk about which belief or faith if any, you would like them to follow.
Other advice on relationships would be the area of careers. If you are both career driven it’s very important to discuss future goals and plans. Don’t assume that the job that pays the most will always take precedence or that one partner’s career is more important than the other. These sticky issues have brought more than one relationship undone.
Some jobs and professions put extra strain on a relationship especially when the working hours have little or no boundaries. The medical profession, law and order, emergency services and hospitality are all stressful for the people who do them and for their partners.
It’s easier if both partners have experience of the same job but difficult when there is no point of reference. An understanding of what can be expected can be very helpful, but don’t expect your partners commitment to their career to alter once in a relationship.
Deciding where to live can also be a problem if you come from different areas, give this your full consideration and cover all pros and cons. If one partner travels a lot or has to spend much of their time away make sure you understand the full implications of such a lifestyle before you commit to a long term partnership.
The next advice on relationships must cover family ties. These are important to most people but for some, family is everything. If your partner is very family orientated, being in a relationship won’t change that. If you can’t get along with the family, you could have long term problems. If you are committed to being together discuss strategies that will help to dispel unpleasantness without causing disruption.
The Little Things
The advice on relationships covered so far are some of the most common and cause the most upheaval, there are however a few minor issues that are worth a mention.
Quite often when you are dating or seeing someone, you generally get to see the best side of them. Don’t brush off or excuse behavior that gives you cause for concern. If you suspect a habit or behavior could be a problem, get to the bottom of it before committing to anything.
People rarely change their habits, attitudes or opinions to suit someone else. Couples can overcome a lot of things if they really love each other but quite often it’s the small things that can bring a relationship undone.
There is a lot of truth in the old saying “forewarned is forearmed”.
Pets can be another thorny issue, especially if a pet predates a relationship. You both might love animals but will you both agree to a pet sharing the marital bed or having free run of the house? Whos pet and who is responsible?
All pets, even goldfish need on going care and attention, vet bills and holiday accommodation can make a dent in the finances; pets can definitely become an issue, so seek advice on relationships in this area.
Sports and Hobbies
Sports and hobbies can take a toll on relationships because of the time one partner may want to spend on them. Talk about it beforehand so that you know how much of a part it will play in the partnership.
Entering into a long term relationship is a big step, to live in harmony with another person isn’t always easy but eliminating possible pitfalls at the beginning means a much better chance of long term happiness. Advice on relationships is out there, get as much as you can but make sure it is from successful people, not your friend who has just broken up with their partner.
The basis for this article Advice on Relationships is from some of the problems I have coached people through to save and create a better relationship.
I have been married for 50 years, so the runs are on the board.