Every Woman Should Do Before Getting Married


For many women, marriage is something they’ve been looking forward to since they were a little girl. While it’s undoubtedly an exciting and momentous experience in life, it’s far from the only life-changing and all-important event. For this reason, it’s best not to rush your trip down to the altar. This is true even if you’ve been with your significant other for several years, or even decades. “Marriage changes everything,” says Sarah E Stewart, M.S.W., C.P.C., life coach and author. “You go from ‘all about me’ to ‘all about we.’” The key, she says, is to not lose yourself in the process. How do you make sure you don’t do that? Well, for starters, you can start crossing off this list of experiences that help prepare you mentally, emotionally and physically for a successful and long-lasting marriage.Date and have relationships

While not everyone has the luxury of being with other people before they say “I do,” relationship experts agree that it can be tremendously beneficial in helping you know who is right for you and who is wrong for you. “When you do get hitched this will be the one thing that you are happy that you don't have to do again, but it is a process that I believe we should all go through,” says Dawn Michael, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, relationship expert and author. Fran Walfish, Psy.D., a couple and family psychotherapist, agrees, adding that having relationship experience and a baseline of comparison gives you a point of reference when it comes to your future spouse.

Live by yourself or with roommates

If you’ve been dating your S.O. since college, it might make sense to just move on in together post-graduation, but this may likely be your only chance to ever have lived separately as adults. “Living alone teaches you so many things,” explains Stewart. “You learn how to be financially and emotionally independent—paying all of your bills gives you the sense of accomplishment and spending a few weekend and weekday nights alone gives you strength.”

Be financially independent

Along the same lines of being able to live on your own, having a solid grasp on our own finances will go a long way in making you feel ready to get hitched. “Whether you have a career or a good paying job, being financially independent means you are not going to get married because you need to,” says Stewart. “You have worth.” This also means that, should you for any reason split up or divorce, you’ll be able to stand on your own two feet.

Get in one good fight with your fiancé

Experts agree that entering into a marriage with full knowledge of how your partner handles conflict is key to a successful marriage. “Every couple—even the happiest, most compatible couples—have occasional disagreements, misunderstandings and differences of opinion,” says Dr. Walfish. “You need to know that you have a willing participant in open communication without defensive postures and that your partner has self-examination skills and a capacity for accountability.” In other words, you don’t want to marry someone who will always blame you for problems that arise.

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