Time to tie the knot?
It takes more than love to make a marriage work. Are you ready?

You’ve known each other for years, and you’re sure this person is the partner of your dreams. Or you’ve been in a relationship for a while and see marriage as the natural next step.

But before you buy the ring or put pressure on the man in your life, think a bit more carefully about your motives for getting married, and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why do you want to get married?

You may love your partner very much, but you need to think beyond the romance and the honeymoon. Getting married will mean a change in lifestyle for both of you, says Pam Gillingham, counselling social worker and Director of The Family Life Centre in Joburg: “If you’ve been single and indulged at home, you can’t expect to have everything your own way once you get married.”

Pam says it sometimes comes as a shock to some singles that they can’t have nights out to the club like they used to, but instead find they have responsibilities at home and need to make a contribution to the marriage

Nor is following the crowd – marrying because everybody else is – a good reason to get hitched.

“Everyone in the group gets separated into couples who’ll have to live with each other and not the group,” Pam points out.
2. What makes you think this person will be a good partner and parent?
“Marriage is not a game,” says Pam. “What are the person’s qualities and values about parenthood and marriage? Do you know how they feel about having children? When do you want them, how many and do you both share the same views about how to raise them?”
3. Are you on the same wavelength?

Are you and your partner on the same wavelength psychologically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually? While each person is different, it’s important that you share similar views and interests or are able to accommodate differences through discussion and compromise. An age-gap of 20 years could be a problem, if she wants to go to parties and he prefers to sit at home.

Consider how well you talk and how much space each of you needs to live together harmoniously.
4. Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
“I meet a lot of young people who say ‘If it doesn’t work out we can always get divorced’,” says Pam. But she advises people to ask themselves if they are ready to make a commitment to someone else for the rest of their lives. If there’s doubt, you may both need more time before committing.
5. Ask yourself, “Is this the only man or woman for me?”
It is important to ask yourselves if you’re ready for an exclusive relationship with this person for life, or whether other men or women will also be allowed into your lives. Don’t walk up the aisle with one eye on the prettiest bridesmaid.
6. Amalobolo
If the woman in your life comes from a very traditional background, it’s important to find out about the cultural procedure for asking for her hand: do you know who to speak to in her family, do you need a delegation to accompany you to her parents, and can you afford to pay the required lobolo?
7. Do you have the same expectations?
  • Do you expect your wife to be doing all the cooking, or will she expect you to pitch in and help?
  • Do you know what each other’s emotional expectations are, and are you both ready to meet them?
  • Will your incomes be pooled or will you keep separate finances?
  • Will your drinking buddies still be able to crash in the living room after the match?
  • It’s important to talk beforehand and find out what your loved one expects of the marriage.
Popping the question

If you are short on ideas and your lady doesn’t like a fuss, you can follow actor Will Smith’s example when he proposed to Jada Pinkett. He told People Magazine it was unplanned and took place in bed just before they went to sleep. He looked over at her and said, “Hey, we might be real good married. Wassup? You wanna marry me?” He had no ring but she agreed and they’ve been married for more than 18 years.

Source: Women24