I’m starting a new Monday morning tradition: Marriage Monday. Starting the week the way we should spend our week, nurturing our marriage, or our marriage we’re about to begin. It might be some charm of advice that I’ve collected or someone else has, possibly even you. If you’d like to contribute wisdom, questions, or funny pictures of cats, contact me now!

Today I’m asking a question of psychologist and pre-marriage educator, Connie Penhallurick.

What is the most common “we haven’t talked about that” issue that you come across in pre-marriage education sessions, and how should couples talk about “it”?

Ironically the most non-talked about topic for couples has been “what changes after marriage?” Given that most couples are living together before marriage and know each other intimately they don’t expect a lot to change. However, I beg to differ and pose the question “why get married at all if nothing changes?” and then I see the light bulb switch on.

Getting married is not just an event, but also a psychological process and contains an enormous amount of emotional investment from both parties. It is this build up that inevitably brings about changes in the relationship. Aside from the obvious name change, added new family members and joint account, there are also unexpected changes. These include how you feel about your partner, your sense of responsibility towards them, how the outside world views your relationship, how you see yourself and perhaps a new found sense of commitment, to name a few.

I invite all couples to discuss the points below in the lead up to their wedding. It will help highlight expectations and allow an opportunity to adjust expectations that maybe unrealistic.
· What changes might we expect?
· What changes do others expect from us?
· What changes would we like to see?
· What aspects of the relationship would we like to keep the same?

Get started by assigning time to talk, set aside the phones, turn off the TV, get comfortable with a cup of coffee and see what you can find out about your relationship!

Remember to focus on your marriage as well as your wedding plans. Pre-marriage education can help give your relationship its best chance at marriage. To find out more contact Connie Penhallurick at Relationships4Life on (m) 0490 463 059 or email connie@relationships4life.com.au.