Marriage and childbirth – two life changing events that evoke a fair amount of unsolicited advice, some of which you can happily ignore:
Your spouse should be your best friend – I’m not totally convinced by this one. Yes, it definitely helps that you like being in one another’s company (a lot) and that you have a lot in common (critical if you want to find things to do together) but your spouse is more than a buddy. Buddies fish together, watch sport together, paint their toenails together, or shop together. Your spouse is there for you come what may. And you will literally go through ‘thick and thin’ together. I’m not sure that many buddies will.
The children should come first – your children, when they come, are going to take up a surprising amount of your time, energy and money. As a mother, they will be a priority (trust me on this, you might not be able to imagine it yet, but they will). A friend of mine said years ago – make sure you make couple time. The number of marriages that find themselves on the rocks once the children leave home is surprisingly high. Make the time for him, or you’ll forget how.
Say ‘yes, dear’ (the equivalent of apologising just to get it over with) – don’t know about you, but if someone brushes me off in this way, by saying ‘yes, dear’ when I know that it is not the case, that’s going to tick me off a lot more than the argument at hand. It’s appeasing for the sake of it. I’d rather have the truth than the patronising equivalent of ‘whatever’.
Always let one another know how you feel – over time I have learnt that this is not necessarily a good idea, and that swallowing harsh words and allowing time to pass may seriously alter your perception, or misunderstanding, of a situation. It’s one thing being ‘honest’, and it’s another being thoughtless. Feelings change. What irritates you right now, may not tomorrow. Choose your battles, as a friend of mine once wisely said – discuss those issues that really need discussing and sharing, truthfully.
Happy Wedding Planning!