Marriage can be a whole lot of fun, but for some people, it can be full of surprises. They get married and wonder if they even know the person they are married to. They complain about the sudden change in their spouses, and the overwhelming sadness that clouds their marriage.
Truly, it is impossible to know a person completely, and people do change as they grow older, but there are traits about your partner you should know as they would affect the everyday dynamics of your relationship. I was having an interesting discussion with a few friends, and somehow came up with a list of things to do before you decide to tie the knot.
#1 Go on a road trip: If you think you know your partner well enough, try going on a road trip. I am not referring to a road trip to the next city, or the next state or province. Try something that involves rest stops, long hours of driving, and exchanging responsibilities. Road trips are fun, but they can also test your patience. How does your partner shape up when things get sticky, cramped up and uncomfortable? A road trip could be an eye opener.
#2 Play devil’s advocate: I mean deliberately disagree with your partner on something that is vividly clear. Assess how he or she handles the debate? Does it lead to anger? Do you feel forced to accept his/her opinion? Does he or she catch on that you’re playing devil’s advocate, laugh about it, and move on? Or does it end in sulking? This is an insight into how your spouse will handle your arguments.
#3 Build something together: It doesn’t matter what it is; a bicycle, a tractor, a bookshelf, anything you fancy. In healthy relationships, couples relish working well together to achieve their set goals. Building something together can help you see what your partner is really like when there’s a goal at hand. Does or he take absolute control of the process without paying any attention to your input? Or is the task approached with constant grumbling? Or does your partner simply fold his or her arms while you take on the bulk of the work? This is a preview of how you will both achieve your goals.
#4 Play Thirty Seconds or Pictionary: The first time I played thirty seconds, I laughed so hard, I cried. Literally! There are no other games that test the communication skills of individuals as well as these two. Couples need to be able to communicate without spelling everything completely. Sometimes, as much as one partner wants to spell things out, it’s just difficult to do so. These games teach the art of communication where every single detail is not spelled out. You might be surprised to find how bad you both are at communicating abstract stuff.
#5 Go to a couples’ retreat: Couples counseling sessions are fun and all, but sometimes, it involves a pastor who gives advice and two people who nod along because they cannot dare to argue with the pastor. An unconventional way to discover and address loopholes in your relationship is a couples retreat with other couples you hardly know. Why? You will not feel the need to impress anyone, or simply nod along. You can speak up, talk about what bothers you, and awaken your intimacy if it’s sizzling out. To do this successfully, you need to open-minded, so it is honestly not for everyone.