7 Things That a Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married

By Sally R Connolly

Women often marry young without having life experiences that prepare them for marriage. Experiencing life and having experiences in life, readies women for settling down and being a healthy partner in a marriage.

Some of these experiences involve “doing” while others involve “understanding”. The understanding or awareness pieces can come from reading, conversations with friends or partners or watching other relationships, real or on the screen. We put our heads together and came up with our list. Here are our suggestions for 7 things that a woman should experience before saying “I Do”.

1. Experience at least two significant relationships that ended. Learn more about herself and her choices from those experiences. Sometimes relationships end because we make bad choices, other times they end because we did not keep up our end of the relationship in healthy ways. Find a way to understand both.

2. Get over her broken heart and emotionally recover. Be certain that there are no left over ghosts or former boyfriends that may come back into the picture emotionally or no temptation to return to them if they are suddenly “available”.

3. Live on her own for at least a year.

4. Be financially self-sufficient. Get rid of any significant credit card debt and make a big dent in any student loans. Have a job that pays her bills and live within her budget.

5. Know how to stand up for herself in important relationships. Recognize that her needs are as important as those of her partner and be sure to know how to take care of herself in a relationship.

6. Travel to interesting places with someone other than her “intended.”

7. Like, really like, herself. Know her strengths and accept her imperfections.

What do you think? Are these realistic? What would you add to this list?

Sally Connolly is a family and marriage therapist who lives in Louisville, Kentucky and specializes in relationship work. She and her husband, family therapist John Turner, have conducted workshops on developing healthy relationships for couples and singles. She has taught at the University of Louisville and The Louisville Seminary. More of Sally’s articles can be found at Counseling Relationships Online.

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