Time to run down the church aisle, screaming? Or will someone tackle you and drag you back?
Probably. No one wants to see a good wedding spoiled.
So you go through with it, and your sideways looks at your new mate as you drive off into the sunset are love mixed with "who IS this?"
Fear not, because now comes the chance you've always waited for. This is the time of your life when you get to really, truly fall in love.
Here's how to start -
- Always emphasize the positive about your mate - and about yourself. In words, obviously - you never run your mate down, to anyone. But most of all, in your heart. Put your mate on a pedestal, and guard it zealously. This doesn't mean you ignore every screwup - but you write them off as being part of living as a human being. You never hold them to your heart, for use as ammunition later.
- Remember, that both of you chose this. This si NOT "you made you bed, lie in it". It's the recognition that you both saw something here that was worth making a major life change. You may not recognize exactly what it is you saw - it was a shape constrained within a fog of emotion - but there's something there, something positive.
- Give compliments freely, and criticisms sparingly.
- Touch, often. Make this a priority - when you meet after even a short parting, give your mate a hug. And if he doesn't seem to clue in and initiate this himself, DO IT ANYWAY. This is not the place to count hugs on an equal footing.
- Be sexual. A lot of Christians tend to shy away from incorporating sex into the fabric of their marriage - it's an 'extra', like a dessert. But this is exactly wrong, and can be quite harmful. That part of your relationship may not be perfect, but accept it for what it is - a God-designed avenue for intimacy that merges the physical and emotional. Men have a much more 'direct' view of the subject, but guys...you've got to try to learn that for your wives a day that might end in the bedroom begins with a kiss...two or three mornings before. And ladies - remember that you're married to a male, and while he can learn, he won't learn overnight.
- Pray together. I was going to say 'go to church together' but this can be bad advice. Often one partner will get more from a given church environment - or preacher - than the other, and that can start feeling of being left out. Go to church together if it works, but pray together to MAKE it work.
- Put your mate's picture where you can see it - on your office wall, on your bedside table, wherever it's easily seen.
And seven is probably enough. The point is to create an environment in your heart in which love can grow, and the weeds of anger and doubt can be culled.
And where you can fall in love with the person you married, a little more every day.