Before Mario and I got married we went to premarital counseling with our pastor. One of the things we had to do as a part of this counseling is write down things we'd leave behind and some parameters we felt would be important to establish going into the marriage.
I've held on to those lists and to this day we still bring them up as a reminder of the promises we made to each other. Here are the two lists...
Going into this marriage we will leave behind:
- The past (e.g., wrongs, hurts, etc.)
- Letting others dictate our relationship/decisions
- Arguing unnecessarily
We will uphold the following parameters during our marriage:
- Can't use divorce/leaving as a threat.
- Can't use sex as a bargaining tool.
- Nicole - Don't disrespect my husband (especially publicly).
- Mario - Don't deny my wife the affection/attention she needs.
- Don't raise voices/argue publicly nor in front of the child(ren).
- Don't embarrass each other intentionally.
- No late night or inappropriate communication with the opposite sex.
- Don't disrespect each other's family.
It's interesting to see the kind of thoughts we had about marriage and what we wanted and expected going into it, but I think we set some lasting "guidelines".
Marriage is, and forever will be, a constant work in progress and requires conscientious effort. I pray that we continue to uphold our vows and promises to each other for the years to come!
Food for thought:
What are some of the things you've left or plan to leave behind to protect your marriage?
What parameters have/will you set?!?