The days and months in between dating and marriage can be fun and exciting, but stressful at the same time. While you're planning a wedding plus planning for the rest of your life together, things can get heated and intense. We sat down with Brooke Riehl, licensed marriage and family counselor, who gave us a few insights on how to be a better partner right now.
If you haven't already, now is the time become really open and honest with your partner. "Show emotion, share your fears, confess your secrets," says Riehl. "Marriage is the time to break down your walls and let your guard down, even when it's terrifying." Being real and vulnerable is often the ultimate display of love and trust. "If you practice this with your partner, you will see your relationship transform before your very eyes."
Keep Short Accounts
"It's not about what you did. It's about what you do after what you've done," Riehl explains. Now read that again and commit it to memory—what matters most is often how you talk about an issue, not the issue itself. "When an issue occurs, and it will, talk about it with your partner and strive to resolve with urgency," says Riehl. "Don't let days or weeks, or even months, go by without resolving a problem. The longer you wait to fix the issue, the more time you allow for it to snowball into an even bigger problem."
Tests Can Be Fun!
Try some assessments as a couple to get to know each other better. Start with your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Enneagram, and Five Love Languages. "Most of these assessments can be found for free online and are great tools for understanding one another," comments Riehl. "Research has shown that the simple act of taking a relationship assessment can immediately open up your communication and increase your level of intimacy."