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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Carmichael

Why Are Newlyweds Often Unprepared for the Realities of Marriage?

Couples Solutions Center - Why are newlyweds unprepared for marriage?

As a mediator who assist couples through conflict before their marriage (prenuptial agreements) and when their marriage comes to an end (divorce mediation), I have a unique understanding of how unprepared many couples are when they marry.

The main reasons that I find people go through a divorce are

  1. Finances

  2. Communication

  3. Expectations

We frequently see that these items are not addressed prior to marriage, and often not addressed during the marriage, resulting in conflict and potential separation. As an example, one spouse may expect that the other will remain home with the children and not maintain their career, while the other doesn't share the same expectations. They don't communicate these expectations with one another though, resulting in unrealistic expectations in the relationship. Similarly, many couples do not discuss finances before they marry, resulting in substantial financial issues during the marriage - from one person having excessive debt - to the couples have a different perspective on their financial goals for the future.

It is important to have these difficult conversations prior to marriage to set a solid foundation for communicating throughout the marriage. Marriage is challenging, but couples can prepare themselves better for the relationship rather than seeing "marrying" as an event.

In premarital mediation, we assist couples in having the difficult conversations before they get married, allowing them to work through creating good communication techniques, set certain expectations from the beginning, and better understand their finances. This sets a solid foundation upon which the couple's relationship will grow. It is common for individuals and couples to fear this conversation and the repercussions of these discussions. For instance, I've heard "Why would we want to have these conversations? What if we didn't get married?" This is precisely why premarital mediation and conversations are so important - you want to set up your relationship for success rather than failure, and understand your hurdles before jumping into the next phase of your lives together. We want to help you avoid divorce or separation, and live your happily ever after.

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