My Take on Dr Phil’s Advice

Recently, Dr Phil McGraw posted advice to people planning a wedding. He believes an engaged couple should consider five things…


Why are you getting married?

The commitment to marry someone is a bold step. It is important that both parties marry for the right reason. Marriage should not be entered into because of fear (eg of being alone) or a desire to escape (eg from a parents’ household) or for finances (eg he/she can take care of me).
Those who are contemplating marriage should have an honest discussion as to their true motivations.

Do you trust your partner’s personal history?

Our personal histories do not define our identity, but the do have a strong impact. What kind of family does your mate come from? What kind of marriage was modeled to him/her? What about their previous experiences with marriage, relationships, children, finances? If there are things that concern you in that history, what assurances do you have that things in the future will be different?

Have you planned the marriage or just the wedding?

This is a great question! Couples may invest a great deal of themselves in planning the wedding, and they are clueless when it comes to planning the marriage.
Good marriage planning involves ongoing communication and respect. Couples need to regularly take time for each other. They need to remain friends and nurture that friendship.

Are you investing more than you can afford to lose?

We invest all sorts of things: life, money, time, energy, etc. True wealth comes when we invest the right things in the right way.
Sometimes, one person has much more invested in a relationship than the other. For a marriage to be a true covenant, both husband and wife must fully invest themselves without conditions or reservations.

Have you shared your needs and expectations?

Oftentimes, marriages break down over unmet needs and expectations. Couples need to have meaningful discussions about needs, desires, and expectations.

How will household chores be handled? What about finances? Will you have children? When and how many?

Are there any needs or expectations which are non negotiable?

It is important that a couple has undying love, mutual respect, shared goals, and compatible values.

What about you? Is there anything you would add to Dr Phil’s list?


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