This niece of mine and I have had so many conversations about relationships. We have no problem talking about the real stuff. There really isn't anything that is off-limits.
I have given her much unsolicited advice over the past year, (and some solicited). Here's a few gems that were given to me before I got married that I have passed along.
First of all, that guy who chews gum loudly? Or snores when he naps? Or leaves his shoes in the middle go the floor? He's probably going to keep doing those things after you get married and maybe even until the day he dies. In other words, don't expect the habits that he has now to change when he marries you. So when you marry this guy, can you live with his habits? Potentially forever?
(I have to give my husband kudos here: he has changed some of the habits that I married him with and is a better man for it! I rarely trip over his shoes in the middle of the room anymore. My habits, however?...that's another blog!)
My husband and I made a pact before we even got married. We both agreed straight from the beginning that divorce was not an option. (Now I know there are the "what ifs" that come up, but I'm talking about the everyday struggles that marriages go through). We agreed never to threaten divorce in an argument and that we would take necessary steps to save our marriage despite whatever deep waters might come our way. (I was told on e that if you even mention the possibility of divorce, the chances of it happening are higher.) Do you know how much security that adds to a relationship? Tons!! I don't have to worry about my husband seeing me at my worst. He vowed to love me for better or worse and I believe him! And I have done the same.
And here's one last one: is the person you are marrying going to make you a better person? Or are they going to bring you down? It's the whole "iron sharpens iron" thing (Proverbs 27:17). I don't know about you, but I like having a partner who keeps me accountable and encourages me to be a better woman. My husband pushes me and desires to see me grow. I am better because of him.
Now there are a bunch of other things that have popped into my mind as I've been writing, but I just wanted to share a few nuggets that have helped in my marriage. I've already shared all of these with my niece. And she thinks I'm the cat's meow and always takes my wisdom to heart so I know she has made an excellent decision in accepting this young man's proposal, keeping all my wise words tucked in her heart... (Ha! We'll see if she even reads this if I get a comment on Facebook about it!)
Awwww, young love!