5 Skills to Learn Before You Get Married

WebMD Blog:

5 Skills to Learn Before You Get Married

By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD


While some couples are blissfully happy as they prepare to marry, others are a bit more cautious. They want to do all they can to create a strong foundation for what they hope will be a long and happy marriage. If you are one of those couples, you may wonder what goes into creating a solid a foundation.

Below are a few of the basics that can lay the groundwork for many happy years to come:

Constructive communication. It is essential that you both be able to express your thoughts and feelings, as well as truly listen to those of your partner. If there is a pattern of communication breaking down, focus on fixing it before you marry. Failing to do this will likely cause increasing problems in your relationship over time. So, if necessary, consider getting premarital counseling.

Constructive disagreements. All couples experience conflict. Couples who do best are those who can disagree without it harming the underlying respect and connection they feel for each other. They look to resolve – or accept – those differences in ways that leave both partners feeling valued.

Cooperative problem-solving. It is helpful to be able to work as a team to solve the many and varied difficulties that will arise in your lives together. Fortunately, when you have good communication skills and a sense of being a team, this often comes naturally.

Nurtured acceptance and forgiveness. Couples that thrive include partners who focus on each other’s positive traits and downplay negative ones.

Work-fun balance. Couples who remain happy do the “work” of addressing important topics before problems arise, and when problems do come up, they work to maintain a positive connection. For those planning to marry, this generally includes having discussions beforetaking your vows about issues that will affect your daily life together – such as whether you want to have children (and issues related to raising children), religious beliefs and practices, issues related to money (such as short and long term planning), and feelings, thoughts, and concerns you have regarding your sex life. Yet, even with all of these important conversations, being happy together also means prioritize fun and romance in your lives. So, find activities you enjoy doing together, and make sure you do them regularly.

You and your partner may do all of the above things naturally, or might find that it helps to get a little guidance, whether by reading self-help content (like this article) or via premarital counseling or classes (either secular or religiously based ones). Interestingly, such classes have been shown to lower divorce rates and improve life satisfaction. But what’s most important is that you find a way – whatever way works for you – to address the above points and place yourselves on a path toward a wonderful journey together.


The opinions expressed in WebMD Second Opinion are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD Second Opinion are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider Second Opinion as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.