Things to know before you say ‘I do’

2018-02-22 06:00
PHOTO: sourcedClinical psychologist and psychometrics expert Dr Cathrin Venter.

PHOTO: sourcedClinical psychologist and psychometrics expert Dr Cathrin Venter.

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IT is the month of love and as many got to be pampered in celebration of their love yesterday on Valentine’s Day, local psychologist Dr Cathrin Venter offers a few pointers for all those inspired to tie the knot this month.

From her experience with patients, Dr Venter said the three paramount values necessary for all marriages to work are trust and honesty, consistent hard work and addressing conflicts as they arise.

“In order for a person to truly feel safe with someone, you have to be able to trust the person. However, that person must be trustworthy.

“Also, don’t sweep issues under the carpet, they have a nasty way of resurfacing and will gain momentum every time they are ignored,” said Venter.

She said many marriages have broken down because the couples never discussed what their needs and expectations were before going into the marriage. “Not discussing each other’s core values and needs before marriage can lead to unsurmountable conflict. For an example, do both of us want children, where do we want to live and work, how do we see our extended families in relation to our relationship, and what about differences in religion, culture and individual perceptions of life? These issues need to be raised before a marriage,” said Venter, adding that finances and how they will be managed is another important factor.

Marriage changes people’s lives in many ways, she said, and in the modern age a major challenge for young couples is adapting to a married life and having to make a few changes to their lifestyle.

“One or both partners may still want to live the life of a bachelor or bachelorette, going out with friends at all hours of the night, leaving their partner to take on the burden of all the responsibilities, while they have fun outside of their relationship. These are some of the challenges. And alcohol and substance abuse is often part of this scenario and adds to the complexities of this type of relationship.”

“Saying ‘I do’ is just the beginning of a marriage. A marriage needs consistent work and focus. Complacency can be detrimental to any relationship,” said Venter.

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