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16774453717_8ac0b0c75c_zA huge misconception about marriage is that it will make your personal struggles easier — or even, that it will make those faults and flaws disappear altogether.

But most people in a committed relationship will know and admit that it actually can make those struggles harder and those flaws ever more apparent.

So it’s really important to take notice of those struggles before marriage — if you can, and to work on them; not just for you, but also for your spouse.

The best thing you can do for your spouse is to work on bettering yourself and to be committed to being the best that you can be — because as much as you think your spouse can help you become better (and they can!!), it ultimately lays in your own hands.

“Here’s the thing about having a healthy marriage: It starts long before the marriage begins.”

That’s from Debra Fileta of Relevant Magazine. She wrote on how to prepare for marriage while you’re still single. Honestly, all the points she makes are also relevant for couples who are engaged — and they can even be tweaked a little bit to be relevant for couples who are also already married.

But here’s the point I was speaking to…

Debra wrote:

“Build Healthy Habits

Believe it or not, all the things you struggle with as a single, you will likely continue to struggle with in your marriage. So there’s no better time to better yourself than before marriage.

“God’s word reminds us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. What are the areas of your life that are in need of some self-control? Your spending habits? Your emotional world? Your sexual struggles? Your leisure activities? How are you spending the precious minutes of your life, and are you building habits that will benefit your future marriage or hang-ups that will poison it?”

You can read the rest of her post here.

It’s easy to look back, after being married for some time, and see the areas we could have improved or worked more on before being married. But the past is the past, and when you realize there’s more work to do, just let the past go, and pick up where you are — and start the work today. Your marriage will thank you for it! 😉

photo credit: John Hope Photography