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Hearts are Bound By: Rev. Shannon Mackay

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What is a successful marriage?


Think about it. Did you ever take a class on marriage in school or church? Were any offered? Our beliefs about love and marriage are primarily based on models provided by our parents, then by movies, books, and society in general. In the absence of real knowledge, some myths have been created that have become conventional wisdom. Some of those myths are:


Myth: Opposites attract—a couple, in their differences, complement each other.
Reality:Great relationships require identical core values.


Myth: Love will carry you through the hard times in a relationship.
Reality: It is shared values that will pull you through a crisis.


Myth: You need to work on your marriage if you want it to be good.
Reality:Relationships don’t have problems, people do.


Myth:Selflessness and giving to others builds the best relationships.
Reality:Clear limits and boundaries build mutual respect and lasting relationships.


Myth: Unconditional acceptance of your partner is the foundation of a good relationship.
Reality: If you don’t make demands of your partner, then you don’t really care.


Myth: Frequent conflicts are a sign that a marriage is in trouble.
Reality: Your willingness to engage in conflicts determines the depth and quality of your relationship. I cannot stress enough.........
TALK, TALK, TALK and keep talking to each other. Set aside couch time as often as you can!


Myth: Spending lots of time together is very important.
Reality: The best relationships are low maintenance and high in intimacy.


Myth: Trusting your partner is essential to a good relationship.
Reality: It is trusting yourself that is essential.


(The Myths and Realities shown here are from "Love in the Present Tense" by:Morrie & Arleah Schectman.)


Many marriage education experts caution that when couples believe in the myths of "happily-ever-after" or "love conquers all," problems in the marital relationship may surface within a short time after the wedding.


The success or failure of your marriage relationship may hinge on how well you deal with issues such as finances, sexuality, communication, conflict, parenting, in-laws, leisure time, family of origin, spirituality, expectations, and chores.


Even though you may be very busy with wedding preparations, it is critical that you make time now to prepare for your life time together by exploring your relationship in more depth.


Communication, along with a willingness to grow closer together, is one of the keys to a successful marriage.


To get to know one another better you can play the play "The Newlywed Board Game" together you can look over these questions that I believe you need to ask one another if you want t improve your future marital life.

General issues to talk about


why are we getting married? pregnancy, financial security, loneliness or wanting to get out of the family home are not valid reasons to get married.


What do we as a couple want out of life?


What do you think we'll be doing in thirty or forty years?


How often do you drink?


Have you ever hit someone


Do you think it is important to be faithful to one another


Do you have a criminal record?


Are you willing to replace the toilet tissue roll?


Family origin issues to talk about


What was your childhood like?


Was your family an affectionate one?


Do you think we will have problems with your family during the holidays?


What do you like and dislike about your family?


What do you like and dislike about my family


What do you like and dislike about your parents' marriage?


What do you like and dislike about my parents' marriage?


Self Image


How would you describe yourself?


How do you think I see you?


Am I a jealous person?


Do I have trust issues or feel insecure?


How important s affirmation to me?


Do I handle compliments well?


What is your love language?


Do you think we listen to one another well?


Do you think it is important to know one another's physical and mental health histories?


Time and chores issues to talk about


Will you clean the toilet?


How are we going to divide up the household chores?


What are your expectations about how we will spend our free time?


How do you want to spend our days off?


Do you believe that we should be doing everything together?


Can we each pursue our own interests?


Do you need or want time alone?


How would you feel if I want a night out with friends now and then?


How will we make sure we have quality time together?


How much time will we spend with our in-laws?


Money Issues to talk about


Can we talk about money?


Are you a saver or spender when it comes to money?


Do you want to have a budget?


Should we have a joint checking account or separate accounts or both?


Who is going to be responsible for making sure that bills are paid on time?


Do you consider going to the movies and having a vacation every year a necessity or a luxury?


How much do we owe in debts and what are our assets?


Where does our money go?


What are our financial goals?


Do you have any outstanding fines or debts?


What are our future plans for purchasing a home?


Do we both know where our important financial documents are?


Parenting Issues to talk about


Do you want to have children?


Do we want to have children?


If we decide we do, how many children do you want to have?


How long should we be married before we have children?


What kind of parent do you think you will be?


What is your parenting philosophy?


Will one of us stay home after w have children?


What type of birth control should we use if we want to postpone or prevent parenthood?


How do you feel about adoption?


Do you have any children already?


Spirituality and Religious issues to talk about


Does religion play and important part in your life?


Do you think faith and spirituality are important in a marriage?


What is your image of God?


Sexual Issues to talk about


Can we talk about sex?


Should we talk about sex?


Are you comfortable discussing your sexual likes and dislikes?


What are your expectations of our sexual relationship?


Conflict Issues to talk about


How will we make decisions together?


Are we both willing to face into difficult areas or do we try to avoid conflict?


Do you think we have problems in our relationship that we need to deal with before our wedding?


Do we handle conflict well?


How are we different?


Do you think our differences will create problems in our marriage?


Do you expect or want me to change?


Can we both forgive?


Are we both willing to work on our communication skills and to share intimately with each other?


Love is a choice, not magic. Being “in love” is not the same as loving. For your marriage to flourish, and that means that you are both happy and nurturing each other and yourselves to becoming the most that you can be, you must be committed to love and nourish each other after the glow of being “in love” wanes. Do you know how to do this?


You can take a marriage compatibility test here:


Contact Us:

Hearts are bound by: Shannon Mackay

Carolina Beach, NC28428

Founder of: Pleasure Island Wedding Professional Group

Find us on Facebook: Pleasure Island Wedding Professionals