What I learned about marriage at 37,000 feet

4:26 pm Unknown 0 Comments

Earlier this year I took a 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg. That is long time to watch a limited selection of shows on an airline TV.

I found myself on this long flight watching a TED Talk by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Meg Jay on 'Why 30 is not the new 20'. The focus of her talk is that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life it doesn't mean that our twenties are a throw away decade. 

One thing Dr. Jay at 37,000 feet said stuck with me, 

"The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you."
I don't believe you are ever too old to make good choices about your future or your family so I asked iBelieve.com if I could write about what I learned on the plane that day and share  7 ways to prepare for marriage in your twenties that I could think of. 

Here's how that article starts:
“How would my spouse feel if they could see my now?” I’m not sure when this became a question I asked myself on an almost daily basis in my teens.

I do remember hanging out with a group of guys and girls and thinking, “If my future husband is one of these guys I wouldn’t want him to be treating that girl that way.” I then started thinking about my own interactions with the opposite sex. I realized that the patterns of behavior I began in my teen years would most likely be the same ones that followed me into marriage. If I flirted with every guy I met, this would be a hard habit to break once I was married. 

I didn’t get married till I was 29. So I spent more than 10 years preparing for marriage. Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t one of those girls whose life depended on finding a man and getting married. In fact I was told repeatedly, if you want to marry someone someday you have to put yourself out there with guys.  

What I didn’t know while used this time to prepare for marriage is what was going on in my brain. Clinical Psycologist Dr. Meg Jay says, “We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself now is the time to change it. We know that personality changes more during your 20s than at any other time in life…”

In America, the average age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men — up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960. While marriage is happening later in life, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start preparing for your marriage in your early twenties. 

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