Trick or Treat? Removing Your Relationship’s Mask before Saying “I Do”

TrickYou decide who you want to become for the night. You prepare your outfit, plan your approach and hope to end the night with a little sugar. You dream of treats, but primarily hope you don’t end up with a trick. It may sound like the average Halloween night, but this concept sadly applies to a first date. This process of masking yourself with hopes of getting treats over tricks may actually continue far past that first date. Over time, though, the relationship may grow to a point where you want to get married. Here is how you can remove the “mask” from your relationship before your big day.

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Know Yourself without the Mask

The key is to know who you are first without the mask. Imagine dressing up in the same Superman or Wonder Woman costume every single day. Each time you look in the mirror, go out in public or even have a moment to yourself, that is all you see and all that everyone around you sees. Before you can reveal your true self to your future spouse, you need to make sure that you have a firm grasp on your own authenticity. It is much easier to introduce the man or woman without the costume to your significant other if you clearly understand that person yourself.

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Embrace Each Other’s Weaknesses

The beauty of getting rid of the masks in your relationship is that you openly expose your weaknesses, flaws and frailties along with allowing your significant other to do the same. This type of honest exposure will only help your healthy relationship if you embrace and accept each other’s weaknesses. If you try to avoid them or encourage your partner to forcefully change them, you put the current (and future) status of your relationship at risk. Those masks are just illusions. You will never marry Superman or Wonder Woman. However, you can appreciate the super-side of your perfectly imperfect partners by accepting the fact that they are not illusions.

Maintain an Open Line of Communication

Another important part of the process for removing the mask (and keeping it off) is to maintain an open line of honest communication before and after your wedding day. A lot of couples that seek guidance from an Allen therapist or counselor struggle with this particular part of making their marriage work for one reason or another. Perhaps you have been lied to in the past and struggle to trust your partner.

On the other side of the same coin, you may have been the one to breach that trust and currently struggle to get it back. Either way, if you want to strengthen your relationship without pulling out those masks again, you must establish and maintain an open line of honest communication.

Are You Ready for This Step?

As you work on communicating honestly with your significant other, it is vital for you to seriously consider whether or not you are ready for such a big step. You can still build a strong relationship over time built on a foundation made of honesty, loyalty, love and commitment. However, rushing into this type of commitment when you are not ready can risk the overall structure of your relationship. If you sincerely love your significant other, you have way too much to lose to risk it on a premature or impulsive decision as if you were playing Russian roulette with your love life.

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Procrastination is Poison

“I/He/She will change eventually” is the worst train of thought on which to board a marriage. With that type of mental and emotional passenger of procrastination onboard, it is only a matter of time before the train derails. Taking the time to make the necessary changes now to achieve the key factors outlined above can actually strengthen your relationship and love, because it shows your future spouse just how much you are willing to do and sacrifice to make sure that your marriage is successful.

About the Author:

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan knows a thing or two about kids and families. First, she knows they are joyous, exhilarating, loving and so darn fun. Second, she knows they suck your life dry and make you weep like a baby. By day she’s a psychotherapist; by night she’s a mom and wife. She claims to love therapizing couples, educating parents, reading dystopian fiction and sleeping in her free time (read: she never sleeps). Jennifer has spent over 12 years in private practice working with individuals, couples, and parents who are faced with kid-drama, mamma-drama, and family-drama, and she claims that although some stories make a grown woman cry, she loves it.

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