What we value is an outgrowth of where we find meaning. Each of us must do the work to understand our belief system and our family and communal heritage. Then we must communicate that to our partners. There is still more work to be accomplished, however. You want to get it done before planning your wedding ceremony (or maybe, more realistically begin this work, because this is a work in progress!). That way your wedding ceremony and your wedding vows will be able to speak to who you are and what you value. It will celebrate the deep value have for one another. That’s a marriage your community is going to support. If you don’t look at those things, you are likely to communicate other things to your community: such as how you’ve not really thought very deeply about this important step you’re taking.
There’s not a lot of discussion about Moral Intimacy. While the two of you may be deeply moral people (and most people are), you may not have taken the time to clarify your own code of ethics, let alone heard your partner articulate his or hers. Think of your ethics as how you express your belief system in the world.
- What are your deepest values?
- How do you act upon them?
- How do you act against them?
- What are your values and characteristics of which you are most proud?
- What are your partner’s values and characteristics which you most admire?
- Where are your values most compatible?
- Where do you think you might need some clarification of values so that you can deepen your compatibility?
- How are your values supported by your community?
- Where do your values conflict with your community?
- How do you want to resolve those conflicts?
Tip: People with wildly divergent religious and spiritual beliefs can have very similar values. Family upbringing and community nurturing instill values in all of us. You want your values to work for you. You want to live in close alignment with your values. When your partner’s and your values are both known and integral to your life, you will be living as you want to live, together. You’ll want to communicate that in your wedding ceremony and in your wedding vows. Even more importantly, you’ll want to live it out in your marriage. Knowing who you are and who your partner is will lessen the struggle in your marriage and heighten the pleasure. Get clear and get going!