Newly engaged couples might spend hours deliberating over the perfect place settings and kitchen appliances to add to their wedding registries.
Yet while a well-stocked wedding registry might help a couple acquire the physical items they need to start their life together, there's a lot more to a strong, successful marriage than just having the right houseware.
After the wedding and honeymoon period are over, married couples are going to need continued love and support to help them grow as individuals and as a couple, endure the inevitable rough patches, and keep their relationship healthy and satisfying through the long haul.
Enter the marriage registry.
As with a wedding registry, friends and family will be invited to pledge to provide the items on the list.
But in a marriage registry, the list is not made up of physical gifts. Rather, it consists of the types of support social, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise a couple may need throughout their marriage.
The process of creating a marriage registry can be an important of marriage preparation and can be incorporated into premarital counseling programs. It involves a careful consideration by the couple of some of the challenges they may face during their marriage and also offers ideas for how support from friends and family can help the couple navigate those challenges.
As with a wedding registry, each couple's marriage registry is unique to their relationship. Some couples might recognize that the dynamics of their relationship or the unique attributes of their personalities might require more external support in one area and less in another area.
Unlike a wedding registry, however, it's never too late to build a marriage registry! Even couples who have been married for decades can find the exercise to be a fruitful one.