I’ve always wanted to get married. If I pull out journals from the past, all you will read about is how desperate I was to find “the one” (even at the tender age of 16). To me, getting married was the high point of a person’s life. And, to delve even deeper than that, finding my “soulmate” would have convinced me that SOMEONE out there loves me, not just my mom.
But the older I’ve become, the more I’ve learned what marriage really is about. In actuality, I wanted the wedding all those years. As I got older, I realized marriage was more than just the 3-4 hours on a Saturday you spend in a white dress with a bunch of people. It’s way more. More than I think I am ready for.
I don’t know anything, really, about marriage. So, doling out any advice about it would probably be really pointless. I know that marriage is about compromise. I know that it’s 2 very different people living together, putting up with each other’s idiosyncrasies and annoying habits, and learning about who that other person REALLY is. Cause the truth of the matter is, EVERYONE looks cute and perfect when you’re dating. Heck, they still look like that 6 months after marriage. That’s a huge problem I have with those people who get married and post pictures and stupid statuses about their “amazing husband” who pumped gas in the car because it was going to snow the next day or their “sexy, beautiful wife” who cooked Shake & Bake for dinner after working 8 hours. I’m sorry, but is it wrong to think that’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do? Aren’t spouses SUPPOSED to take care of each other? I’m not saying wives are SUPPOSED to cook or husbands are SUPPOSED to be the mechanics…. but those things that these annoying people are posting are things that make marriage sound so idyllic. Why don’t you see those statuses like, “Man, I love my husband, but if I walk in the bathroom and see his underwear hanging on the doorknob one more time, I swear to God…..” or “I love my wife, but she sucks at cooking” (this would probably be what my husband says). I want to tell these obnoxious people, can you talk to me in 10-15 years after you’ve LIVED life? After you’ve had kids with health issues? After you’ve got into some sort of financial crisis? After one or both have lost your job or have some health crisis? Or how about when your kids have grown and moved out, and your left with this stranger that just years ago you were gushing over about how well they put gas in your car? Please don’t tell me how amazing your significant other is a week/month/year after the honeymoon is over. Call me in 15 years. (PS: Is it just me or does the honeymoon stage seem to last a lot longer than 6 months nowadays?!).
But I digress.
What I do know about marriage, and I believe this more today than ever before, is that I want my husband to be my friend. I want to be able to look at him and say that I genuinely like him. That if we were two strangers thrown into a room, I would like his company. I never want to say that he and I aren’t friends and we don’t like each other. To think that those are words that I could possibly say to my husband scares me. This is why watching these young 20-year-olds getting married lately gets me so riled up. I am 30 years old and feel so cautious and anxious about getting married. How is it so easy for these kids!? What do they know that I missed? Was there a class I was supposed to take as an undergrad? How is it that suddenly they’re ready to MARRY this person?
I blame Facebook and Pinterest for this. Weddings LOOK perfect. Marriages SOUND ideal. Of course hanging out with other young married couples for game nights SOUND fantastic. Congratulations, you’re in the married club! But, have you and your spouse had the conversation about what kind of parent that person will be? What kind of plan do we want for the first 5 years? What’s our goal as a couple? As individuals? As a family? What will happen if we’re strapped financially? What are our weakness in communicating with each other? What are our strengths? What if one of us gain so much weight that we’re not attracted to them? Can we have honest conversations? What if we’re unhappy? What if one day we look at each other and realize we don’t like each other? Are we willing to get help or are we going to throw in the towel? Is THIS the person you’re willing to fight tooth and nail to keep at your side for the rest of your life? That even when THEY want to give up, you won’t?? What if you lose a baby in miscarriage? What if you have a child with special needs or health problems that require your full attention, that your marriage suffers? What if the skeletons in your closet, that you so effortlessly pushed into the closet, come back to haunt you? What then? I wish these were questions and conversations that these people have had. Perhaps, they have. Maybe I’m being too judgmental. Just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean they aren’t. So I shouldn’t compare myself to them.
All I can speak for is myself. All I know is, once I make that commitment and covenant in front of God, there’s no turning back and that’s a vow I may not be ready to make just yet.
May God be with all those who have made it, are about to, or are in a place where you’re thinking about asking.
Better you than me.