I’m taking a little bit of a breather today to share something that’s been on my mind for a little while. It’s about, yep, you guessed it, MARRIAGE or at least how a lot of us mistakenly view this sometimes magical, sometimes monstrous social contract. So, as we head into what is often touted as “Marriage Season” here are a few things that you might consider if you are, or ever think that you might want to marry. Remember, these are my views from my experience so take it for what it is. If you don’t agree, that’s your right.
1. Marriage is not a 50/50 endeavor
I’m not the first person to say this but it’s true. At various points in the relationship one partner will invariably feel as though they are shouldering far more of the responsibilities of the relationship than the other. Guess what, you probably are. Life isn’t neat and tidy, but when you care for and are invested in your partner and the relationship you’ll bare the burden as needed. This goes for men and women. Before you go off hollering…
2. One partner should NEVER allow the other to ALWAYS shoulder the heavy lifting alone
If you cared enough about the person to pledge your life to them, why would you reduce your relationship to that of a master and slave. Seriously?
3. If your partner likes flowers, buy him/her flowers
Don’t get caught up in your own personal issues about “I don’t want to give you something that dies” or “I bring home the bacon and that should be enough” or “you should know I love you, I’m here, right?” Some people just like flowers, buy them flowers.
4. Marriage isn’t easy
In fact, marriage is one of the hardest things in the world to do well. At some point (sometimes many points) you will fantasize about what you life would be like if you weren’t “shackled” to your spouse. It’s usually when you’re angry about something s/he did or didn’t do that disappointed you. Take a beat and pray about it. Don’t go after your spouse in anger, bad things happen when we confront situations while highly emotional.
5. Never tell your spouse you don’t love them
It’s not okay. Those words aren’t impossible to overcome but it’s damn hard. Love isn’t something that should be waived in front of a spouse like a doggie treat is waived by a trainer. Nor should it be withheld as a punishment for something you wanted him/her to do. This is your partner in life. Treat him/her with the respect you want to be treated with.
Do I really have to explain this one?
7. Seek the trusted counsel of those who have worked at marriage for a long time
Elders are such a blessing and long married elders have great wisdom to impart to those of us who are in the early stages of our marriages.
8. If your spouse asks you to come with him or her to marriage counseling, GO!
Set pride aside. There are marriage counselors for a reason. Some people are comfortable going to a spiritual advisor but let me tell you, some folks need to go to a professional “licensed” counselor. Ask to see their credentials. Some issues are beyond the “pray and leave it alone” treatment. God gives us many resources, use them.
9. Marriage isn’t for everyone
For real, not everyone is up to the task and willing to put in the daily work.
10. Abuse within the union of marriage is not okay
There are lots of forms of abuse. Physical leaves visible evidence but Emotional/Mental abuse can be harder to discern. It is not okay to abuse or allow anyone to abuse you. That is not God’s plan for your life, PERIOD.
If you’d like to read some wonderful advice by one of our other talented team members, check out:
5 Week Marriage Tune Up by Coletta J. Patterson