3 Marriage Realities Singles Should Understand
I don’t think single people understand the marriage thing.
I’m specifically talking about the singles who claim to want marriage, but for some reason, find it elusive. Marriage is like a fraternity. All current members are looking over the fence at the singles who are trying to get in like, “What are they thinking?” Have you ever been to the club and people are jamming to the beat, having a good time, but there’s these one or few folks dancing uncoordinated and off beat? You know how you side eye those folks? Well… that’s the look married people are giving the singles.
Marriage can be what you want it to be, but there are some harsh, consistent, realities that will remain true because it’s….. well, it’s marriage!
Reality #1 – You can’t escape the sucky parts of marriage.
What do I mean? Any truthful married person will tell you marriage has a lot of sucky parts to it. The fantasy, feel good parts are there, but those occur (a) in the early stages of marriage and (b) after the work, sweat, drama, tears, and learning curve parts.
Getting to your twenty-five year anniversary doesn’t just happen. There will be some stories to tell before you get to that milestone.
In marriage, the fantasy moments are in the minority. I’m not talking about the good moments, but the fantasy Say Yes To The Dress(TM) type of moments. I’m not trying to scare anyone here, but it’s true.
A lot of the melodrama of marriage has to do with our view of marriage and our reasons for getting married to begin with. The truth is we bring all of our insecurities and issues into a union and now instead of just dealing with your stuff, you’re dealing with your spouse’s stuff too. Being married doesn’t make your garbage disappear. It just makes someone else have to shovel it with you. It can get messy and feel really uncomfortable – a lot. That’s just the reality.
This doesn’t mean marriage is not great or beneficial because it certainly is, but you can’t escape the realities of what it is. Two people, with strengths, weaknesses, opinions, and little to no marriage experience or relationship training, facing brand new challenges all the time. That’s what it is. It’s running the life race with your ankle tied to your spouse’s. It can go smooth once you get the grove, but turning corners and climbing walls will be humbling.
Married people watch single people trying to hedge their bets by picking out the ‘perfect’ person or someone they are madly in love with. That’s all good, but it’s not going to help your marriage. It won’t stop the heartache and tough times. What does reduce the heartache? Being true friends who love each other. Being madly in love with someone will just turn up the intensity of the good and bad times. That’s all. Oh, yeah, looking to be madly in love ends up delaying you getting married to begin with, which brings us to the next reality.
Reality #2 – Just do it. Marriage is something you do, not figure out or philosophize over.
It’s ok to be scared of the marriage commitment, because we all are. It’s horrifying for some or at least intimidating. But you’re going to have to do it. You’re going to have to stop delaying and judging everyone and understand that you’ll need to step off the cliff. You’re just delaying things. If you’re telling me you have a plan to get married later in life after you get established or whatever, fine. Do that and don’t approach relationships with that expectation. Be honest with anyone that you date that you’re just out for sex, because you’re not ready for serious commitment at the moment. Don’t get mad when folks break up because they’re ready and you’re not. Instead accept the reality you have chosen.
Reality #3 – You have no idea what marriage is.
Even if you’ve been married before it’s going to be different with your new partner, but i’m talking to those who’ve never been married before acting as if they know what it is. None of us do – even those of us who’ve been married twenty plus years. Each day is different in a marriage, each year, each week! And then each marriage is different, there are no two that compare equally. I’m approaching twenty years married and I literally have no idea what I’m doing. Past experience informs me, but nothing changes the fact this is my first time dealing with this present moment. Each moment is so vastly different from the last.
I have a sixteen year old son who’s working a job for the first time and trying to navigate the girls in high school and won’t listen to me at all. I have a fourteen year old daughter who’s ranked fashion and smartphones over food and water. Her and my wife tussle every day about clothes, homework and makeup. It’s like Mob Wives up in here. My youngest son realizes he’s smart now and is taking verbal revenge out on his siblings for being relegated to the bottom of the food chain for the first ten years of his life. We’ve created a monster with this one.
My wife is changing every day – hormonally, her desires, emotions, moods, you name it. I’m serious. She used to like the A/C on and windows open at night during the winter, but now she’s cold all the time. We’re still exploring aspects of our sexual connection, again, and just when we thought we had it all figured out. We’re still going on dates. She still gets mad a me. She still claims I don’t understand her. I’m just saying – it don’t stop, it won’t stop. 20 years and counting!
So, to conclude, these three realities result in the paralysis of analysis for many singles. My wife and I, as love coaches here at JujuMama’s Love Academy, are looking at some of the people you’re turning down and saying, “He/She was perfect marriage material. That’s the kind of person who you can really build with over the long run.” But ultimately you have to decide what you want. Do you want to enter the institution or not?
I’ve written a workbook called Manifesting Marriage for Women: 9 Steps to Finding Your Partner and Having a Successful Marriage – http://bit.ly/manifestingmarriage. I think those who might consider themselves ready for marriage will benefit from the exercises and perspective in this book. If you want marriage, let’s get serious about it and get our heads in the game!
Wishing everyone the best of luck in their journey.
Carl E Stevens, CEO
JujuMama’s Love Academy