It’s amazing to me, that in most of the Western Civilized world, we predominantly marry for love(not that it’s a bad thing). In the past and in certain geographical areas of the world that has not always been the case. It’s amazing because its something that should really be taken with very much more consideration.
Have you ever gone to the casino and bet the family business? Me neither. However a fair amount of us fall in love, decide this is “the one” and get married. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We actually make the biggest decision of our lives based on an immediate emotional state. Why is that important? Because essentially a lot of marriage is a business. If you don’t believe me just ask the lawyers. They’re the ones that negotiate the fate of the company when it breaks up. Marriage is a legal obligation. This is why pre-nups were invented. Marriage is usually recognized by the church or the state or both. While the institutions have to deal with the custody, financial, and property rights it’s usually the individuals that have to bear the burden of the breakup. You don’t want to be in that spot.
In the prior centuries and in other countries people have also married for Royalty reasons, security reasons, status reasons, family loyalty obligation, and money reasons. Examples: A Prince to a Princess(for the continued illusion of Blue Blood), a marriage between Royalty for the binding of two previous warring countries, the marriage to the CEO and in turn the Trophy Wife, an arranged marriage as done in Asian countries such as China until 1950, and the taking of a wife with the biggest dowry.
If you’re idealistic(naive) like me, you may think that Love conquers all……..well, sometimes it does, but not always. There are other facets of love beyond mere attraction and likability. Things like respect, patience, understanding, tolerance, and even being blind at the appropriate moment.
If I had my way( and I usually don’t), it would be mandatory that everyone would have about six months of therapy before they got married.
If I had my way( and I usually don’t), it would be mandatory that everyone would have to take a marriage test. A written test; with multiple choice, true and false, and essay(although the test would not be a pass/fail determiner qualification). I myself may not have passed the test, but the point being that people should think about their decision in an adult and mature fashion(is that naive or idealistic!!!).
Things to think about before marriage:
Will there be a Honey-Do list? A reciprocal Honey-Do list(can they handle each other’s list)? What is a Honey-Do list?
Are Spiritual/Religious Values important? Is it necessary to be absolutely alike, or is each finding their own path. For sure to have a succesful union to work it will have to at least have both people sharing the same Values and Ideals but maybe not necessarily the same institution.
Sexual/Emotional compatibility is important also. Sexual incompatibility can destroy a marriage. If sexual abstinence is observed before marriage then it might be a good idea to obtain a Sex Manual and review and discuss EVERY page together. Sure we want discovery on the honeymoon but not unwarranted rejection or ignorance. Sexual compatibility should not be presumed. Again another issue that can just be blindly misunderstood.
Emotional compatibility is important to compare and share very simple things. Can he listen? Can she listen? Is he morose and she upbeat? Is she sullen and he anxious? Emotional outlook is very important. Is he/she happy in other situations besides just being with you. See how they are in the supermarket, the restaurant, long trips, short trips, and every other situation without them tailoring their needs to yours. What you may find may shock you. If they’re only nice in your presence then eventually they may be unnice to you. If they’re not courteous to the help, waiters, attendants,and service people then they eventually may not be nice to you.
More stuff: In-laws, parents, children, discipline, household/yard/car chores, shared interests, vacations, travel, friends, food & cooking, politics, House & Home. Everything is on the table.
Beginnings: It’s a very good idea to disclose ALL of your BAGGAGE if you can, ask them for their own. It’s a very good idea to declare absolute DEAL BREAKERS early in the relationship(but maybe not to early), request their own. It’s a very good idea to declare ABSOLUTE MUSTS early in the relationship(but maybe not to early), request their own. The very reason to declare this stuff is it won’t be nice and it won’t be settled later. Address it now.
Last words almost: Men, marriage requires maintenance just like other things in your life, Ladies, don’t expect to change him after the marriage, it’s too late then.
None of these things need complete agreement from both parties, however, there should be a majority of agreement or at least understandings of the differences with future noted expectations.
With all that is said it should still be noted that even smart people get divorced, mature people get divorced, religious people get divorced, it’s not the end of the world.
I do believe that marriage for love is very, very good. But…I also believe that it’s OK to be smart. The two are not incompatible.
I found this excellent quote(with no last name given):
|It’s not who you are to the world, it’s who you are to me. It’s not how many times I say I love you… it’s how much I really do.|
|– Mary Ann|