Marriage: a word that is becoming more and more taboo in today’s society and raising more debates than causal discussions. Although there may be a vast majority who may opt out on the thought of spending the rest of their lives with one person, there are still some who strongly consider such a commitment as an aspiration in life. I am one of the hopefuls that daydream about the day that I walk down the aisle to exchange stammering, tear-filled vows with the person I love.
As a woman, I have marriage pushed on me both subtly in quite whispers of “you’re a gorgeous girl, you’ll make a young man happy one day,” and not so subtly with raging inquires of when I am going to finally start dating. I used to be extremely put off by the thought of marriage in my early teenage years, but as I got older and learned many powerful lessons of what it truly means to be married. I learned these paramount lessons from the ultimate teachers — my parents.
Accept your spouse for who they are and what they come with.
This means that when you commit to marriage, you commit to who your spouse is whole heartedly. Everyone has baggage. Accepting your spouse for who they are will go a very long way.
Communication is the sword that protects the marriage.
This may be the most crucial lesson. Talking out any problems that may arise or just having the comfort of knowing that you and your spouse can partake in open dialogue is what has kept and is keeping my parents’ marriage strong. I learned that communication is not always comfortable and some discussions may evoke emotions and topics that a married couple would want to avoid at all costs, but communication opens the door to solution and understanding.
Just because it’s not the right time, doesn’t mean it’s not right.
Separation happens. I learned that at thirteen when my parents split and my father left the household. Although this was a hard and confusing time, it taught me so much about how important it is to consider and be open to reuniting with your spouse.
Marriage is all I’ve known because it’s all I’ve seen. And I’ve seen it all. My parents, who’ve been married for 28 years, did a great job in being transparent in showing what it takes to make it work. Though I can’t fathom vowing away my freedom and singlehood and self-centeredness, I can appreciate the union from just observing my parents and actually think I might enjoy it one day…and possibly be prepared for it based on what I’ve learned thus far.
You never stop learning your partner.
Your partner is a complex human being. As we all are. The person you once met is steadily evolving, birthing new layers while the others wither. And sometimes, when the opportunity arises, you’ll see things blossom within them you’ve never before seen that reaffirms you made the right choice. And you’ll fall in love all over again…
But don’t act surprised if they haven’t changed. And please do not try to change them.
You knew who they were before you spoke your vows. And if you didn’t, shame on you. Though circumstances may change, your partner may not. And you can’t hold that against them because apart of marriage is accepting a person for who they are. Unless it damaging to health and prosperous living, deal with it!
Marriage clichés are bullshit.
It’s okay to go to bed mad. You wake up the next day, and try it again. Because naps makes everyone feel better, right? If the foundation of your marriage is love, then understanding will come. Emotional whiplash is temporary. Take your time. Respect each other’s emotional processes, especially during conflict, and talk about it when you feel better, gain more clarity, and are able to think through your thoughts considerately.
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