There is no Rewind Button in Life

16 Aug

orig. published 7/7/11

Are we so disenchanted with the ever after notion of marriage that we are
willing to write it off completely?  A new article on HuffingtonPost.com seems
to think so, according to Dr. Neil Clark Warren, an increasing number of
Americans are leaning toward the notion that institute of marriage is becoming
obsolete.  Take a look around you and you may tend to agree with him, after all
in the last decade the number of unmarried couples choosing cohabitation as an
option has increased more than 25% and 45% to 50% of marriages end in divorce
with the number only rising with each marriage.  With such staggering data to
choose from it makes you wonder why the GLBT community is fighting so hard for
the right to marry when they too are surely doomed to the same fate.

I suspect that the problem lies in the definition of what a marriage really
is.  I saw so many of my classmates graduate high school and jump into marriage
with unreasonable expectations only to end up living in a miserable situation or
eventually divorcing.  I realize you may be wondering what a single girl knows
about what makes a successful marriage and while I have never been married I
have learned quite a bit from trial and error and just simply by watching the
best example a person can have for what makes a lasting marriage, my parents,
whose 50th wedding anniversary is coming up this next year.

1.    Practice Common Sense: Chances are that that
person that you thought you just couldn’t live without in high school is not the
one.  I know it sounds cliche and when I was younger I refused to believe when
people told me that I was too young to really understand what love was but as I
grew older I realized that I really didn’t.  By the grace of God I dodged so
many bullets but I know where I could be right now.  physical appearance,
similar tastes those things are not what make a marriage last, sure similar
taste will give you something to talk about but if you don’t
RESPECT each other then you will never want to talk to each
other.  Just a reminder, respect means to show consideration for someone, you
may have 100 things in common but if you can’t respect that person for the 1000
things you don’t have in common then you probably shouldn’t be getting
married.

2.    Patience is a Virtue:  No matter what you may
think, there is no rush, take your time.  I am a huge proponent of living with
someone before you get married, you never really know someone until you have
lived with them for at least a year.  This is when you will find out about each
others quirks and if you can’t find a way to deal with those quirks or to
compromise somehow on them during that first year or so living together what
really makes you think that you will feel any different 10 years down the
road.  Just remember, those little things that you thought were cute in the
beginning usually end up being what drives a wedge between you in the end.

3.    Marriage Does Not Equal Happy:  The fact is
you will have good and bad days but its how you handle the bad days that will
determine how good those good days will be.  Just because you believe in fairy
tales does not mean that they exist, marriage, or any relationship for that
matter, is hard work and it takes that hard work from both people and if both of
you are not 100% willing to do the work then you are not 100% ready to be
married just yet.

4.    Two Heads Are Better Than One:  Now, do not
misinterpret what I am about to say as I know many probably will but a marriage
consists of TWO people but BOTH of those people CAN NOT be the head of house,
one of you will have to take the lead.  I was raised in a very devout Christian
home and my parents taught me that Christ was the head of man, man was the head
of woman and God was the head of Christ.  Now, however this works out for you
someone has to be the head, BUT if the person who is the head of the house is
right (with God) then not only will they consult with God then they will also
consult with their partner to come to the best decision for all involved.
Whether or not you like it I have seen it in action and it works and believe me,
if you are with someone who respects you then you will never have anything to
worry about.

5.    Support Your Spouse:  This ties into number
4, support your partner in their decisions, you may not always like them and you
don’t have to but you put in your two cents and your partner makes the best
decision they can with the information that they have available.  Now, what I am
not saying is this, for example, I had a partner one time who was a wrestling
fanatic and would spend our money on gear for him to wrestle in, this included
money for bills.  I did not support his choice because that was his immaturity
showing through.  However, if your love is offered a job in another city, a far
off city, and the two of you have discussed the pros and cons of the decision,
whatever his choice is, support him in it.  It may turn out to have been the
wrong choice, but it happens and you will make the best of the situation.

This was the way that my mom explained it to me many, many years ago, if you
fall in love with a man, ask yourself the following, is he a Godly man, when
faced with a problem how does he handle it?  If he consults with you for your
input and then prays about it to the Lord you are indeed a blessed woman.  Is he
a hard worker, will he do what is necessary to provide for his family or will he
squander away your work on useless things?  Does he respect you, will he turn to
you for advice when he is troubled, will he turn to you for comfort when he is
in pain, will he share with you his joys and triumphs, will he be honest with
you in all areas of your life together?  If you can answer yes to ALL of those
then you are a lucky woman.

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to relationships, it
comes down to this, if you are not able to honestly and openly listen to your
gut then be prepared to make huge mistakes and be even more prepared to clean up
the mess when it all come tumbling down around you.  Marriage is a contract, a
union, that is not to be entered into lightly, as my Daddy would say, “measure
twice, cut once.”

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