My mother, bless her soul, used to tell me, “Anybody can get married.” And since she said, it, I believed it when I was young, and I STILL believe it. You, of course, don’t want to marry just anybody. You want to marry someone with whom you will be happy for the rest of your life. There is no failsafe way of determining who that someone is, of course, but here are some things to think about.
Dear Engaged (or soon to be engaged) Couple-
Today I want to talk deep. So many of my blogs are light, fluffy things, like you read in wedding magazines. But I’m not really a fluffy person. My life runs deep like a river. Still, for my blogs, I generally use lots of “you know”s. and I pepper the things with exclamation points! Sometimes I actually crochet my words together—words like luscious, perfumed, and delicate– so that the blog is like a doily—just a simple decoration for my website. But of course, marriages are not light and fluffy things. WEDDINGS can be, but marriages are not.
1) You aren’t just marrying a person, you are marrying a family. Be sure you know that family well. Do they share your values? Do they seem to genuinely like you? Are your future in-laws happy enough with their own lives, that they won’t be insinuating themselves into yours? In-laws can intentionally or unintentionally sabotage a marriage. Begin talking with your significant other (SO) NOW, about boundaries. If your in-laws live in the same town, for instance, will you be seeing them once a week? Twice a week? More often than that? Does your SO seem more devoted to them than to you? In a stand-off between you and your mother-in-law or your father-in-law, would your SO support you?
2) Carefully study the mother of your girlfriend, the father of your boyfriend. Some folks insist that they are destined to become that person—it’s a matter of genes. I don’t agree with that—however, I DO think that it is difficult to recreate oneself–it’s like swimming against the tide, dancing the tango to a polka tune, or reciting the pledge of allegiance while everyone else is reciting Shakespeare. Look deeply into the soul of your SO. Discover if he or she is walking into the wind, or being pushed along by it.
3) Talk money. Number one subject of marital disagreements—money. Is he into sound systems? Does your 1980’s boombox fill the bill for you? Are you already thinking about the expensive dining room table and chairs you want for your new apt/house? Is he content to live in a shack, but wanting to get
a new car as soon as he gets that bonus? You get the idea. If
your wants and desires are so totally different, this may not be the match for you.
4) Finally, realize that like everything else, marriage is a process. If you are not growing (learning, expanding your horizons, delving into new projects together as separately) then you are dying. If already your relationship is like that pond that is so black and dank that even algae won’t grow there, then something is definitely wrong. If you are bored with your dating or living together arrangement NOW, what do you expect your marriage will be like? Talk about ways to spice up your relationship. Find new couple friends, take up a couples’ sport—yes, even bowling. Attend a couples’ book group. If you still can’t fix things, then move on. Like my mother said, ANYBODY can get married. But you don’t want to marry just anybody.
Continued blessings your way. Gay Lee