Yep, I said it. Sorry, not sorry, but someone had to say it! There’s this unspoken reality about marriage that many people don’t talk about. As a Christian and a Catholic, I’m supposed to be all for marriage for everyone, BUT I’m not. I’m really not! I don’t believe that marriage is for everyone. It just isn’t. Some people just aren’t called to that sort of sacrament. Some people just aren’t meant to commit to the sacrament of matrimony. It’s not right to pressure anyone into marriage. If we were all meant for the married life there wouldn’t be nuns, monks, etc.
This is a topic that I’m passionate about because several of my unmarried friends assume that I’ll always be trying to get them married since I’m married. The reality is that I’m not. I respect where they are in life, and understand that everyone’s journey is different. There are several reasons not to be married, and several reasons to be married. I believe you should not be married if thinking of “us” for every decision you make is a problem that you can’t get past. I know! It’s ridiculous, right? Not for married people.
I spent my undergraduate saving up for a car. My parents are not the sort to buy you a car because you graduated type, so I saved up a lot during my undergraduate because I really wanted my own car. I planned to get a car for myself for my graduation. Well, before that I met my now husband, and it was cool because he had his own car. The summer after my graduation, I got my very first car. For the first time in my life, something was mine. I didn’t have to share it, and it felt amazing! Well, obviously I would share it with my husband after we got married, but not as much because it was going to be primarily MINE.
Well, God had other plans. The summer leading up to our vows my husband’s car broke down, and it was going to cost an arm, and a leg to fix it so guess what? The car that I saved up for my entire undergraduate for was now a shared thing. I was getting a taste of married life before even stepping into it. At first, it was totally fine. I started my master degree that same summer and was working as well so my husband who was my fiancée at the time would drop me off at work, and take the car for the day, and that was the arrangement. Might I add, I also had to add him on my insurance, which made it a bit more expensive. I was learning about many things! The car that was going to give me all the freedom to explore that I didn’t have before was now taken from me.
That was how I saw it. That was how I felt about it. Thinking back, maybe that was God’s way of giving me an out if I wasn’t ready for the whole married life thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer that once you’re married what is yours becomes your husband’s, and what is your husband’s becomes yours. In my mind at the time, we weren’t married yet, and I wanted the car I paid my own money for all for myself. It felt selfish, but for someone who had to work for everything they’ve ever had, I didn’t feel selfish. I felt in the right. I felt that I should be the one spending more time in the car since I paid for it. I mopped for a few days and then talked to my fiancée about it. We made some changes to give me more time in the car. No problem, however, I soon realized I really liked my husband driving so we went back to that.
That, my friends, was my first taste of what married life was going to be like. My first taste of the rude awakening God was bringing into my life. See, I worked hard for everything that I have. I worked hard so that I could live a comfortable life, and I knew that one day it would pay off. It didn’t go as I had planned, but my husband, and I went into our marriage with realistic expectations. From our own background, we knew marriage wasn’t going to be easy, and we vowed to work at it continuously.
Although it’s easier said than done. There are no off days. You’re continuously working on it, and I will say, that was the most surprising to me. However, when I thought about it more, I realized that no matter how much alike two people are when you bring two different people together there will always be some sort of friction.
The important thing is how you choose to handle those frictions. That’s what makes or breaks your marriage.
Before we both got married, we both agreed that divorce wasn’t an option, and we hold to that. Whatever comes up, we work it out. Well, as it turns out, my husband loves to address problems as soon as they happen, and I prefer time to myself for a bit before talking about it. In fact, I’m normally silent after a disagreement takes place. Therefore, yeah, this made it a little difficult to address issues at first. Until we talked about it and realized how different we’re when it comes to dealing with issues.
Saved us both a lot of annoyance.
The one thing I’m thankful for is how quickly we’re to apologize to one another. We’re awful at staying mad at one another, and he is so good at making me smile even when I’m trying hard to stay mad at him. However, that isn’t saying no one hasn’t gone to bed upset. That is saying it happens very infrequently, and we’re working on making sure it doesn’t happen at all. I married my best friend so believe me when I say we argue like friends.
Is it easy? No, no it’s not. Marriage is not for the selfish at heart. It demands all that you have even if it means giving up the very first car you paid for. Marriage is for people who can be selfless. In marriage, it’s no longer about one person, but about two people. You share so much, and the vulnerability is real. In so many ways, marriage really exposes the vulnerable sides of you to the other person. Which is why many people say to marry your best friend.
So, yeah, don’t get married. Unless this whole us thing is for you. I guess it’s for me so, I’m doing it.