During my time in singlehood, I remember dreaming of the day that I would be married. I knew my wedding colors, which friends I would ask to be my bridesmaids, and what kind of wife I wanted to be. While those things in there own time and place have importance, there are so many other factors that have to be considered that while in the moment of being in bliss of a new life, we at times don’t even think about. And once we walk down that aisle saying, I Do, and pledge-undying allegiance “for better or worse” (ha, ha) we have determined in our minds to be a “wife”, but may or may not have counted all the costs of being “married”. Here are 5 things women need to know before getting married.
#1. Deal with your issues
While it is incredibly easy and normal to point out all the faults of our mate, we in fact do have issues of our own that need to be addressed. Yeah, yeah, they may decide last minute to go on a fishing trip, when you already have made “mental” plans to do something else. Sure, it is pretty annoying to have a “momma’s boy” or a man who is constantly playing video games. But in the time we take to label all of their downfalls, we fail to recognize any of our own. A lot of our issues and insecurities stem from previous relationships and even childhood. Ha’ Mercy! Issues stemming from childhood go deep.
Having a parent who is emotionally and/or physically absent does a number on self-esteem. That can cause a person to feel not good enough resulting in expecting a spouse to go overboard in making them feel good enough. So much of our views on life come from how our very first relationships were shaped, the one with our parents. Did you feel supported? Did you feel they cared? Were you their joy or obligation? Did they come to your soccer games? Did they just listen? We wrestle, still, with things that happened in our growing years. They do not go away. Not until, you acknowledge your hurts, accept them, begin the healing process, and forgive. Forgive so you can move on with a healthy marriage. No person you marry can fairly or efficiently compete with issues and hurts that you hold on to, if you don’t acknowledge and address them yourself.
#2. Develop your culinary skills
Now, this is not to say that you have to become Paula Deen and know how to cook an entire cookbook, but at least have a few meals that you are proud to cook for the man you will be spending the rest of your life with. Possibly some dishes you would not be ashamed to share at a company/church potluck. Going out to eat is really nice and can be a bit stress free (if the service is good), but it does get a bit on costly side to eat out all of the time. And who doesn’t LOVE a home cooked meal?!
#3. He DOES NOT think like you
This hands down has to be the number one thing that I wish I would have understood prior to getting married to the male species. I can send my husband the longest text message ever in life, confessing my love, wishing him a great day at work, sending him morning greetings, and I will get in reply…..
Wait for it….
And I quote…
“Ok, you too.”
Huh?!?!?!?!!! Serious!?!?? Ladies, sometimes we want the lovey dovey-ness. We long for mushy replies. And often times we don’t get it. Not because he only loves in three word sentences. Well, that’s exactly why. But it does not in anyway make their love invalid or insufficient. It is their love, and they express in their way. Just as we express it in our way. Doesn’t make the love any less, just different approaches.
#4. Have a solid direction for your life
Don’t. You. Dare. Engage into any type of commitment (this applies to all commitments) and not have a vision of what path it is to take. When you enroll into college, you have to inform you advisor what degree you want to pursue. Then at that point you can have an intelligent conversation with the person who will direct your path through college. You don’t pay all the money universities demand and be unsure. That would be a complete waste of time, efforts, and money. Even if you are unsure of the exact degree at first, at least have an endgame. After 4 years you would like a degree. If you go to the admissions office and you tell them you want to go to school but do not have an idea of what you want to do, they can put you into any program, and it won’t matter because you have no direction. And after two years in veterinary services you determine you can’t stand dog poop and you want to do something else!!!
The same principle applies with relationships; always have a direction of which way you want your life to go. If not, you will be stuck living in the basement of your boyfriend’s parents’ house working for minimum wages. If you want to go higher, you must position yourself and plan to go higher. And you cannot expect the person you are with to know where you want go if you don’t know yourself. And can’t be mad at them for having a direction in life and pursuing it just because you haven’t gotten that far with life plans. If you don’t set the path for your life, any path will get you there.
#5. Determine if he is right for you
So, I know the majority of this article has been geared towards areas where women need to be aware of before marriage, but one thing we often overlook with marriage plans is if this is the person who God intends for you. It may “look” right, and “seem” perfect, but could be all wrong. You want to raise your children Catholic, and he hasn’t attended church since he was 5. Could be a problem. You like to travel; he’s an adamant homebody. Could be a problem. You work 2 jobs to save up to buy a house, and he works on occasion. That very well could be a problem.
You want to meet the person you want to spend your life with, you pray about it. Ask God to show you all you need to see. Pray for wisdom. Because if you all don’t agree on the big stuff, I guarantee there will be a million little things that you won’t agree on either. And we all know that the small things turn into mountains. Choose to see pass the sweet words and see their heart. Do they do things to make you smile or is it solely to impress you and your friends? There is a big difference. Are his motives pure? Do you all want the same things in life?
What are some lessons you have learned along the way?