Friendship. Dating. Relationships. Marriage. Their depth and meaning seem unrelated to when I met my husband 36 years ago.
Cell phones, smartphones, social media, dating websites, and the internet–they did not exist nor did they complicate or interfere in relationships. Lives were more private. Sharing too much (or any) personal information was taboo. You only knew what others told you. It was up to you to believe the story.
Weddings were less constructive but still intimate. Today the process, even leading up to the big day is a professional production that costs thousands of dollars. The average cost of a wedding has skyrocketed.
To be honest with you, I often wonder who is the production for? Is it for bragging rights and to galvanize wedding guests? Is the goal to outdo other couples?
The more important question I ask is, are the bride and groom willing to commit to the grit and tenacity needed to sustain a long-term relationship? Further discussions for the bride and groom are:
- What do you know about your partner/bride/groom’s family history? Have you met their family? Do family values align? Do you like your partner’s family?
- What are your values? You must know know values before you can question his/hers.
- Do you want children? Does your mate want children? If so, how many?
- Do you agree on the choice to have or not to have children and if not, are you willing to accept it? Can you both accept opposing views on children? Note: You can’t change him/her!
- If you chose to have children, will they attend private school, public school, boarding school, or will the child(ren) be homeschooled?
- How will the children be disciplined?
- What do you believe about religion?
- Is your partner an atheist or agnostic? Do they believe in God, Allah, Buddha, or another higher power? How will the kids be raised?
- Where will you live? Close to family or away? City or suburbs?
- Will both of you work? Who earns more money? Does it matter who’s salary is greater?
- Is one person’s career more important than the other?
- Is anyone bring debt to the relationship? Who and how much?
- . Do you know your credit score? How about your son-to-be’s score?
- Do they have a child or children from a previous relationship?
- Child support? Alimony? How much?
- What do you know about their health? Are there family health issues that you should know about?
- What are their personal and professional goals?
- What motivates them? What motives you?
- Did previous relationships/marriage fail? Why? Cheating? Adultery?
- What do you know about yourself and your personality type? Are you an introvert or extrovert? What about your partner?
- What does forgiveness mean to you?
- What do sex and intimacy mean to you? What does sex mean to your partner? Do you like it? Does your partner like it? What are their sexual expectations? Do they align with yours? As my cousin says, “All sex ain’t good sex!”
- What are your attitudes toward money?
- Who will cook, clean, grocery shop, and handle finances?
- Will you have separate or joint bank accounts?
I have known many marriages to end over some of the above issues.
My husband and I met at ages 17 & 19. We talked about many topics on the list but not everything and struggled with other issues.
Thanks to God, luck, maturity, and a handful smart folks around us, today we celebrate 30 years of marriage. The years were good. On a few occasions, I felt like we were drifting apart; however, before we stayed too far, we got back on track. When your mate is oblivious to trouble in paradise, you gotta let them know and visa verse.
Situations that sent me into a tirade years ago I now laugh at. No longer do I sweat the dumb shit. I’ve learned to say fuck it and move on and without the attitude. I see my husband for whom he is not whom I want him to be. I’ve accepted the good, bad, ugly, and the wonderful and the same for him.
Due to a health scare, nearly two weeks ago, I thought I was going to lose him forever. Our relationship passed before my eyes. Loss of our friendship and the thought of not making love to him one last time freaked me out. I had to remind myself to breathe and to think.
If have been married for any length of time, you know that marriage is a full-time job. Please feel free to comment and fill in the cracks where I missed.
If you are a newbie to the game, you might want to save this post and reread it and again and assess where you are in your marriage. If you are in a relationship and are pondering marriage, print out the list of questions and begin your work.
I can endlessly talk and write about marriage and relationships. My chatter about marriage is not to boast, because some marriages survive 30 years but demise before or after 40. You’re never safe in the marriage game. My ramblings are to help others.
Marriages are rarely given the chance. Couples give up on their marriages too soon and in some cases they give up because they never really knew the other. The fakeness of the honeymoon stage have couples trippin’ over stuff that ain’t real. In other cases, the signs are present in the person, but the partner either sees the behavior as cute or something they think they can change. Nope! The marriage takes place and ish begins to jump off.
We celebrate our 30 years by relaxing on the beach. We both enjoy the beach and never bought into what you’re “supposed” to do on specific anniversary date. We think of today and our four-day getaway as wellness days for our marriage.
Today I also give thanks to God for bringing us through teen-hood to full-fledge adulthood. Our friendship spans 36-years and for that I am grateful.
Happy Anniversary to us! 🙂