So at some point or another, we’ve all been told “marriage is not for kids”, “marriage is not a bed of roses”, “marriage is not a walk in the park” and as we say in this part of the world “marriage is not beans”! Lol. Don’t ask what beans have to do with anything. Sometimes it makes you wonder what marriage is if so much work required. I believe that while we might not hear so much about successful marriages, they exist. And yes, marriage does require a lot of work but if you have an idea of what to expect, what not to expect, and even what to bring to the table, it could help cut out the surprises.
Well, y’all know me, I have tons of questions and I’m always up for learning so I asked a few of my married, female friends* (who’ve all been married for just about 5 years or more) three questions to shed some light on the subject matter. Grab some popcorn y’all cos this is really good stuff! I asked them the following three questions and their responses will follow:
1. What should a person expect in marriage?
2. What should a person NOT expect in marriage?
3. What is the one (or two or more) thing a person should bring to their marriage?
What should a person expect in marriage?
~ Expect a lot of sharing of ideas and less of unilateral decisions.
~ Love communication, trust.
~ Surprises. Things happen in marriage that [you] would not have fathomed beforehand. At first, lots of things (mainly disagreements) that make you think you have just made the biggest mistake of your life. Then after a few years, beautiful things that make you so grateful that God knows better than us in allowing us choose the partner we did.
~ Expect a few changes (hopefully with a good blend of positives and negatives).
~ Expect Friendship, Companionship, Support, Fun times, Trust, Misunderstandings, Tough Decisions. Expect your spouse to want to see and help you excel in all you do. Expect to use phrases like – “I love yo”u, “I’m sorry”, “You look great”, “Thanks”, “How was your day?” “Have a nice day”, “This meal is delicious”. Expect to listen to each other’s problems and concerns. Expect to pray together.
What should a person NOT expect in marriage?
~ Don’t always expect to have your own way all the time.
~Don’t expect that your spouse will have the same personality in marriage as when you are dating. You have to continually work at doing your best to stay committed and doing what you can to bring out the best from your spouse such as praying, providing constructive feedback, and having mutual respect for each other.
~ That it’ll be predictable and that it won’t be predictable. Sounds like a mistake but it’s not. You expect things to be predictable because you think you know your partner. Think again. You’ll be shocked at all the stuff you didn’t know. On the flipside, marriage is not dating and living and growing with another human being day in, day out, will not always be like a Hollywood movie. Marriage is not exciting every day. Sometimes, it’s just predictable.
~ To be beaten or mentally abused or cheated on. Can’t go in thinking that.
~ Don't expect your spouse to know or remember everything you like or want, be patient and learn to be sensitive to each other’s likes and dislikes. Don't expect everything to be done your way, be willing to compromise. Don't expect your spouse to be perfect, mistakes will happen, learn to forgive. We ladies are talkers.. so bear with us men, we may need a bit more of your attention sometimes to just let out what’s on our mind.
What is the one (or two or more) thing a person should bring to their marriage?
~ First thing is tolerance because you won’t always understand why your partner is acting in a certain way. Second thing is understanding because love is not always enough!
~ Bring dedication. If you are a wife, be sure you have the skills to manage the home, take care of your kids, cook clean, etc. if you are a man, be ready to provide for your family and provide spiritual direction.
~ A lot of patience, kindness, and humility. You’ll need it when the other person is sounding like they are from an alien planet. You’ll be grateful for it when you realize that you were in fact wrong.
~ Patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and finances.
~ Love & Laughter
Marriage isn’t a walk in the park. It does require work but it is a beautiful thing when both parties are committed to the work and to making it work.
If you’re reading this and you’re married, please share some of your thoughts.
*In another post, we’ll see if the gentlemen’s responses will be similar or different.