My son is getting married later this year. He will be 21 on that day. Young, but then I was 20 when I got married, and we know how that turned out! Very well thank you! Even so, 35 years ago it would have been helpful to know a few things. At the time, we just didn’t know what we didn’t know. Here’s a few, in no particular order:
That birth control can make you crazy. Looking back I can now see that all ‘fights’ early in our marriage were on a pretty regular 28 day schedule. I am not saying without ‘the pill’ we would not have fought. What I am saying is, that freakishly little pill greatly intensified what would have happened organically between two strong-willed, opinionated people. Had we understood that, we could have better dealt with all the ramifications.
That you don’t need to settle an argument before going to bed. Sometimes it is just better to call a truce and take it up again in the morning. Everything looks better in the light of day.
Don’t be selfish. This may seem like common sense, until you process all the ways we are unintentionally selfish. My early marriage thoughts were focused so much on what Sam would do for me. Including being my own personal spider killer.
Communicate well. Don’t expect someone to be able to read your mind. Talk about it. Calmly and kindly. If you think something nice, say it. If you think something mean, squelch it. Do not say everything that comes to mind.
Recognize the commitment/covenant of marriage. This means divorce is not an option. Choose to love and keep on keeping on through the difficult times. You wouldn’t ( in most cases) divorce your children or parents. You choose to stick with them through the long haul. Why not keep the same idea of longevity with the one you exchanged wedding vows with, once upon a time, at the beginning of your fairytale? This alone will elevate a relationship to a whole higher level. It’s restorative. The sweet times become even sweeter. There is a level of trust that is undeniable and unmatchable. And P.S., the grass is NOT really greener on the other side. If it looks greener, it’s because it’s covered in “fertilizer,” aka B.S. The really gross stinky kind. Watch out if you step in it.
With our 35th wedding anniversary coming up I guess you could say we have done pretty well recognizing the importance of the commitment/covenant of marriage. We may have plotted to kill one another from time to time, well, more likely a fleeting thought, but we never contemplated divorce as an option. Birth control is no longer a problem. We no longer need to call a truce before bed. Yet selfishness still creeps in from time to time and once in a while I do expect Sam to read my mind. I wish I could give him that super power. It would save a lot of time. Still, he is truly my best friend and I will choose to love him until the day I die.