To have and to hold from this day forward….

I’m in the midst of planning a wedding. When people think of weddings they think of all the fun stuff that comes along with it like picking out a beautiful dress to wear, picking out decorations and favors, and of course the great party you want to plan. BUT that is not what is important about a wedding!! The things behind a wedding are what’s important, the man, the woman, the marriage, the families. We spend so much time worrying about colors, bridesmaid’s dresses and hairstyles that you forget to examine the real reason behind all the festivities. Why do we get married? Why do we marry who we do? Why are we so eager to have a happy ending? I’m not trying to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you guys, but it’s a legitimate thought…I’ve wanted to be a mother and wife for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood playing Mommy and wife with my sister, my two best friends, and our dolls and always talked about my wedding and the amazing man who I’d be lucky enough to call my husband.  I thought it was a sweet fairytale and that’s not reality. One day you start to grow up and you see what it really is. I’m the child of divorced parents and the child of a woman who taught me to be a free-thinker, who never sheltered us from anything, and who taught me what real life is. I was born 40 years old, wise beyond my years which is sometimes great and sometimes not. So when I became interested in boys and then when the option of marriage came up for me I wasn’t dreaming about my prince on the white horse. There is no perfect human being, marriage is an imperfect thing, a job, as any relationship is. When I thought/think of marriage it is out of practicality, to build a family. If I didn’t want children I’d most likely never marry if I’m being honest. I’m marrying because I have a child and want to continue to form a family. Marriage wasn’t created for all the bullshit reasons people say, it’s not just between a man and a woman, we don’t all marry our soulmate, we don’t all marry for the right reasons. If you ask me my philosophy on marriage this is what it is…I believe that marriage is a foundation for creating and maintaining a family, for security, a lifelong committment to one another even if you do get divorced when children are involved. This is why you need to be careful who you choose. Remember that when you marry someone you marry their family and ALL their baggage. You have to have common values and goals. And this is where the problems lay…In my case I was never looking for the person who was “the best part of my day”, I’m not that kind of girl at all. I wasn’t looking at all quite honestly, I was only 15 when I met my fiance, I was a kid. I didn’t even really care about boys like that when I was 15, all  I cared about was school and if my mom would let me go to the movies with my friends haha. I didn’t marry him when I was pregnant because that’s no reason to have a shotgun wedding to me; anyone can father a child. After I saw him with our son is when I decided that I would marry him. Would I be marrying him if we didn’t have our son? Who knows. I’m 22 I wasn’t looking to get married for a few more years, but I’m not marrying him just because, I’m marrying him for the sake of our family, because it works for us, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here are my top three issues…

Issue #1: You have to live together-My fiance is a slob! He leaves a trail of messes behind him everywhere he goes, he likes to eat in bed and watch TV, his favorite place to leave leftover food is in the microwave, and he’s a bathroom/quilt hogger. I’m no walk in the park either, though…I tend to leave my makeup/hair products all over the bathroom, I leave my shoes everywhere and I use about 30 cups a day. He’s not used to the fact that we all like to sit together in the living room to talk, he’s used to everyone just sitting in their room doing their own thing. I’m not used to having a TV in my room because I was barely allowed to even watch TV as a kid. These are two things that we’ve learned to be accustomed to and I’ll admit I like the Tv sometimes and he”ll admit that he likes our late night family meals and talks. We all have our annoying home habits and we might think nothing of it, but getting used to living together is actually pretty hard.

Issue #2: Families- When you marry someone you marry EVERYTHING that comes along with them, yup it’s true no one is safe from this. Even if you both have the greatest families in the world you’re bound to have conflict just because of the sheer fact that every family has their own way of functioning. What’s normal to you isn’t normal to me. Some people might have bigger problems than simple differences like I do, but we won’t get into all of that…but for me this is the toughest part about getting married. This here is my sacrifice for him, for our little three person family. This is wherein most of our problems are for many different reasons that are out of his control and therefore out of mine. He was dealt different cards then I was and his situation has made me appreciate my parents tenfold, and has made us as a couple and as parents ten times stronger. That’s all I will say along with the fact that this is sometimes the part that people forget, but it should not be ignored!

Issue #3: Committment/Trust/Loyalty– Are we each other’s favorite person everyday? Do we roll over every morning and look at each other with hearts in our eyes? NO way, that isn’t reality. Now if you’re rolling over every morning stifling the urge to punch the other person in the face you’ve got bigger problems. You need to be in this for the long haul whether you stay married forever or not. You are a family and will always be attached to this person when you have a child with them. Nothing makes me sicker than seeing divorced people who put their squabbles before their children. If you have no committment and trust you have nothing. The things that get you through the days where you want to ring each others necks and even the days when you are blissfully happy are your level of committment to one another. I know when I go home that he’ll be there, he knows when he needs something I’m there to do it. I know when I need someone to have my back he will and vice versa, it’s loyalty, tried and true loyalty. Most importantly we know that our number one priority is our son. Nothing comes before him and nothing comes before the three of us as a unit. From the simple committments to the large ones, they all matter. You have to be a person of your word because without that you are nothing. Your family is the only place where you have or should have 100% accountability. This is where you should feel 100% secure.

Men and women are different creatures, we don’t see eye to eye on many things. Women think with their brains, but mostly with their hearts. Men think with their brains, but mostly their genitals (and that isn’t always about cheating). I like reality tv and gossip magazines, history, world news, a good book, cafes, and shopping. He loves sports, sports, music, tv, sports, and fast food. But somewhere in all that we love each other too because we give each other something that we desire. What works for you doesn’t work for me and what works for me doesn’t work for you, but marriage is a job. You have to work at your relationship everyday to maintain it and to make it grow. Nothing is perfect and there will be bumps in the road and one day you might grow apart and not be married anymore but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. A successful marriage is one that breeds good things, one where you laughed and cried, brought beautiful children into this world, and grew together, not one that stood the test of time. You could be married for a great 12 years or for a painful and miserable 50. We all want our marriages to last forever because that’s the ideal situation,  i know I do, but if I think realistically what I want is happiness, a good life for my son, stability and reliabilty. I need someone to laugh with, someone to correct me when I’m wrong, someone to take me out to a good movie and dinner, someone who highlights my strengths and accepts my flaws.

So after all of that am I excited for my wedding? Yea. I’m excited for the perfect dress I found, I’m excited to celebrate with my family and friends, I’m excited for the dancing and pictures, but that’s not the important part, it’s just a bonus. I have to be confident that that’s not the only reason I’m doing this, I have to know that in reality that’s all fluff. In a world where over 50% of marriages end in divorce you want to be the exception to the rule or at least try your best and I feel like that’s what I’m doing. Is there a magic marriage age? Is there a magic marriage formula? No. I’ve seen people who marry at the “right” age after having traveled the world, dated all sorts of people, accomplished all sorts of thing and their marriages still fail. Do I feel like I have more against me than tha average couple? No. I try to learn from everyone around me, I try to learn from the failed marriages I’ve witnessed and hopefully I’m making the right decision. I’m confident that I am. There will always be naysayers and people with bullshit opinions, but if everyone picked apart other marriages I’m sure they’d find something to criticize and the people who aren’t married or close to it, you have to pity their ignorance because when it’s their turn you should only hope they don’t have as many foolish critics.

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