Marriage is something that most women eventually want. Not all women, but it is safe to say this is true for a large majority. A poll conducted by Cosmopolitan Magazine shows that 68% of all women would like to get married and have children some day. 53% of those women have fantasized about this wedding at some point and know exactly how they want it to be. Think I’m kidding? Go talk to some of your friends.
I think it’s fair to say that although women are statistically more open to marriage than men, both parties want and expect a marriage to work. Very few know what to do once the wedding is over and it’s time to be married.When the wedding is over and it’s just you and your partner the numbers say that divorce is almost inevitable. According to the forest institute of professional psychology 50% of first time marriages end in divorce, that’s half of all married couples, and before you write that off as not applying to you, its important to know that in that same study they found that 36% of women, and 38% of men in the 20-24 age range account for married couples. That’s more then a third of all married couples, we’re talking about people like you and me. So what’s happening in a relationship between two young adults that was strong enough to say “I Do” that makes it almost 50% likely that they will eventually go through the ultimate breakup? After speaking to a few married couples I’ve come up with a couple of observations.
I can proudly say that I’m a sucker for love. I’m one of those people who think that soul mates exist. Many of my friends laugh at me over this but I just believe that there is someone for everyone. But I’m no fool, a marriage based only on love can never survive. Love is a beautiful thing, but over time it can change, and for those who are not honest with themselves the love you thought you had for a person can really be a love for what they represent, or the way they make you feel. Everyone has loved or been in love at one point or another, but marriage requires a different level of love to work. The kind of love I’m talking about is love with acceptance and understanding, when you can love someone in spite of themselves. The kind that goes beyond skin deep. Some people will take this as the ability to see someone’s deepest flaws, know that they can’t deal with it, but ignore the way it makes them feel. This is the wrong idea, the love that I’m discussing is the one where you see a partner may be weak in an area but you can handle it, and add strength where they may fall short. For example, your partner is not as organized as he/she should or could be, but you are, your partner is not very vocal, not because they lack knowledge but because they don’t enjoy the spot light, even if its just the spot light of one person, can you complement that? This does not mean accept someone with serious fundamental issues, such as money management, social, moral, or spiritual differences, but it does mean be ready to compromise. This love understands that the relationship is bigger than them.
Please understand that without communication there is not a relationship in this world that will work. I’ll simplify that just to make sure you comprehend.
No Communication= No relationship.
There is no relationship that can prosper without communication. Romantic, professional, or friendly. Even “friends with benefits” should communicate to avoid conflict. I’ll give you a professional example. I write for CLE Magazine, but I’m only a staff writer. Before I do anything I must confer with my editor. If I go weeks without speaking to him, and never let him know what’s going on, he can fairly assume that my commitment to CLE is not there and let me go. If we’re not on the same page nothing I write ever reaches the light of day, which means the time I took out on this piece ends up being a waste. The same theory applies to couples, you need to be honest with your partners, and not just after you both say “I do”. This honesty should have been established from day one. That’s not to say you should be mean to your partner or say hurtful things, because you shouldn’t. But the key to staying on the same page is letting each other know where you are. Couples break up from misunderstandings all the time, why risk a marriage because you were afraid to speak up about something?
Mutual wants & needs
This one is also based off of communication, but also goes into the constitution of a person. Before any rings are given or vows are shared, do you both want the same things, if not will what one person wants interfere with the others goals? For example, do you both want kids, if so how many, do you both practice the same religion, if not how will that play into your lifestyle, do you want to move around a lot, what are your career goals, does it fit in with what your partner is trying to do? Marriage is a compromise. This isn’t like junior year in college when the question was only “wanna go to 6 dollar Tuesday to save money for liquor this Thursday?” You two need to work as a team.
Are you ready?
Maybe it’s just me but it seems like everyone is so ready to fall in love that they sometimes jump in blatantly toxic situations and call it love because it provides mild comfort. There are plenty of couples out there who have very serious issues, some that can be worked through, others that are beyond negotiation. If you and your partner argue and some times those confrontations become violent you may want to reconsider a commitment until you get that cleared up. Getting someone pregnant does not mean they are your soul mate. In a perfect world anyone with a child would also be married, but if the two of you didn’t work out as a couple, why would it improve with marriage proposals. We have to be honest with ourselves and stop over looking the obvious. There is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting.
By Stanley Fritz