Marriage, Where’s the Manual

 

Pass the Instruction Manual

Oh wait there isn’t one? Why is marriage so hard is a frequently asked question the answer isn’t easy but then again, maybe it is. Marriage is hard because there are no guarantees.

When we marry, we are binding ourselves to one another, body and soul and all the other important bits. It  may seem body and soul should be the most important, but reality bites. It is rarely lack of love that causes marriages to crumble; money, career and family pressures are often the reasons why marriages dissolve. Love alone simply does not conquer all. Couples today, whether young or older, face so many outside stressors and that, along with the combining of two or more lives, is what makes marriage hard.

Why is marriage hard? Because it is impossible to be prepared for the reality of marriage.

When you marry, it should be because you can see yourself in the future with the other person just as they are, but older. You appreciate who they are and enjoy their company.

My Parents

You value them as a friend, a lover and desire them, as they are with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies. In short, you like them just as they are. When you marry, you shouldn’t marry with a list in your head of how you are going to change them, tweak them so they will be perfect. You should think their imperfections make them perfect for you.

When we marry it is the partnership of two adults. Today people are waiting to marry until later in life, thus they have the opportunity to form their personalities and their personal living styles to a much greater degree than in the past. Unless the couple has lived together for some time prior to marriage, many of the day-to-day quirks will come as a surprise to their new partner once the honeymoon is over.

The Honeymoon is Over Now What?

What do I mean by living styles? These are the day-to-day quirks we develop. The habits that become ingrained as we mature such as how we maintain our homes or whether we watch television in bed, sleep with a light on or off. From the mundane to the truly trivial things that never bothered you, maybe you even found endearing during your courting days now annoy the hell out of you; they all become fodder for the list of annoyances you might build in your head. The question begins to arise, “what have I done?

Do you speak out early and find compromises? Do you dampen down your annoyance until

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it rushes out during an argument about something else entirely? Surprising how the little things in life can add up during a marriage so over time they become a herd of elephants in the living room each with a name from your list.

Did I do it Right or Just Ignore the Obvious?

Finally there is the Big Kahuna, Money. One of the more difficult discussions to have is the finance talk. Without frank discussion eventually this one will rear its head and it can

Money Wars

be ugly if there hasn’t been honest disclosure prior to the marriage. How individuals handle money can be a source of great contention, which is especially true for those couples who marry later in life. Agreement on how to handle money within a marriage is something to do prior to the “I Do’s” not after the fact. Agreement on what is “yours, mine and ours” will create early trust and establish the boundaries of financial responsibility.

Why is marriage hard? You tell me.

The Family Blend In-Laws & Out-Laws, Part Two of Why Marriage is Hard

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