Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The First Five Years

In today's society, a good marriage is not easy to come by.

People just don't understand how much hard work being married is. Marriage is not just about sex. It is not just about communication. It is not just about children or money. It is so complicated. It involves emotions, life decisions, both of your families, your friends and your lifestyle. If you are getting married, be prepared to give up your old life. Be prepared to change.

I decided to do a little research, being a married woman myself, and see what the "experts" say about the first five years of marriage. Well, that just about sums it up. You have to learn to change, to accept another person's quirks, to deny yourself a few things along the line and to become a dependable,loving, unselfish person. One person cannot fill your every desire at the snap of your fingers. Marriage takes time. You have to learn how to navigate and how not to give up.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that just because you don't feel the same way about the person that you did when you met them means that you don't love them anymore or that they don't love you. I can tell you, if you've loved someone, you've definitely hated them at some point. People who are always around you will eventually get on your nerves for some reason or another. I'm not a marriage counselor or any kind of an expert at all, shoot, I've only just been married two years. I can tell you this much though, if you want to stay married, you had better be one determined couple.

The things married people have to go through just to get to know one another is just outright ridiculous sometimes. We have so much depth as human beings. We also, as humans, have many, many flaws. Some of us talk too much. Some of us don't talk enough. Some of us cannot listen to save our life. Others just choose to ignore everything and do things their own way. Factor in all of the men and women just waiting to break up your marriage, your parents, your in-laws, your children, money and just life itself, I think you need some major cajones to even make it to committed.

Before I was married, I was counseled to read the book, "The Five Love Languages," and I found it helped me a lot. The problem was, I wasn't quite sure what my husband's love language is. I think I know it now. For me, it's verbal. I have to have compliments. Call me conceded but I thrive on his compliments and other's as well. The only other thing that I know has kept me as deeply committed as I am is pure determination and general knowledge of the sweet side of my husband. When he is good, he is fantastic but when he is bad...oy.

Another factor of marriage is love. So many people think love is a feeling. I do not agree. If it was, then it would come and go just like the rain. Love is a combination of things: honesty, trust, respect and devotion, to name a few. And you can't just pick to love one person, you have to be a loving person to love. I think it then transcends to finding someone who you really click with. Love shouldn't be mistaken for that giddy feeling you get in the beginning of a relationship. It is much, much deeper than that and it requires nurturing.

Anyway, back to my point, the first five years can spell serious disaster for those people who do not respect them. It is my opinion that to stay married, you have to really spend a lot of time in those first five years learning as much as you can.

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