I use to be scared of the thought of marriage. Giving my all to one person, trusting them with everything, letting them in wholeheartedly. It was something that I thought would have to be earned by this fictional woman who I was destined to meet. As a teenager, falling in love was something too common, but when college arrived and I entered my pre-adulthood, falling in love was a disease. Never wanting to fall in love or show too much love was a lifestyle for me. That sent me on a journey of partying and women, until...
March 18, 2011 (two years removed from college graduation) was the day that I met my wife.....at the club! The most unlikely place to meet a life partner (in my eyes). I spotted her from across the room and drunkenly approached her to ask her name. This attempt had been done before with the same woman and I was told that I was too young. But this time, laced with liquid courage, I took another shot. After small talk, we exchanged numbers. There was no intent to marry right off the bat, but at this point in my life I'd told myself that every female needs to be screened for potential longevity.
Why did I marry her? Two reason: #1. Our similarities in religion, family values and biggest fears (hers-raising a child by herself; mine- dying without the chance to raise my own child.) Two: I asked myself, if my daughter was to grow up and be like her, would I be ok with that? The answer was yes. She had so many great qualities that her negatives weren't even an issue. We dated for a year and a half before I proposed. Why so quickly? My mother always told me that it only takes 4 seasons to learn someone. I interpreted that to mean that marriage is the journey of learning and loving someone.
I like my wife as a friend and I love her as a partner. I think liking someone is more important than loving them in some situations. Marriage is one of them. We do things that friends can do together and that makes our marriage stronger. Our marriage has not been a yellow brick road. A few things that I realize about our marriage that has helped it grow:
#1. We don't expose our problems to others. We keep our quarrels in our home and squash any beef we have with each other in a civil manner. Tears have been shed and some yelling but we never go too long without discussing it and coming to a agreement about what happened.
#2. Sometime I have to give in. Some arguments are my fault and sometimes they are hers. But there are those rare occasions where we both are right and wrong and in those moments I must take the bullet. It doesn't really matter who's fault it is, the end result is a stronger relationship. So if I must take the blame, then that is what I will do.
#3. Make decisions together. Major decisions that could be life changing, I must consult her first. I've even started asking her opinions on small issues to, giving her stake in my life. I had to realize it's no longer about me, it's about us.
#4. Money! Money! Money!- Many marriages end over money disputes. My wife makes significantly more money than I do. She can pay bills and have money left over to spend on whatever she wants, which I can't, but that doesn't make me less of a man. I pull my weight in other ways. And I've learned how to better manage my money so that I can contribute to our lives just as my wife does.
There are more things that have helped my marriage grow but these are the primary ones.
We've only been married a little over a year but we continue to work at our future. That's what keeps me going, our future. The one thing that I did realize is that marriage isn't much different than when we were just dating. The same commitment that I was suppose to have then, I have now. And I always ask myself, "If she did this to me, how would I feel?" That question keeps me from doing a lot of things. Keeps me on track to our future.
Neither of us are perfect, and we aren't too big to say sorry. As long as there is progress then we are on the right track. And now with a little baby girl in our lives we must work even harder to show her what true love really is.