Rules for Getting Married

The only reason a couple should get married is because they have complete trust, loyalty, love and committment toward each other. If not, you do not belong together. Too many couples get married for the wrong reason and this is why it fails. If you are more focused on a white wedding and being seen by friends and family, then you are disrespecting yourself and your partner. The excitement of attending nuptials is not there when people are taking bets on how long you’ll last. If you are pregnant, don’t get married for this reason. You made a mistake, accept this and move forward. If your instincts tell you no, this isn’t the one, even if it is the night before that you finally get it through your senses, back out because it is never too late. Don’t worry about other people and how you will look, have integrity with yourself.

1. Love – Is this someone you really love and do not think they should ever change? Sure most people (not all) tend to grow and mature with age, this causes them to change. It is not something you wait for. You love someone unconditionally for who they are right now.

1 a. Love never means that if I love him enough he will change. This is not love but enabling. Enabling does nothing but continue the pattern and watch as it destroys your family.

2. Trust – Will this person stand by your side through thick and thin (till death do you part)? Will they make a good parent – do they even like (want) kids? Are they devoted to you – not sexting and texting and disappearing and making up excuses for why they are not responsible or why they are not there? Don’t fantasize that this quality is available in your partner. Don’t say I do, thinking a ring will suddenly turn him into the decent guy/gal you think marriage will magically instill in their genes. It won’t. Once you say I do, this means you have accepted them as is. They know that and soon you will too.

2 a. Trust does not mean Obsession – People who are stalking you all day long with multiple texts, does not mean they love you and does not mean they obviously will protect and care for you. It means they are nuts and will take the texting to rules about how you should behave and if you don’t, it could lead to violence. It means suddenly you will be told how to manage your money, when you can go shopping, what you can wear, when you can go out, how you should live your life.

3. Loyalty – Frida Kahlo once asked Diego Rivera for this and only this (according to the movie). She knew he was a cheater but she wanted to know he would always come back to her and be by her side no matter what. I think it is safe to say this happened for the most part. Frida and Diego might have seemed like a passionate artistic couple but hardly an idealized version of marriage or love. It does explain loyalty though. He was there through all her miscarriages, they stood beside each other in their communist pleas for change, they travelled together, loved each other and allowed for each other’s failures.  There are no movies or books (to my knowledge) about these two and other lovers. If so, no one really puts much attention to them because of the loyalty that we give this couple. Their loyalty produced so much beauty that has passed down to us and that we can take part in by stepping in to a part of their life viewing their works at an art museum.

4. Committment – This means that you have a shared passion for your relationship. The two of you are invested in the building of your partnership. You make decisions together. You have an agreement on what the family unit will look like. You share similar values and morals about life. Committment means you plan to be in it for the long haul. It does not mean you take life for granted. It does not mean that you expect these things but that you work to continue having this. Every day is about your marriage. Every choice you make is about this partnership. You are either in it together – before you say I do, or you don’t.

Communication is the key to a successful partnership. If you have Love, Trust, Loyalty and Committment than you have already communicated with each other what your intentions are. If not, than you do not have a chance of a good relationship. Communication can be resurrected in a marriage – if both persons agree this is an issue to be dealt with and actually commit to dealing with it.

What does it mean? Communication means that two people are in conversation with each other. Good communication means that you enjoy listening to and responding to the person you are talking with. How do you know that you have good communication? Think of a tennis match or ping-pong game. How often is the ball going back and forth? If it seems to stay on one side of the net while the person continues playing with the ball, you haven’t got communication. You have someone watching the ball. Is your partner an anchorman who tells you the news while you sit there with bated breath? Are you finding yourself holding out because your views aren’t important anyway? You might as well live alone if this is the case. If you are the one talking all the time but find that no one is listening, you can always sit in front of the wall. The wall won’t change colors and neither will your partner. Unless the partner sees that this is an issue that needs to discontinue and not because you make a daily habit of telling them.

Communication needs to occur both in the bedroom and outside of the bedroom. You have to be able to turn to your partner and discuss sex and babies and religion and politics. You don’t need to necessarily tell your partner everything – all the intimate details of your childhood psychological traumas, an inventory of past bed mates complete with graphic descriptions, or everything your grandma taught you and every metaphor you ever came up with. That is wasted energy. You do need to talk about daily activities and the comings and goings of your partnership. You do need to continue to build a sexual connection through intimate talks and touch.

How do you have a good marriage? You find someone who you are attracted to and spend time getting to know them. Sex needs to be the fun part that occurs once you’ve realized this person is going in the same direction you are. If sex happens before that, don’t try to make it into something it is not. Nothing ruins a marriage plan more than two people who are “great in bed,” but have little else between them. Don’t kid yourself either. If you aren’t able to have a conversation, you aren’t meant to be together for the long haul. Accept that you have fun together but fun does not equal loyalty, trust, committment and love.

A good marriage is two people on a path together who continue to work together and help each other so that their family unit becomes stronger and healthier over time. If this is the direction you are meant to go in, don’t push it. Let things happen naturally and when it feels right. If you are supposed to spend the rest of your life together, than you have plenty of time to decide next steps. If you are patient and allow things to unfold when each of you are ready, this will ensure a secure bond that will withstand the tests of time.

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