Welcome to the first article of my new blog series on marriage! Now, my wife and I have only been married for a little over two years, but I feel like I’ve learned so much already. I also see so many broken marriages and sad relationships and I feel that it needs to be addressed. So here we go.
I believe the first step to a healthier marriage culture involves a change in attitude towards marriage itself. There seems to be this misconception that once you get married, your life is somehow over or that your freedom is no more. I can’t tell you how many “jokes” people, particularly men, made when I was engaged about how I was being tricked into marriage or how I was really “in for it”. Several guys told me to say goodbye to lifting and my hobbies and to enjoy my freedom while I still had it. Their statements were truly ridiculous.
Marriage absolutely requires a change in lifestyle, and it’s nothing to rush into. When I hear of peers getting anxious and feeling a “need” to start seriously dating, I try to encourage them to be patient and that there really is no hurry. But when you feel you have found that special someone, marriage is still completely voluntary. Getting married is your decision. With all the whining and complaining, it almost seems like these people were forced into marriage against their will. But that’s usually not the case.
My life definitely changed when I got married, and I quickly realized that I still had a ton of growing up to do. Especially when my wife was pregnant and when our son was born, I knew life would never be the same. I couldn’t go out to the bar until midnight with the boys every weekend; I couldn’t just throw ragers whenever I wanted; I had to cut my workout time down a bit; I even altered my career path to better better suit family life. But my wife and I knew who we were marrying. We knew each other’s passions, drives, talents, and goals. We both understood that we would have to compromise and that we would both have to sacrifice, and that’s something that we happily accepted because it meant that we could be a family and share our lives and be a family.
But even with all the sacrifices, we still both agree that our quality of life has increased significantly since getting married. We have similar interests that we’re able to pursue together, such as lifting. We have dissimilar interests that we can support each other in. We are learning how our certain strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. We’ve started a family and are sharing the amazing, yet sometimes maddening, experience of raising a child. We share joys and sorrows, we joke together, we cry on each other’s shoulder. We make sacrifices, but I daresay we’re ROI positive.
I haven’t lost my freedom in getting married; it’s actually allowed me to grow and develop even more as a person and reach new heights. There’s something so comforting and special about knowing that we’re together for life, that we’ll always be there to support each other, and that we’re going to get each other to Heaven.
I just think that we need to change the way we look at marriage. It’s not the end, but a whole new beginning; it shouldn’t be limiting, it should be empowering; and for the unmarried, you should look for someone who shares this view.