5 things no one tells you about marriage
There are certain things you can never fully comprehend what people meant until you in it, and marriage is one of those things. You may read all the books in this planet about marriage, prepare yourself to be a good spouse, but the reality is, until you are in it, all is just hear say. I have been married for 11months and it’s been one interesting 11months of my life. I believe, marriage is not for a certain age, but it is for the matured and for those willing to sacrifice for the next person.
One woman once said “Marriage is spelled WORK!”. There is so much truth to that statement because every day you work on your marriage. B and I went for pre-marital counselling. In my single years, I attended a lot of single seminars and listened to a lot of marriage sermons so I prepare myself for this beautiful ministry called marriage. I have no regrets in doing so because the knowledge I received I still use it even today, however, nothing fully made me comprehend what marriage would be like. I am going to share stuff no one tells you about marriage. Stuff you only find out for yourself in marriage, but its things that aren’t new for any marriage under the sun.
1. You still have your own identity
You are probably reading this thinking, “I already know I am still an individual even in marriage”. I thought I did too until I found myself disappointed when my husband didn’t ask me to be his business partner in his business. Somehow, I thought now that we are married, he would want to do everything with me, even if it’s a business in an industry I am not passionate about. We are one, so we should do stuff together. Losing your identity doesn’t happen at one go. It slowly fades away as you become the backdrop of your spouse and before you know it, you feel he, your children and the rest of the world owes you happiness because you put your dreams on hold for them.
There’s a huge difference between supporting your spouse, and giving up your dreams, visions and purpose to take those of your husband. God created you different and placed a purpose in you to be fulfilled. That purpose is not you getting married and that’s it. Marriage aint no promise land. You have dreams and visions and so does your husband. What God does, is He fuses those different dreams and visions together so they are in sync. They will never contradict each other unless you married the wrong person or one of you is pursuing what God has not destined for them.
You are you. When you marry, you are one with your spouse but you are still you and God is still waiting on you to get up and do what He has called you to do. You and your husband are a team. You support him, same way he will, when it’s your season and your gift is making room for you. You have so much to give to the world, take care of yourself. Please get what I am saying here, if you are married to a doctor, you are not a doctor’s wife! You are a singer, an artist, a writer, a PR practitioner who her spouse is a doctor.
When B told me about his business ventures, it was a wakeup call for me that I had unwarily become passive in who God has called me to be, but waited on what Bongani involves me in and doesn’t. People are waiting on you to get where they need to be, careful you don’t end up being your spouse’s backdrop. You are teammates and both have identities.
You can marry the most compatible partner. A match made in heaven, but still that doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage. Marriage is as good as you want it to be, and as bad as you want it to be. No one can do that for you except you. You decide if you want to go to bed angry and allow yourself sleepless nights. You decided if you want tension to grow as you give your spouse silent treatments. You decide how you want sex to be. You decide how you want your family to treat your marriage. It is all up to you and your spouse.
One pastor once said “if I am holding one glass with water, and one glass with blue marbles. I then decide to hit these glasses together and they brake, the glass with marbles won’t change the marbles to be water, visa versa.” Meaning, no matter how much your spouse made you upset, whatever comes out of your mouth is who you are inside. He did nothing to change you. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. You set the tone for your marriage.
3. Do not abandon your role as a wife
This is one of the simplest ways to have a successful marriage but somehow the society has made it complicated. I don’t care if you are a managing director of a top company, your husband still needs you to be a wife. Your children need you to be a mother. They don’t need a boss. They need you, for only a wife will be able to meet a husband’s needs and only a mother can be able to assure her children. I know we live busy lives. We are juggling jobs, our career statuses, our callings and are trying to also look great. We need to keep the house clean and make sure that hubby and the kids have clean clothes for the week. So you might need a helper. Get one if need be but, do not abandon all of your roles as a wife. Even if you can’t cook on weekdays, you owe it to your family to cook at least on weekends. Help the kids with school work, bath them, and talk to them. Make it work.
I know how challenging it can be juggling all of these things, and still having to nurture your husband and meet his needs (you know what I am talking about here). There are no other solutions, get a helper to relieve you from other house chores and make time for him. Whatever you do, do not abandon all your roles. Don’t let career come first, money come first or the church come first. Invest time with your family and learn to wear different hats of the roles you are currently in.
It is very easy whilst still in pre-marital counselling and you are both advised to cut apron strings with your family. Very easy to say how easy it will be as you are ready to enter into marriage, until there’s something in your family and you realise now you can’t agree on stuff you would have agreed on if you were still single. You two might have cut apron strings as you say you did, but realise your families haven’t released you. They still expect their daughter to buy this or do that, and still expect their son to do that and buy this.
Families know we are married, but they don’t know that loyalties have changed. They don’t come first, your spouse does. If you are still single, please prepare your family to release you. The only string the family cuts is the string of not seeing you every day as you move out of home, but money strings; secret strings; favour strings are never cut, and those are the main strings that need to be cut. You cannot be having secrets with your mother about your finances and marriage when you are married. You cannot be paying your parents’ house bond and still want to pay your own with your spouse and save money for your children. Unless you have money lying around for days, no spouse should feel obliged to contribute at home even when they cant afford to simply because they used to do it when they were single.
B and I have a rule of what we do on this side of the family, is what we would on the other side of the family. We later realised the family needs are not the same and had to review it to suit us and our finances and the health of our marriage.
Who will you be loyal to? Your spouse or family? Harsh reality but it is a bridge you have to cross in marriage.
When you get married, you either put a comma on your dreams, or a full stop. There are a lot of sacrifices that happen in marriage. I had to sacrifice most familiar things I knew. The Town I grew up in, my friends, my family, the church I fellowshipped at. I had to leave every familiar thing to me to move in to a province where I only knew my husband. That was not easy. Adapting to the city and having to make new friends was three much for me. Adapting is no childs play! It takes courage to do it. In marriage there are a lot of sacrifices and adapting you have to do. What happens if you marry someone in a lot of debt? Do you move into a big home and accumulate more debt, or do you rent a small flat and try pay off the debt? Your spouse moves overseas with his job. Do you resign from yours and move overseas with him? There are many decisions you make in marriage that will result to you sacrificing. The choice is really yours. Do know, it is never easy like you thought it would be.
These are a few of the things you come across in marriage. Marriage is for the matured. Marriage is not for social media pics and updates, you work on it every day. When you marry, just know that you wear your big girl panties and you man up! You discover yourself and discover the person you married. It is one interesting adventure so marry for the right reasons and never compare your marriage with other people. I can tell you this much though, it is fun!