Everyone can get married now. Woo-hoo! I’m sure the number of new marriage licenses will now go through the roof. I’m not really in the mood for celebrating however, because I’m a bit cynical when it comes to that M-word: Marriage. It’s not all that’s it’s cracked up to be–at least it appears that way from the outside looking in. So many people have a strong desire to get married, but not enough thought goes into the daily rigors of committing yourself to one person.
Sure a lot of people can enter into long-term commitments; just look at how many people can commit to a 4 or 5 year car note. However, after about the 5th year (or maybe even less for some) a lot of the appeal of the car you are driving has worn off. You get used to it, you become complacent. You don’t value your car like you used to which is evident by the coffee stains, crumbs tightly wedged in the seams, and the two dehydrated French fries lurking under the seat. Then when the car begins to protest under the stress you’ve been putting on it day in and day out, you begin to think “this is not what I bargained for”. Breakdowns become more frequent and you start to lose trust in your once faithful vehicle. Then you start yearning for a newer, shinier model–even though your present car could certainly keep ticking if given the proper attention. In this present day, a lot of people do treat relationships like cars. Are you into your car as much or even more as the first day you drove it?
One of the worst things that a person can become is a “Long-Term Relationship Barbie” where all pre-marital/committal manners and courtesies go out the window in exchange for comfort and complacency. Complacency is one of the worst elements of a long-term relationship because being taken for granted is right around the corner. Once you turn that corner, apathy and disloyalty are right up the block, and you’re approaching infidelity on your left.
It’s not wise to get so comfortable with your mate that you have no qualms about relieving yourself (i.e. passing gas or doing #2) in their presence. No one should have to tolerate your morning breath no matter how long you’ve been sharing the same bed. Try to guard against the tendency of being an authority over your mate’s comings and goings. Don’t fall into the complacency trap when it comes to your personal appearance and then complain when your partner is working late hours ever since that new assistant came on board. Don’t fall victim to rigid schedules and roles that can cause the marriage to grow stale. Do be more spontaneous and do things from time to time to revive the passion. Don’t treat your mate like another family member and don’t assume that you know everything about him or her. You don’t and you won’t until many years into your relationship. Don’t expect your partner to always be at your beckon call; appreciate the fact that he or she has a life of their own. Do respect your mate as his or her own individual and acknowledge that the two of you will not always see eye-to-eye. Do give your mate plenty of space and freedom. Don’t allow fear and insecurity to destroy peace within the home.
I only scratched the surface on what it takes to make a marriage successful. Whew, I’m exhausted. Marriage is a lot of work and sometimes the work feels like drudgery which is probably why I’m still single (I hate drudgery). You still want to get married? Knock yourself out. I’ll remain single and save myself from all the hard work. What’s love really got to do with it anyway? Love doesn’t need a license or sanctioning by a governing body.