Before all my readers (all 5 of you lol) get your panties in a wad, I just want to clarify that I, myself, am NOT contemplating marriage. It was a subject that came up with a colleague and I realized I had a lot of recommended input. So…that equals blog.
This colleague was contemplating whether she should stay in a relationship with her boyfriend who is against marriage. Of course the answer cannot be had until one has answers to OTHER questions. Like:
What benefits do you see in marriage that you don’t have now? Back in the olden days, the benefits of marriage was a security of livelihood for you and your children. It created a joint financial effort around raising kids to contribute to the success of the family. And alleviate both loneliness and sexual needs. Plus it was the Societal “thing to do” as a woman. With the rise of women above 2nd class citizens; with rights to vote, work, get education and be self sufficient… those reasons are gone. And so romantic love has replaced the reason to marry even more than it did in it’s rise over the last century. So the benefits you may see are: Tax Purpose, Security he/she won’t just walk away, My Parents Off My Back, Sharing of Assets (although that is a mixed good/bad benefit haha), and once again… it’s the Societal “thing to do”.
Most women seem to feel a relationship needs to “progress” and don’t analyze why or what that progression is leading to. As girls we’re taught that “happily ever after” is when we get married. So this “end game” is an unconscious progression. What we are really looking for is the security of love that won’t leave. And with today’s divorce rate that is something of a pipe dream. Not to mention that the current “Millennial” generation isn’t so convinced it’s the Societal “thing to do”. So the next question to ask is:
Do you understand the difference between a Soul Mate and a Life Partner? This is a difference that is often confused and can help you navigate WHAT you want out of choosing to get married and if you have the RIGHT partner.
A Soul Mate is someone who’s in your life to help your soul grow significantly. A Life Partner is someone who travels your life as a comrade. MOST marriages are Soul Mate experiences. You tend to be drawn to people who will give you something you saw in your parents marriage and this will allow you to work out those issues within yourself. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the pre-marriage point of the relationship you will often see both parties turn into their respective parents in some degree during the marriage and work out their issues. If their parents marriages were loving with lots of communication and compromise this is not really a BAD thing. But… if not.. well, you see where that is going. And to top it off, when one party of the marriage HAS worked out those issues and the other hasn’t, then the one feels ready to leave the relationship no matter how ready the other is.
A Life Partner will not always be a romantic partner. Sometimes its that best friend that you always turn to, or a sister or relative. More often it is the relationship you find AFTER you’ve worked out your Marriage issues relationship. You can tell a Life Partner love from a Soul Mate love because it’s more about enjoying the love and company of the person in the moment and there is much less “are we progressing” feeling. Also be aware of the possibility of a mixed relationship, where HE’s feeling Life Partnerish and YOU are feeling Soul Mate-ish, and vice versa. So you have to ask yourself:
How well do you and your partner communicate? This is imperative. We all know that good communication is key in a relationship. What we don’t realize is just how it can change in a marriage. You THINK you are communicating really well before the marriage and then watch all the issues come up and the way each of you handle it and suddenly the biggest complaint is, “she whines all the time” or “he doesn’t listen” and you don’t realize that your communication has completely changed. And if you don’t communicate well NOW, it will NOT get better before a marriage unless you make drastic changes.
So, Number One is KNOW YOURSELF. Analyze your motives with a lot of “why do I want this?” Number Two is LEARN YOUR PARTNER. Apply all your own self analysis to him and get him to join in on this with you. This leads directly to Number Three which is Establish Regular Lines of Communication. Make lists. Lots and lots of lists. Lists of your things/his things, your faults/his faults, what you bring to the relationship/what he brings, your goals in life/his goals in life….lists and lists and lists. Not only does this help in the self analysis it helps in the communication, because you should discuss these lists.
It also helps in preparing a PreNuptual Agreement. You will WANT one of those, you should HAVE one of those. Because it allows you both to look at your desires for the marriage and lay out a plan for success. And if failure happens you might have an easier time of it in the divorce. EXPECTATIONS are a MAJOR marriage killer. We go into a marriage supposedly with “nothing but love” but in reality BOTH parties have unknown expectations that come out. Communication and lists help us determine those hidden Expectations.
Lastly, you should treat Marriage as a License. Like a Contractors License with an expiration date and continuing education. Where you have to have such and such level of experience before acquiring the License. Because the Lists and Communication must be a constant part of your relationship if you want to keep it.
Example… Sex God and I have been together for 6 years. We do A LOT of talking about our feelings. And we have little emotional spats every so often. But we self analyze when it happens, we don’t take the spats as personal attacks and we discuss it as soon as possible. And we genuinely treasure our time together. We’ve been spending LOTS of time together but its been time that we’re only HALF together. Both of us kind of doing our own thing together while the world interrupts, ect. Twice in the last week we chose to just spend the day together. The things we did that day were on “our list to accomplish” type of things but we did it together leisurely and the day turned into an US day. THOSE are the days that keep our relationship vibrant.
We spend a HUGE amount of laughing on those days. Because Sex God is my Life Partner and most of our time spent together makes each of us happy, relaxed, accepted, loved.