Posted December 6, 2013 by in Dating

Are You Ready for Marriage?

Recently, I overheard a conversation between two women about marriage. One woman was obviously single and she was complaining that she didn’t have a man around the house to fix things. She lamented that “if I were married, things would be so much easier.” The other woman simply commented that marriage is hard work and that was the end of the conversation.

Hearing that conversation really made me think, “Does marriage magically make your life easier?” I reflected on my own expectations about marriage before I tied the knot. Truthfully, I imagined daily foot massages, someone picking up my dry cleaning and a man greeting with roses and a candle-lit dinner when I arrived home. It was a totally romanticized view of marriage and very unrealistic. Now, reflecting as a married woman, I realize how much I give on a regular basis to serve my family. So, I eventually came to the conclusion that marriage costs. The single woman was correct in that marriage helps to lighten the load, but there is certainly a level of sacrifice involved that can sometimes get overlooked.

Marriage costs your independence
For starters, the very essence of marriage is two becoming one in unity. That requires a give and take of relinquishing certain rights and privileges. So, “my money” is now “our money” and my plans must now mesh into our plans. I remember being single and traveling whenever I wanted, spending my money however I wanted and epitomizing the independent woman. That mindset doesn’t work in marriage because I have to consider another person, so I had to make a paradigm shift re-align my priorities while focusing on unity. And this wasn’t a bad thing, but if you plan to continue to “do you” without adapting, there will be conflicts in marriage.

Marriages costs your agenda
I learned very early in marriage that it is about service and giving of yourself. When I was single, I remember my cute, little bachelorette pad that often went without cleaning, was frequently filled with carry-out food boxes and was regularly the subject of bare cupboards. If I didn’t want to cook, I would order food and if I didn’t feel like cleaning, I didn’t. It was only me, so I did what I wanted. Not so much anymore. My husband loathes a disorganized house and his one request to me is that our household shelves are stocked and that food is regularly prepared. Talk about a paradigm shift. I had to reign in my whimsical spirit and make some adjustments in order to make our marriage work. So, it cost me my self-focused autonomy. And this wasn’t a bad thing because if you plan to take your single mindset into a marriage, it will cause friction.

Marriage costs your selfishness
Finally, as a married woman, I am no longer responsible for only caring for myself, but now I am responsible for the needs of my household. My one load of laundry as a single person has increased to four and my nightly routine no longer consists only of tv surfing and shooting the breeze with friends. It is prioritized first with bedtime stories and only then does mommy gets a moment to herself. It’s not about me anymore, but about all the people in my home. And that’s not a bad thing, but if you expect to walk into marriage and take, but never give, you will be in for a rude awakening.

So, while marriage is great and one stands to gains a lot – it also requires a great deal of giving and sacrifice. It’s especially important that people don’t have unrealistic expectations about being married because holy matrimony will force you to adapt to a “new normal” and modify selfishness or an overly independent mindset. So, while the woman said, “if only she were married, things would be so much easier”, I hope she tempers her expectations because marriage costs.

I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below to let me know if you have and have had unrealistic expectations about marriage. Do you think it’s important to change your perspective?  If you’ve enjoyed this article, please “like” our page on Facebook; follow me on Twitter @courtship101 and sign up below to receive our weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Jqlbn
Photos Courtesy of: thefemininewoman.com and madamenoire.com