I wish I had known before getting married what I know now.
I may have married sooner.
I knew the day I met my husband we would wed. I couldn’t wait to get married. I’d have tied the knot on day two if he’d asked. Although I never brought it up (that much) I felt like Shrek:.
‘Are we there (married) yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ I had to wait what felt like four very long years. As if getting married was somewhere to go.
#1 I wish I had known before getting married…
Just how much all my weaknesses would be amplified. I never knew there’d be nowhere to hide.
I’d this fantasy in my head of who I thought I should be. Who I wanted to be. A queen of unconditional love. Ever patient, kind & gentle, full with light. The most giving, loving wife turned vixen at night. Except. I felt tired and stressed. Sometimes even depressed. All my problems I had before we met were magnified.
No matter how much your partner tries, if you’re lonely before, you’ll be even lonelier in marriage. If you’re at all insecure, you’ll be even more so now.
#2 I wish I had known before getting married…
Just because we were different didn’t make me wrong.
When we dated it was easy to show up energised and full of fun, ready to please. To do anything from wild sex in garden parks to climbing pathless thorny mountains in the midday sun. I could stay up ’til dawn, and listen for hours on end. I’d the energy of a goddess. If I knew then what I knew now, I’d have known I wasn’t less.
I’d have trusted him with the me that was me, not quite as adventurous as I’d made out to be. It wasn’t sustainable to live his life. I’m lucky. He’s wise enough to want me to be happy more than he needs me. But who would have blamed him if he felt disappointed when I changed. And I was wise enough to not expect him to change because I did
You gotta be yourself. Live your life. Don’t expect your partner to live yours or yourself to live theirs.
#3 I wish I had known before getting married…
Dating and living with someone is NOT the same thing.
Sharing physical and emotional space with someone is hard work. It’s doing the small things differently. Like leaving the toilet seat up or down. I once moved his things and he couldn’t find them. He was livid. “I need order Jo’ he pleaded. He was pretty mad. “And I need the dishes washed I thought.
If ever you’ll resonate with an axe murderer, it’ll be after marriage. If you cannot allow people to be who they are even when they irritate you, you’ll be a tyrant.
#4 I wish I had known before getting married…
I would keep score. I never thought myself the type.
Tit For Tat. Every time we fought I discovered my mind is a score-keeping child. What good thing I‘d done for him, and what bad thing he had done to me. These are not my proudest moments.
If you keep score it’ll taint every good moment you’ve shared.
Now I keep score of how great he is.
#5 I wish I had known before getting married…
Expectations lead to insecurity.
Never mind marriage, let’s speak about courtship. I couldn’t help come with a preconceived notion of what relationship looks like. After I didn’t hear from him for three days, I called him threatening to break up.
After all, surely that meant he was not that into me. I was utterly confused. A marriage that cannot handle time apart suffocates. When we demand love the way we believe love should be, we don’t trust the person to really love us. How can we? After all, we know we’ve manipulated the person into giving us what we want.
#6 I wish I had known before getting married…
My need to be right would come between us more than another woman ever could.
“Do you want to be right or do you want to be free?”
This question alone has saved me from a bad marriage. How many fights we’d have had if I chose to be right. Being right can make for a long, long night.
Criticism, control, arrogance, and competitiveness is the ultimate recipe for pain. I call it the Mommy Bitch Syndrome. (Men do it too). Love dies so you can be right and better. I still do it sometimes. So does he. We’re human. But when one of us is in ‘I’m right ‘ mode, the other lets it go and doesn’t take it personally. No grudges. Otherwise, it’s war.
Most of all you if can’t love someone when they show up in disagreement to you; it’s not love at all.
#7 I wish I had known before getting married…
If I don’t look after me I can bring nothing to the marriage. Being miserable makes for a very bad living partner.
When I don’t get enough sleep, or take time do what I love, I’m not that nice. Self-care should be a legal requirement in a marriage. Cultivate your inner strength.
Don’t give up on anything that regenerates you. Get more sleep, drink enough water, exercise, meditate, and be happy. Your stuff is your stuff and marriage won’t solve your problems. Only you can.
You figure that out early on. You learn not to blame each other for your pain. You learn how to love anyway. Because there isn’t a choice if you want your marriage to thrive.
But most of all I wish I’d known before getting married just how much marriage would grow me, and all the wonders of being loved so much. I would have fretted less and loved a whole lot more. I’m far a bigger person than I was before. I embrace all the challenges of sharing a life with my beloved. I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened up until now. I guess I discovered things just at the right time, after getting married and not before.
Make yourself at home
Copyright Jo (Hazelhurst) Ntsebeza 2015
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