As he approaches his fortieth year of marriage, groom David shares what he’s learned since that fateful – and utterly fantastic day – he walked down the aisle with this beautiful new bride.
Marriage is not a panacea
“Some people think that a problem they currently have will go away once they get married,” says David. “This is a dangerous assumption to make.
“Yes, you have signed a piece of paper and made a public affirmation that you wish to be married. That’s one thing but fixing your financial, emotional or family problems is another.
Will you already be living together before your wedding day?
“You need to understand that marriage is not a cure-all for the rest of your life.”
How the world sees you
“It’s good to at least be aware that many people will judge you according to your marital status,” says David. “This is one of the key criteria people use in dealing with you.
“If you’re single, people may wonder why. If you’re married, people will want to know about your spouse and, if you have any, your children.
“Be aware that being married will change the way some people look at you. I don’t exactly know why, bit it does!”
Good advice sometimes isn’t
“As someone about to get married or newly married, it’s likely you are going to be given advice. LOTS of advice,” says David. “The advice about the advice is that it is not necessarily so.”
Yep, just because someone who’s been married for 20 or even 40 years gives you advice, doesn’t mean they’re, necessarily, offering good advice. Of course, it may be great advice, but it’s up to you to decide for yourself what is the right advice to accept.
Love and business are separate items
“You need to know that being in love is one thing,” says David, “but tackling life’s practical issues is quite another.
“Just because your wife or husband is your lifelong partner, doesn’t mean that you treat them differently when it comes to practical issues.”
Romantic love and tough love
Many songs and movies extol the virtues of romantic love. Tough love is in another and very separate category.
“If you don’t know the difference between these two different types of love, then you need to do your homework,” suggests Ken. “Romantic love can and should exist in a marriage forever but there will be a time or times when tough love needs to be expressed.”
Don’t forget the in-laws
People know that when they get married they gain an extra family. But what they may not know is that having an extra family means you need to change the way you operate.
“You will need to make more time for your new family,” says David. “This means you will have less time to do the things you would normally do. Be prepared for the change.”
You are not joined at the hip
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything with your spouse. Of course, for many couples, they wouldn’t dream of being separated for anything, but for others, they don’t feel the need to be joined at the hip 24/7.
You may be one half of a life-long partnership, but you are still an individual.
“You still have your own hobbies and interests,” says David. “Doing things together is always helpful and enjoyable if you both want to do them, but don’t feel as if you have to do everything with your partner.”
You are not perfect
“It’s important you understand that being married doesn’t make you perfect,” says David. “Both of you will make mistakes and knowing this will better help you deal with married life. Be prepared.”
Being separate is good
Everyone has their favourite activities and sometimes they don’t involve your partner. One activity might simply be being alone. “Understand that doing things without your partner can be really good for your marriage,” says David. “Being alone at times can be fine.”
It’s not fantasy but it can be fun
Gurus tell us that marriage is this wonderful life-changing experience where everything is better because two people in love are joining forces. While this is true for some, it’s not always true for others.
“Many believe this and find the reality doesn’t match the hype,” says David. “Some people prefer to think of marriage as fun. They dump the fantasy and get on with enjoying life.”
What’s your best piece of marriage advice? Please share it below in the comments.
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