Not For Me

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In a fairy tale world, everyone gets married and lives happily ever after. In our world, not so much. Is marriage for you?

Fill out all of the application.

While everyone may well have a soulmate, marriage is not for everyone. The traditional institution of marriage requires:

Compliments of wikicommons

  • commitment
  • honesty
  • understanding
  • humanity
  • patience
  • perseverance
  • kindness
  • compassion
  • responsibility
  • selflessness
  • self-control
  • empathy
  • forgiveness.

Not everyone possesses those qualities in sufficient measure to sustain a relationship for a lifetime.

Not The Same

In our instant gratification society, many couples are bewitched by their parents’ idealistic views of marriage and are pressured into an unholy union. Parents and friends push unready, incompatible couples down the aisle. After the honeymoon, reality sets in…

What I Hate About You

The wife hates socks on the floor, the toilet seat up while the paper roller is empty, Monday night football, the way her husband always misses the grass next to the driveway, etc.

The husband hates his wife’s girlfriends calling all day on Saturday, the way men look at her in public, his mother-in-law, “sandwich night”, the way she leaves dinner dishes in the sink until morning, ad nauseam.

ESPN Monday Night Football

Step It Up A Notch

Soon bickering becomes argument liberally peppered with heated words which can never be taken back, resentment over non-apologetic attitudes and unforgiveness: the cobblestones in the road to divorce. Individuals who cannot choose their battles wisely should not attempt marriage at all.

Mind Your Matters

All of this could have easily been avoided. When outsiders give their opinion on how a couple’s relationship is progressing toward the altar, the united response should be: “We have been charting our road to marriage; however, to date, we can’t get there from here.” Individuals who cannot resist peer or parental pressure should not marry young, if at all.

Action

Couples need to know each other well enough to be able to ask any question and accept the answer without judgment. Husbands and wives must:

  • share
  • cooperate
  • forgive
  • accept
  • sacrifice
  • behave selflessly
  • agree more than they disagree

Individuals who cannot do all of these tasks for a lifetime commitment should avoid marriage altogether.

Warning, Will Robinson!

If a couple spends more than one conversation a month explaining why one partner is “wrong”, marriage is not for them.

If one partner “holds a grudge” and brings up resolved history at the first sign of an argument, marriage is not for this couple.

If petty actions draw out feelings of frustration and anger and/or have been discussed but still remain, this couple should not marry.

In short, until couples are sitting down to discuss their views on commitment, children, career aspirations, fidelity, honesty, retirement, housework, finances,…all things which are pertinent to the married couple, the charted course will inevitably end up in divorce court.

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How did you know when you were ready for marriage? Or not?

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(c) Red Dwyer 2011
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33 Comments

  1. James Parsons

     /  November 23, 2011

    I was pushed into it, and regretted. I was only 22 years old and totally not ready. If I do get married again I want it to be with some one I know deeply and trust with my whole heart.

    Reply
  2. Hey Red, I still don’t know that according to your guidelines that I am ready for marriage. However,today, on my 15th anniversary, I have to relate back to a previous blog of yours: It’s not about you! When a couple begins to realize, individually, that it’s not about me, but about us, things seem to work better. Unfortunately, some people are slow learners. So, if the fast learner can survive, they eventually wind up on the same plane. At this point, True Life begins. There will still be arguments and disagreements, but making up is well worth it. Happy Thanksgiving and we love you.

    Reply
    • Congrats on the anniversary! Hope you many more, too. No marriage will be free of fights or disagreements, but as long as both openly communicate and are fair to one another, chances are good it will make it the distance. Squeeze your wife for me! Red.

      Reply
  3. We all trip willingly down that aisle at some point in our life, maybe more than once. Foolishly always believing maybe this one, maybe this time. Hanging by a thread hanging by a noose hanging by our belief it forever and love conquering all … will it? Maybe or maybe it just conquers the blinders we place over our eyes each day to prevent us from being scared by those snakes in the grass and the faster moving vehicles along the side.

    Who knows. I still believe in the institution, shameless I know.

    Reply
    • Some days, it is the institution, white jackets and all. Until we realize the work involved, we are just tripping on the notion something mystical and out of our control makes marriage successful.

      Like we want another job, eh? Still, at the end of the day, a healthy relationship is indeed worth the work.

      From a serial wife, Red.

      Reply
  4. A long time ago I believed in marriage and it lasted for mearly 18 years.
    I’m surprised it lasted that long. If I had known then what I know now … I would have kicked him out within the first year. Would I get married again … oh hell no!!!

    Reply
  5. I know the day I met Grant I was going to marry him. I do not know why or how, I just know. Yes we have our day days but we have more good days. I was ready because I found the right man for me. Yes, there is a lot of compromising.Your heart tells you what you need and do not need.

    Reply
    • The key to it is compromise. To compromise you both have to be willing to tell the other your opinion, knowing the other person will not judge you for it. When you can sit and listen to your partner and come to a reasonable conclusion, you have the key for marital success. Sometimes, neither of you will be right. That is the meaning of compromise: Both giving some to grant each other, and the marriage, peace.

      Reply
  6. you forgot to say that you should be with them long enough to figure out if you can continue to look at them each day without wanting to choke them. I mean this is the third one, and that’s a point I wished I learned long ago.

    Reply
    • Does this fall into the category of deciding the weight of physical beauty or is this more about learning not to accept someone who insists on behavior you cannot abide in the long term?

      Reply
      • behavior you can not abide by in the long term makes one unattractive no matter how cute they were when you met them

        Reply
        • I thought that was what you meant. A lot of people are willing to overlook behavior they really do not like in the beginning in a misguided thought they will be able to convince their partners to cease. Rarely (if ever), is this the eventual case.

          Bad behavior is something we all have. Every single one of us. We add arrogance to our bad behavior when we contend we can change someone else at a fundamental level. We are wrong for asking our partners to change what makes them who they are.

          Methinks I have just discovered where this series will go next. Thank you, Laurie, for bringing this up.

          Check out the 2000 post, I think you will be pleasantly surprised 🙂 Red.

          Reply
  7. Yes I think that one has to buckle up for the long ride ahead (no pun intended on that one either 🙂 lol) I guess if one is always bickering, whining and groaning, well maybe not the groaning but…

    Well let’s just say that perhaps marriage is just not right for some, whereas others simply adore it, warts and all 🙁 lol Of course I am not married, oh no, I got a divorce you know? 🙂 lol And now I am a lot happier by a long chalk…

    Just don’t be giving any of those Naughty and Ghoulish Vampy Nymph’s that prowl around My Gothic Realm of an eerie evening any hints or they will have me screaming my bleeding head off just at the mere thought of it.

    Single and solitary, yes that is the
    order of the day me thinks, but what
    of the nights? 😉 lol

    Well that is for another yarn…

    I hope that you are having a wickedly exciting afternoon, and are getting ready for a fun evening also? 🙂 Well I only said 🙂 lol

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Good evening, Andro. Me, widowed, so single ATM. But as I explained in another comment, a serial wife. I happen to love being married. Then again, I am a workaholic, but even the casual passerby can see that. I am not unhappy about being single, though. I chalk that up to my being satisfied within my own skin. No damsel in distress am I.

      And it may just be you find a dark princess amidst your realm who will sweep you beneath her cape, steal your beating heart and make you beg her for just one more moment. In that bewitching moment, I would venture your views would change irrevocably. Have a wondrously terrific night, my friend,
      Red.

      Reply
  8. Yes, funny that you should mention that…
    And… Never Say Never As They Say 🙂

    Do have a lovely Thursday Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
  9. awarewriter

     /  November 23, 2011

    Show, don’t tell. Trying to mold your partner into your image of them dooms a marriage. Show, don’t tell. Mold your own self first. Show your partner who you really are by becoming that person. Learn to love yourself first. Nobody will love you if you don’t. You are the only person, the only thing you can control. Do it. Never try to control your partner.

    Who your partner is is their responsibility. Show, don’t tell. Your example will be enough for them, or their example will be enough for you. Mutual respect for each other as a person ought to do it.

    Two people make a marriage but the children make the family. Tracy and I have been married for over 40 years now and we ain’t quitting. Tomorrow when the extended family descends on our home for the Thanksgiving dinner is part of the payoff — mothers, bother, sister, niece, daughters, husband and best of all, six lovely granddaughters.

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    John

    Reply
  10. awarewriter

     /  November 23, 2011

    Thanks for putting me on your list Red. Ideas? If more people recognized that life is a creative journey and that life has nothing to do with ‘stuff’ they would have a good head start.

    I read your secrets in the post you referenced. I wouldn’t want to change anything either, in spite of all the rocks I put on the path. We are who we are now. I like me the way I am now. It’s a wonder Tracy put up with some of the dumb things I did over the years, but she did and I’m glad of that. I’m glad she waited until I figured out who I am. I’m not done yet, we never are and that’s the beauty of life.

    John

    Reply
    • I have to go back to “you can’t take it with you”. So many people identify themselves by their occupations, positions in the family and past glories. Me, just a woman who appears to have her poop in a group, but knows there will always be a bit stuck to the bottom of my shoe. I am happy with who I am, and those who chose not to engage me are the ones who lose. I am not conceited; I am convinced.

      Have a terrific Thanksgiving and kiss all those babies for me. I cannot believe how big the twins have gotten. Time is flying by, John. Glad you are recording it. Red.

      Reply

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