I don’t talk about having been married much and if you don’t know already or if you haven’t read Own the Throne, then I intentionally omit it from every conversation. I viewed my experience with marriage as a negative and as a result I have tried to pretend that it just never happened.
Every experience teaches us a lesson and you only take an L (loss) when you fail to see that lesson. This post will highlight 4 very important lessons that being married taught me.
1. Getting married does not fix an issue, it further exposes it
Can you love your significant other the way they are right now (flaws and all)? How about if they were to never change – can you still yourself with that person for the rest of your life? Whatever your relationship is like prior to marriage, it will be enhanced once you are married.
Did being married teach me love? No…but it did teach me to set realistic expectations of love. Another person cannot give you something they don’t possess, and more importantly, that some things we look to our significant others for aren’t fair expectations.
Marriage is not a quick fix to get you out of the dog house, it is not a guarantee to keep someone you don’t want to leave you, it is not a reward for the dutiful girlfriend/boyfriend that stayed by your side through your dark days, but a conscious decision.
2. I needed to love myself before I could love anyone else
A marriage is not 2 halves joining, but 2 people who are already whole joining their lives. Entering a marriage thinking that your internal issues will magically work themselves out, will lead you down the divorce aisle in less time than it took you to recite your vows.
3. Real relationships take work
You must consciously decide to commit, because the incentives, other people, family/friends, cute photo ops, and hype won’t always be there. A lesson on commitment is bacon and eggs.
“The chicken was involved; the pig was committed”
Can you roll your sleeves up and get dirty? Can you be a person of integrity and character when your significant other is in the trenches and they need you to be a support for them? Can you love your significant other through WWIII level disagreements (let me clarify - NOT VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ABUSE!).
4. There is a difference in remorse and someone having a knee-jerk reaction
Apologizing is a verb, an action, and when an apology is sincere there will be physical proof of an effort to change/communicate.
Someone begging, crying, and doing everything you’ve been asking them to do AFTER you’ve made the decision to leave them, is a knee-jerk reaction. If it was sincere they would’ve done it because of them caring about how you feel not as a response to the consequences of them not caring.