(Leer en español) So this is the article where I tell you I am getting married in Israel. I can already listen to my mum taking the phone to call me and say: what!? – Chill, it is a joke, of all the important decisions I could be making while living here, getting married is definitely not one of them. Although ever since I moved to the Middle East a reasonable amount of people I know has decided to get married while I am not there. (Maybe they didn’t want me at their weddings?)
As you might have already noticed, marriage is not exactly a field I am an expert on, but I have grew up close to a few successful marriages and reading tons of theory about it. So to my friends/relatives that have decided to go for the “I do” in the following months, here is some wisdom from this short human that is learning how to be an adult.
Marriage is about two (max up to 3)
I have many friends that are in a relationship/married and for some reason they decide to share with me their emotional drama, which I love because I learn and understand humans’ interactions much better (Do I sound like an alien now?), though if I am grateful to them about something is that they have never followed my advises – although they take them into consideration – because just imagine giving the power of your relationship to a 24 years old girl that ruins her milk EVERY SINGLE MONTH. That’s not a wise decision as you can easily tell.
Why am I saying this? Because you are going to have ups and downs in your marriage and you will want to go with your friend, cousin, aunt/uncle, mom, dad, market girl, taxi driver to tell them what is going on in your marriage and that’s fine, what is wrong is giving them the final vote on how to procede.
Now, as an extra advise on this topic, if you are a Christian, if God has a place in your heart, the He has all the right and authority to be the third one in the relationship, if you and your partner are focused on God, things will be much less complicated, trust me on that one.
Have common goals
One of the reasons why I am definitely not ready to get married (or to be in a relationship) is because my current goals are too selfish but when you get married there is no longer an I but an us. I am not saying than you and your desires will stop existing, but they go to the back seat because you are no longer building your life, you are building a family.
You have to be ready to compromise and sacrifice. I remember a few years ago while doing a certification that one of my classmates was married and told me she was helping her husband pay for his master because later he would do the same for her, they had a profesional growth joint plan – I find this cute and meaningful.
NOTE: This joint plan is not build when you get married, it is supposed to start before that, when you share your aspirations and goals. Marriage is about a team trying to reach as many joint/personal goals as possible.
Don’t keep things from each other
As an expert in communications and a master student in conflict resolution I have the authority to tell you that the biggest problems in the world and in relationships are because of the lack of communication. To assume he knows his comments hurt you is a mistake. To assume she remembers you told her you would be late is another mistake.
Women are – wrongly! – known for keeping things and explode one day, without warning and with unnecessary extra drama. Men keep things too but they don’t usually explode, they isolate themselves. Communication methods should be establish since the beginning of the relationship but you are still on time, learn how to talk with each other.
Learn how the other one wants to be loved
I remember in a conference organised by my church for single people they talked about how to manifest your love to your partner and something stuck in my head – even now – we can’t love how we want to be loved, but how the other wants to be.
In English – you love baking cakes and make him one daily to show your love, he will eat it but he will feel even more loved if instead of spending 2 hours baking you take a seat for one hour and a half to watch a football game with him, that’s what love means to him. Works the same way for you, gentlemen, maybe for you to show love is to buy an expensive necklace but for her is for you to remember to pay the bills on time and help her doing the dishes after lunch.
Marriage is not a 5 km walk, is a long haul marathon, with little stopovers for refreshing and reevaluating but without the option of quitting, that’s my position and I hope is yours too. Marriage is forever.