Hey there! Hope all is well. For today’s hang out, we are going to continue this marriage series with Shelly’s latest post. Check it out below and be sure to leave some feedback!
Hi everyone! It’s such an honour to collaborate with Toni on this marriage series and get the chance to hang out with you. For those who don’t know me, I’m Shelly from Growingwithspawn.com, a passionate, working mom trying to figure out this thing called life. I’ve been married to my best friend for nearly three years now and have learnt a thing or two I’d like to share with you about marriage. Please do make sure to read the interview Toni posted last week so you can get a better idea of what marriage means to me before we dive into today’s hangout. Done? Ok, now let’s chat!
Have you ever heard couples saying “When you know you know” as a response to how they knew they were in love? How about “life is too short” as a reason for tying the knot abruptly?
Both of these sayings are very true, but can also be very wrong when it comes to exchanging vows. When I think of marriage, the words forever and soulmate come to mind because marriage is a lifelong commitment. We’ve all watched a romcom where beautiful vows were exchanged, we’ve been to our friends’ or family members’ weddings and uttered the typical “aaawwwwww” right before the couple sealed their vows with a kiss. Love is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated and encouraged – there is no doubt about that – but what happens when the honeymoon is over and the fireworks are no more? Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball so we can never say with certainty how life will look a few years from now, but what we can control is our mindset which in turn impacts the ‘happily ever after’. Based on this, I’ve put together a few questions I think need to be answered by anyone in a relationship
Are you willing to settle?
Ok ok, hear me out. There is such a negative connotation tied to this word but perspective can really change the context of everything. As a person, your wants and needs will continue to fluctuate depending on the phase of life you are in. Why is this relevant you may ask? Well, if you are constantly changing, how can you be certain that what you want now will still be on your list five years down the line? Settling or settling down does not mean you have to compromise your integrity or commit to someone who you cannot imagine spending the rest of your life with. What I am talking about is stopping the tasting menu and eating the full meal. You will never find someone who is perfect, in fact, even you aren’t perfect so if you can truly accept your partner with their flaws, you’re headed in the right direction. Marriage is not the union of two perfect people it is the perfect union of two people.
Are you willing to prioritize your partner’s needs above yourself?
This is a tricky one that needs to be addressed regardless. It is nearly impossible to find two people that will enter into a relationship with a clean slate, so we all need to be honest in answering this question before committing to forever. Typically, relationship advice encourages each person to focus on their own needs and lessons from past experiences but what is missing in this ideology is that it excludes the significant other. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely focus on self growth, self love, etc but when two people commit to each other it needs to be for better or worse, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. Can you imagine a relationship where the main priority is to cater to each other’s wellbeing? Ladies, I’m not saying that he needs to send you to a spa each weekend. Fellas, I’m not saying she needs to dress up like a nurse and serve you beer. We’re talking about emotional and physical needs which could potentially be PTSD, depression or a series of medical conditions. And are you willing to your partner’s love language and actively put it into action?
Are you in love with yourself?
Someone out there came up with the theory that when you find your soulmate, it is as though two halves become one. I disagree. If you are at a point in your life where you aren’t completely happy on our own, you will never be happy with someone else. It doesn’t matter if he is Prince Ali or made of gold, no one will ever be enough until you are truly in love with yourself and content with what you have. When I married my husband, I was not yet in the right mindset to love him unconditionally because the way I felt about myself made me wonder if he truly loved me. I was broken and lost, searching for something or someone who could fill the black hole that my mother left when she passed away and was compounded by a series of bad relationships. Less than one year into marriage I needed to seek professional help in order to be emotionally present in the relationship. I know I said that no one is perfect, but you cannot depend on someone else to complete you, instead you should complement each other.
- contribute extra features to (someone or something) in such a way as to improve or emphasise their qualities.
Have you already planned out your prenuptial agreement?
By no means am I saying that all marriages need to be in communion of property. That is a personal choice that each couple has to make on their own. What I’m referring to is that nagging fear that you HAVE to get one done as soon as possible because you are afraid of what will happen when the fairytale ends. If this is even a thought, it would be a good idea to take a step back and really get to know your significant other. Once you enter into the marital covenant, your marriage will not survive if every day is lived in fear.
Are you more excited about the wedding than the person you will be marrying?
This one is a little obvious but still worth mentioning. When it was time to marry my husband, I was really excited to go through the whole process of picking out a dress, tasting all of the different flavours of cake, selecting the decor, etc. When I looked at my husband, he seemed a little less enthusiastic about everything, which I attributed to him being a man. Nonetheless, he went along with everything and actually sorted out the majority of the planning as I was too nervous and anxious to get things done. It was when he said his vows that I realised that the man standing in front of me was really nervous and excited to be with me forever. It was the way he looked at me and basically ignored everyone in the reception because his main focus was ‘us’. It’s not wrong to get excited about your wedding, but do keep in mind that it will only last a day (or three if you are African). If you are planning on jumping the broom, ask yourself if you will be happy waking up next to the same person when his breath is smelly, eyes are crusty and after a night of deadly farts. If the white dress and pretty decor were all taken away, would you still be excited to sign the papers and say “I do”?
There are definitely a few more considerations to make including the family pressures, but we’ll stop here for now and let everything sink in. We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s points so feel free to drop a comment below. Also, please make sure to read Toni’s post about Things you should ask yourself before getting married
Till next time!
Be sure to read our interviews so you understand our different perspectives as you stay on track with the series.