The Truth About Marriage

By Esther Rachel Lai. - 4/18/2016

A few days ago, Shane and I celebrated yet another milestone in our marriage - our 5th anniversary. We haven't been married for very long (compared to our parents and all the other generations before us) but half a decade is long enough for me to tell you that marriage really is no walk in the park. A lot of couples (young couples especially) see marriage as some sort of "happy-ever-after" & the whole marriage thing is more highly glamourised than it actually is; which is probably why people get divorced so often these days because it wasn't what they expected. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here but if you've only heard the good side about being married & dive in with your head in the clouds then I can frankly tell you, sorry mate, it's just not going to work. Marriage is more than just looking forward to the happy moments and you need to also understand the harsh reality of marriage to truly prepare yourself for this lifelong commitment. Here's what they don't usually tell you about marriage.

A fairytale wedding is possible, a fairytale marriage is not.

You can plan for a fairytale themed wedding but to expect a fairytale out of a marriage is naive. Unfortunately, investing a fortune into your wedding isn't going to guarantee a happy marriage. Marriage is a day-to-day commitment that starts once the glamour and novelty of the wedding is over.

It's more than just "happily ever after".

Like all relationships, there's gonna be a multitude of emotions involved - negative ones included. If you haven't already foresee it, well then, this is your wake up call. You and your partner are not going to be happy with each other 24/7. There will be countless times where you will feel angry, bitter, disappointed and even resentful towards each other just as often as you will feel blissful and loving.

Getting married is easy. Staying married takes a lot of effort.

Saying your vows is the easy part, the question is whether you and your partner can stay true to them? Many of us say our vows without giving much thought to it but have you ever stopped to think about how much weight the vows hold?
"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part" 
Your vows is not something that should be said just for the sake of the wedding and then forgotten after; it's a pledge of commitment to your partner that come what may, the both of you will weather through life together. & you can take my word for it that there will be difficult and trying times, times where you'll feel so jaded. Remember, marriage is a lifelong journey not a 10-20 year affair.

There is no "ideal" marriage.

No marriage is perfect and if you want your ideal marriage, you've got to work hand-in-hand for it. People don't stay together by finding the right one. They stay together by making things right. If something isn't working out in your marriage, deal with the issue together and not at each other.

New problems in the relationship will surface.

You've probably heard it a thousand times that dating and marriage are two vastly different things & I can vouch for that. In marriage, you may find yourself faced with issues that you never once thought would be a problem between the both of you & you might even start to get on each other's nerves. For example, your partner's poor financial management might not have been an issue to you when you weren't married, but when it comes to forging a future together, you will realise that it is a problem too big to look past. Or the way he leaves his clothes all around his room for his mom to pick up after him may not have bothered you at all back when you were dating, but when you live together, it will drive you insane. And as the years go by, new challenges will surface as you go through different phases of life together but this is what marriage is about - working things out. Marriage isn't the solution. On the contrary, marriage is about finding the solution to your problems, together.

It's not just about two people.

"Us against the world" may sound romantic, but it is unrealistic. Whether you like it or not, it isn't just about the both of you. Marriage involves two families and each other's circle of friends - that means, accepting the people around the both of you into your lives and having them accept you as well. Because no matter how you try to avoid it, your partner's friends and family are going to be a part of your life as much as your partner is. You can't run away forever.

Marriage isn't for everyone.

Just because everyone else around you is getting married, doesn't mean that you have to. Sometimes, people do well as boy/girlfriends but suck at being somebody's husband/wife. Think about WHY you want to get married in the first place and what marriage will give that you don't already have. Solve your individual issues before committing yourself to someone because bringing past baggage into your marriage isn't healthy or fair to your partner. If you have issues with commitment and monogamy, then I highly suggest that you think thrice about getting married.

It's not what you think it is; it's bigger than that.

Marriage is too small a word to fully describe what it truly encompasses. Choosing to get married is akin to taking up a huge responsibility. It is more sophisticated than what we see on the surface, an intimacy so profound that the perplexity of it all can only be understood by the two who are bound in matrimony. If I may say so myself, despite how daunting it may get sometimes, it still always amazes me each time I look back on the years of good and bad that my husband and I have been through. Ironic as it may sound, I guess that's what makes marriage so...unfathomably alluring.

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