Take off the rose colored glasses and listen up. I apologize for shattering your illusions. However, if you consider these points with an open mind, your marriage may stand a better chance of surviving.
1. Marriage is not natural behavior. There is no equivalent in nature where either sex of any species mates for life as a result of illusions about their mate. They pair off to propagate the species without benediction or perception of personal future benefit. Neither Uncle Sam nor God care about the words. Uncle Sam only cares about the taxes; God is too busy holding the universe together.
2. Marriage is a choice. Unless you’re being forced into a shotgun wedding or live in an arranged marriage culture, you’re choosing your mate. The behaviors you see during courtship, or don’t see, but believe are there, are part of our human ability to camouflage and fantasize. If you don’t like certain behaviors in a fiancee, you won’t like them any better in a spouse.
3. Marriage doesn’t protect you from anything. Loneliness, disappointment, illness, financial problems, disillusion , parental neglect or daily stress can accompany you right to the altar and beyond. Your spouse is a partner, not your shield against what’s not right in your world.
4. Marriage is a legal and financial responsibility. Once you marry, you’re part of a business partnership that presents a tax opportunity for the government and a financial obligation to your creditors. Love or lack of it isn’t a valid defense against your signature on a contract, mortgage, tax return or lease. Sign it – whatever it is – and you’re as responsible for it as your mate.
5. Marriage isn’t structured to make you happy. It gives you more legal rights than living together, but it’s harder work than people predict. It is an opportunity to be with someone you love, work together with each others’ support and envision a future you can both share.
To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Ask not what marriage can do for you. Ask what you can do for your marriage.