An amazing post that embodies what Love Literally is about. Check it out!
Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.
Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.
I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.
Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?
Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.
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After watching an old episode of Oprah, I was inspired to write this. The Smith family was on Oprah to talk about their lives, both celebrity and personal. I was moved by the way the entire family presented themselves, especially as a unit. Everyone is expected to contribute to the family in some way. Everything they do is done to better the family unit. As a high school teacher, I appreciate the accountability that Will and Jada are teaching their children. In terms of their marriage, I also admire how they respect each other as equal partners. One thing they discussed about their marriage was the setting of goals. They said they frequently sit down and set goals for themselves and their family. These goals then give purpose to everything that they do. This resonated with me because this is something that Wesley and I have been doing since we began dating. Setting goals helps to establish us as a unit and keeps us on the same page with what is expected. While some of our goals are financial, not all of them are. And they shouldn’t be. We set personal goals for our relationship and (future) family as well. From what I saw on Oprah, the Smith family seems like a solid, loving and inspired family. That’s why Will and Jada Smith are couple of the month.
Here’s the link to the Oprah interview:
Times have changed. Gone is the notion of the stay at home woman. The average woman these days has a career, in addition to taking care of the home. (And as I’m typing this, I’m waiting for dinner to finish, drying my hair and completing my lesson plans for tomorrow). This was something that I personally struggled with when we first got married. The thought of trying to build a career (and being fully vested in it) as well as building a home was no less than daunting. When Wesley and I got married, I was teaching full-time and was in school full-time. I barely had enough time to sleep, let alone cook dinner every night. So when he would get upset that things around the house weren’t done, or we were eating take out one more time, I would also get upset. Why couldn’t he just understand that Iwas busy? Why was he putting me back in the 1950’s?
Then after the umpteenth disagreement, we sat and really hashed out what our expectations were of our roles as husband and wife. The expectations we both had were based on how we were brought up. In Wesley’s family, the women took care of the house. No question. In my family, the women worked and brought home the money. My mother was as single mother, so a strong, working woman was my model. We decided to agree on the roles both of us would have. I would assume the household duties when I could. When I was busy or had deadlines, he would pick up where I left off. It wasn’t fair to him to have to do it all by himself. We both cook, clean and do laundry. And this works for us.
When I agreed to become Wesley’s wife, I agreed to be one half of our unit. So using work and life as an excuse to get out of that wasn’t ok. I promised to take care of him and our family. And the same for him. If this means that some days, work goes on the back burner so that I can make his favorite meal, then so be it. If it means doing a little more planning on the weekend, so that during the week I can be “present”, fine. These are the compromises you make when you love someone. And you do it because it makes them happy, which makes you happy. Meeting the needs of your partner (or at least trying to) is crucial in maintaining a relationship. But that’s another post. 🙂