In December 2004, my boyfriend and I decided that its about time to tie the knot. Unlike others, it was not a very exciting moment for me. We have been considering it the year before but gave ourselves time to think about it. We both agreed that it was more than just living in the same roof.
We had to go through several statements about marriage and here are some that I can remember:
1. Marriage is being constantly in love with your spouse.
It seemed ideal to talk about marriage plans when you are both in love with each other. You talk about the big day and want to make it as memorable as possible. After all, we only marry once, well, most of us, I guess.
Lesson learned: Marraige is a wild roller coaster ride. Before saying yes or asking your girlfriend the big question, ask yourself if you can commit to stick with your guts no matter what. Marriage is about sincere love and deep commitment.
2. Marriage is a package of your spouse with his/her relatives.
We were young then, idealistic and agreed to rule out relatives in our decisions and misunderstandings (quarrels, more so). Later I realized we were not idealistic but just plain stubborn.
Lesson learned: Marriage is a union of 2 (or more) families. I am just happy that I was born in a time and place that I am not forced to marry someone I don't know or can't live with.
3. Marry the right person.
To find out, I answered several interesting pop quizzes from magazines. Back then, I had to list down the things that I want in the man I will choose to marry. He had to be understanding, patient and as flexible as I am. I read about what makes men and women compatible. I consciously asked myself if I was making a wise choice. Because these were my point of view, I was very disappointed in my first year of marriage.
Lesson learned: Marriage is not a ticket to changing another person. Change yourself first and you may live a better life together.
Only 5 years in marriage and both of us have changed significantly. We constantly learned about each other and sought ways to work around each other's whims and pains. As every union is unique and special, ours is more than a test of faith. And we are thankful for having great teachers in marriage: our parents.