I spent Saturday at my mom’s house, just hanging out with her and my brother. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them for more than just a few minutes, and with my crazy work schedule and living almost two hours away, it gets a little hard to see each other. We were sitting on the couch doing what the women in my family do best: talking. We were catching up on all the latest and greatest, mostly what I miss not living in the area anymore when my sister walks in.
Now, I guess I should mention that me and my sister don’t get along. At all.
I’m not exaggerating, we can’t stand each other. And it’s not because my poor mama didn’t try to make us get along, she did. We had to hug each other when we fought, and if we were really bad, she made us kiss each other on the cheek.
It was torture for small children.
To put it nicely, we just don’t mesh. We never have. Some days, we’re good, we can even be civil. But other days…well…let’s just say it’s best if one of us leaves the room.
We bring a whole new meaning to the term Sibling Rivalry.
Anyway, we were sitting there discussing my sister and her boyfriend, who she plans on marrying and has essentially mapped on when they’re getting married next year, even though he hasn’t popped the question, and she was talking about him getting laid off from the oil field and him trying to find a job at home. The discussion turned to them being married and I told her the same exact thing I have told her a thousand times before:
Things are VERY different once you’re married.
I don’t care how long you’ve been together and how much you think you know that person, it’s different. People seem to let their true colors bleed out once the vows are said. I’m not saying everyone is a trickster, or is lying to their significant other, but when people get comfortable and let those guards down…things change.
My mom, who has been married going on twenty-three years, had four words to say about my comment: “LISTEN TO YOUR SISTER.”
When I got married, I would come back to my mom and tell her things about my marriage and she would laugh and say “That’s every couple, I can’t believe you already figured it out.” Apparently, some issues myself and Tyler have went through, it took my mom a few more years to find out in her own marriage. I guess because I watched her go through it when I was younger and lived at home, I learned a few things.
PSA: MOMS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.
My sister tends to cringe when I try to give her advice, I guess due to our strained relationship. But I tell her the same thing I tell all couples who are considering marriage. I’m not trying to scare them out of getting married. I’m not trying to tell them it’s terrible. But, I do feel like they should know the truth about how hard being married really is, and not think it’s all one big fairy tale like television has always promoted it to be.
I want the best for my sister, regardless of how we act towards each other. At the end of the day, she will always be my sister, and I want to see her have a successful marriage. BUT, I don’t want her to go in blind, and think just because it’s rough at first, that it won’t get better.
I believe that every engaged couple should have to go through counseling before they get married. Some kind of classes or meetings with a mediator, whether religious or not, and really dig into what marriage will be. Give them exercises to see how they can handle arguments, or disagreements on certain topics, just so they can learn how to work together, and not just throw up their hands and call it quits in the first six months. Or, in some cases, after the first year when the honeymoon phase has ended.
I keep bringing my sister up as an example, simply because I know she’s planning on getting married soon. Any couple considering getting married, PLEASE realize it’s for the long haul. It’s not for “oh, we got in a fight and I want to leave so I’m done with this too-hard marriage.” I will be the first to admit that I have left mad, drove to my moms or just down the road to calm down, but turned around and came back home. I’ve had my doubts about my marriage making it. I’ve considered looking for apartments and sat contemplating how my life would be without my husband, and I realized that it was not something that I wanted.
Too many couples get married not really realizing exactly what marriage is. It’s NOT just a piece of paper. It’s not just hanging out and getting to do what you want when you want it. It’s constant work. It’s actually trying every single day to make it work. It’s giving up the small things to save the big things. It’s loving someone more than you love yourself. It’s standing by the vows you say before your minister, your family, your justice of the peace, whoever it was that oversaw your union. It’s forever kiddos. And you may say this is just all hogwash, but one day, you’ll look back and say “wow, she was right.”
I want nothing but the best for every young couple. I want everyone who is considering marriage to be happy and prosper and have the whole “sitting on the front porch at 80 with your partner” kind of life. I want everything for you guys.
But first, I want you to open your eyes to what marriage really is, to what those vows really mean, and what you’re willing to do to beat the odds and keep your marriage alive.
Ask yourself: are you really up to the challenge?