WHAT I WISH I KNEW BEFORE MARRIAGE
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Marriage is already complicated, and getting advice can be difficult because no two are alike.
When it was time for me to get married, instead of looking at magazines and books, I sought the advice of a trusted Pastor. What I later found is that even the best of the best, still can't tell you everything that you are about to encounter.
Here are six things I wish I knew about marriage before I got married:
Marrying a foreigner will require investigation and checks. In my country, The Bahamas, this can be complex and tedious. With all the paperwork and background investigation that I had to go through, just because my husband is Nigerian, was unbelievably frustrating. The Bahamas' Registrar General interviewed us separately to ensure that both our stories had all the checks and balances. They needed to ensure that the marriage was not a fraud or one of convenience. This was quite an interesting process just for a marriage license. If you're like me, then please make sure you start early; otherwise, you will find that your time will run out, and you will not have that marriage license in your hand for the big day.
A marriage can't survive on love alone. There is no such thing as a soulmate. A marriage takes work, and some days it's harder than others. If you think you can just sit back and be married without putting in the effort, you're sadly mistaken. The reality is that its two different persons, with entirely different life experiences, coming together and living together, now that is another level of existence.
There will be mood swings, disagreements, arguments and fights. You will get tired of being in the same space together. There will be times, you just want to be by yourself, without the other person around. Honey, it is what it is! Those are the days you will need to have friends that you can hang with for a few moments, just to take a breather before heading home to make dinner. HA! Believe me, it takes deliberate COMMITMENT to stay together!
Be ready for the curveballs life throws you. How scary would it be if your husband came to you one day and said, "I want to relocate to another country for work? How easy is it to just pick up, pack up and move to a place you have never been to before? It's another one of those things that's easier said than done. It will take lots of in-depth conversations, much praying, plenty compromising, and above all--submitting for the family's benefit. This will help to ease everyone into this instant transition.
You will need more of God. It's not that God comes in measures; because once you have Him, you have ALL of Him. What I mean is that He will definitely have more of you! Somehow marriage has a way of either pulling you closer to God or farther away from Him. I chose to get closer because I wasn't crazy enough to try any of this without Him. Marriage has made me pray more, worship deeper, read and confess the Word of God every day. My walk with Christ has gotten deeper than I have ever experienced since the day I said, 'I DO!'
Be Prepared to choose your Battles. You can spend the entire first year of your marriage fussing with your husband about everything he doesn't do 'right' or by your standard. Small things like putting down the toilet seat, or him not hitting the bullseye when he uses the toilet at night, (somehow it always ends up on the rug) Uggggg!!! My friend, I had to learn that husbands don't like to hear their wives constantly nagging about every little thing, every day. So, I've learned to choose the battles. If he takes out the trash on time and leaves his sock on the ground, honey, I just pick it up and keep it moving.
Selflessness can lead to happiness. I believe marriage is not about compromise - it never works out well that way. Marriage is about mutual submission. The Bible instructs both husband and wife to submit themselves one to the other. It's not about 'I'm giving up what I want, so you have to give up what you want, and we settle in the middle.' Instead, it's about realizing that you can give up personal things when it means happiness for the other person, which ultimately leads to your own satisfaction.
Don't lose you in the process. Don't lose sight of who you are, and all that you are called to be and do before you get married. It is crucial to have a life outside of your marriage. Too many people go into it, thinking you are now a 'we' more than a 'me.' I'm seeing that is the quickest way to start hating one another. So like I always say, "Do you boo!"
Remember all that you are responsible for. You have so many people looking up to you. You are an individual who was involved in your own life, community, church and family before the marriage. Don't throw all of that away because you have entered into a new phase of life. Understand this one thing singles, saying "I do" is a big deal, and marriage WILL change things, no matter what!