I have had many ‘if I knew then what I know now’ moments in the almost 13 years that we have been married. The majority of information that was given to us pre-marriage, was negative, and it did not make me (Oliver) eager to be married at all. However, we were fortunate to have Anthony and Marva Kelly to give us some advice/counsel from a practical perspective. It was invaluable to the success of our marriage. Everyone should have an Anthony and Marva in their lives…
I believe it is imperative that singles be privy to information that would be beneficial to their success when married.
With that in mind, I would like to share a post with you from a friend of mine – Pierre Quinn
Pierre has worn, and continues to wear many ‘hats’ – communication professor, fundraiser, youth ministry leader, and pastor. In addition to these, he is a husband and father.
Take a moment and check out the 5 things Pierre wished that he knew before he got married.
At the end of this post will be additional links to Pierre’s blog. Please stop by and check him out.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married
I’m closing in on 5 years of marriage. Like most people who get married I was sure I had most of it figured out. Here’s a short list of things I wished I really understood before I said I do.
1. The relationship with my family would change
I got married in July of 2007. The week of the wedding was adventurous. We had a great ceremony and a great reception. For the festivities family came from miles around. Little did I know at the time that after the celebration my relationship with my family would change. My primary allegiance was now to my wife. After the wedding my mom was no longer the number one woman in my life. She would always be mom but the special spot now belonged to my wife. My wife was my new confidant and best friend. Those deep, soul searching conversations would be less frequent with my mom and more frequent with my wife. There were now things I could talk with my dad about that didn’t make sense before. My sister didn’t lose a brother she gained a sister. Things are different. I’m still working on managing this difference.
2. The relationship with my friends would change
A few weeks after the wedding Team USA would be playing in the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) games. Leading up to that summer my friends and I talked about our plans for watching the games. Since most games were televised during the wee hours of the morning we arranged to wake up early or go to bed late. I remember being asked how I was going to be able to watch the competition since I would be married soon. I replied that I would be no problem. Lying in bed one night I awoke to screams. They were not shouts of terror or despair. These were the cries of sports fans. In an apartment across the complex my friends had gathered to watch the games without me. No one called, no one came by, and no one reminded me. My friends understood that it didn’t make much sense for a recently married man to hang out with his buddies at 2am watching a basketball game while his bride sat at home alone. For me being married didn’t mean that I couldn’t hang out like I used to, it meant that I chose not to hang out like I used to. My friends understood.
3. We would need help
Television and movies have severely jaded relationships. You see a couple driving into the sunset or riding a train to their future life. Apparently love is supposed to sequester you and you don’t mind because your love for each other demands and supports your isolation. That’s foolish. Yes couples need time and space away from family and friends but the individuals also sometimes need time and space from each other. There are times when you will need advice, reprimand, or even money. You need friends to help move stuff around or weigh in on an issue. You need family to help watch the kids or to pass on traditions. Marriage should not be viewed as a way to escape your parents, financial situation, or your life in general. For any marriage to be successful the couple will need support.
4. I would have to share
Being the first-born and living on my own has created some selfish tendencies. My marriage attacks those tendencies head on. Since our relationship is egalitarian I do not rule the television, bank account, or menu choices. Part of me prefers a dictatorship. I want to make all the rules and have the final say. I don’t want to share my last cookie, cup of juice, or my favorite blanket (I’ve had it since childhood). I want the best of my stuff and the best of my wife’s stuff. Besides the tangibles I also have to share the intangibles. My time is shared. My emotions are shared. My ideas are shared. Silly me for thinking that I could keep all these things to myself.
5. We would live in a different world
I grew up in the place where the Detroit Lions used to play before they moved to Ford Field. My life in Pontiac, Michigan wasn’t that bad. There were some rough times but my parents worked hard and we made the best of it. In my mind the way that my parents raised me, the things we experienced, and even the food we ate is the best way to live. In my wife’s mind her upbringing in Trinidad and New York, family traditions, and menu choices are also the best way to live. I’m sure you can see how problems could arise. To make sense of it all we had to create our own world. A world that is neither all American nor all Trinidadian. A world that is neither all island cuisine nor southern cooking. A world that is neither all movie watching nor all socio-political debating. It’s a new world. Not a perfect world because its developed from two imperfect perspectives. But it’s our world.