First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re an “us” now. You’re a “we” when you were a “me” before. The wedding just solidifies a contractual obligation between the two of you to be an “us” and “we” forever. What if the terms of that contract change? Do you just throw in the towel? Um, no, you just got married. Have some patience for growing pains.
Wait-if you’re being abused day 1, then don’t be ashamed to run. Grab your purse and GTFO ASAP. See, I wasn’t wise enough to even know I was being abused. No matter your religious beliefs, you have to agree that some fate brought me to a Domestic Violence Shelter to work nights during my abusive marriage and getting my degree to be a therapist. My AHA! moment was staring at the Power and Control Wheel for probably an hour thinking, “Well, if this isn’t a sign from God, I don’t know what more there could be”. There was an obvious violation to our contract because, “hit and choke me” were nowhere in our vows. In the end, he filed for divorce. You see, standing in front of God and saying all of those things, that ended up being empty air, couldn’t allow me to see a way out. But, I guess I wasn’t subserviant enough for him.
If it’s 80 out and you leave the ice cream in the car…what the hell did you expect? People never seem to quite grasp that their actions have consequences and, if you’ve ever dropped anything in water, the biggest ripple comes closest to the item. So, every time you decide to take a risk and jump in, your partner gets the biggest shock wave. Don’t make decisions that could drown them too. They’re supposed to be your partner in all affairs: from the bed you share to the finances and beyond. So I ask you this: When you said those vows, what did you expect?
Let’s say, for fun, that you plan to quit your job once you become a Momma. Here’s what you might expect: A fun day toiling away to keep you and the kids happy, fed, and alive, however, you expect your partner’s help with chores once he returns home. That’s a lovely idea, but one for the book of what won’t happen in a marriage. Does he think it’s your job to do it all alone? Maybe, but I’m sure that you can appreciate that, when they come home, they might need a moment’s rest before all of that. They may actually want to spend quality time with their family (i,e. the kids). You may feel left out at times while you’re cooking and cleaning the dishes in the evening. You could get jealous of how much time they spend with the kids vs you. Or resent them because they don’t do enough to help around the house. What did you expect? (Sensing a theme here?)
A wedding ceremony can only be so long, right? You can’t specifically expect “I promise to always make you happy by taking you on a date night every week and helping you with the dishes every night after dinner and helping with kids’ bedtime baths”. Can you? Our lives can change in a moment and, if you’re not expecting that, if your partner becomes paralyzed and you must be a caregiver (which most people aren’t), rethink your vows. Was it forever or just until the shit hits the fan? I’m just taking a leap and guessing it was forever, so, when our expectations waver with our marriage, as they will, you have to learn what to do with that. Let’s talk about some of the things that you can do to navigate these issues, in addition with the 10 Fair Fighting Rules (also on my site).
I hope that this blog helps you, despite the example I used. These are all vital parts of ANY marriage, not just for people in the situation like the one presented. Continue to follow for more tales and information on marriage, weddings, and family matters. Thanks for the read!
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