Ever since I announced my engagement, many people asked me if I’m ready for marriage. I always said yes with an awkward tone because I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what they mean by “ready.” There are so many factors to consider whether someone is ready for marriage, that I don’t believe anyone is ever truly ready. Given the fact that some marriages last for a year, some last for ten to twenty years, and some last until both partners die of old age, nobody ever truly knows if they’re ready for marriage.
Being ready for marriage can depend on how emotionally attached you are to your fiance. Some people think they’re ready because they feel super excited to spend the rest of their life with their partner, then find themselves in divorce court a few years later. Being ready for marriage can mean both partners are financially stable and knowing the financial roles each partner will play in the marriage because one of the biggest causes for divorce is financial problems. Being ready for marriage can mean having strong support from family and friends. Some people believe if their family and friends like their partner, then its meant to be. Maybe being ready for marriage are all of those things and more.
There is no telling whether we’re ready for big decisions in our lives. Some people thought they were ready to join the military, and find out it isn’t for them. There are college athletes that get drafted early and do not perform to the standard at the professional level, but some late draft picks or players signed from free agency become stars on their team. Some people think they’re ready for college because they got good grades in high school and end up dropping out their first or second year.
How does anyone know they’re ready to be a parent? Because they planned the pregnancy? Because they set money aside for the baby? Because they have careers that provide them time off to care for the baby? These factors significantly improve your readiness for parenthood, but everyone prepares for a healthy baby. Are you ready for a special needs baby if you have one? No one thinks about having to prepare for a special needs baby until they found out they’re having one.
Everyone prepares for a happy marriage and expects arguments here and there. To be ready for marriage also means to be ready for a broken heart, to fall out of love, and to hate your spouse for a few days or months. No one hopes these things will happen to them, but that shit happens, so how will you handle it?
So if you’re wondering if I’m ready for marriage I would say no. No, I’m not ready to wake up to the same person for the rest of my life, but if I take it day by day I’ll be fine. I’m not ready to give up my sexual freedom for the rest of my life, but I do know that being able to have sex with anyone is only fun because its easy, and once being a playboy gets old you’ll get nothing out of it in the end. I’m not ready to share my financial wealth because spending and controlling my money is easier than sharing it with someone else, but when I die, I rather give it to someone I loved than to a bunch of strangers who can careless about me.
Asking me if I’m ready for marriage makes it seem like I’m supposed to know all the answers and have all my problems solved before the wedding day. The fact is, I’m excited as much as I am nervous. My fiance and I went to premarital counseling, but there is still a hell of a lot of things we will learn along the way.
Marriage is a journey. And when you go on a journey you may not bring a gun because you don’t expect to run into bears, and your insect repellant or snake bite antivenom means nothing compared to a bear, and you die. These are the people who think they got everything they need for marriage and run into a situation they’re not prepared for.
I don’t know every possible situation I can run into for marriage, so I don’t have all the tools to combat them. But, what me and my fiance both have is our faith and that will lead us to whatever tool we need to combat whatever situation we run into.