EVENthough this relationship of mine only lasted less than a decade.
But it was the longest relationship I’ve had. Three boyfriends prior to meeting my husband, and all relationships I never took seriously. Dated a few, never quite learn anything from it.
Fast-forward into marriage life and then divorce, here are a couple of things I think everyone should know before stepping into marriage. Every relationship or marriage can be different depending on you and your partner and how you make things work together. But here’s a few things I wish someone told me before hand. Not exactly a warning list, but something you should at least consider before getting hitched.
1. YOU MIGHT NEVER GET THE CHANCE TO THINK FOR YOURSELF AGAIN
For some women who were pretty much independent before getting married, they might find that when once they are, they may not be able to be so independent anymore. Especially when it comes to doing things they usually did in the past, or making decisions that now collectively includes everyone in the family. For some, permission from their husbands is everything. So be prepared!
2. DON’T HAVE EXPECTATIONS
Don’t. Just don’t. Having expectations is your only downfall. With expectations come disappointment. Loads of it. So it’s best to (a). Depend on no one but yourself or (b). Be prepared to be disappointed.
3. NEVER BE DEPENDENT ON YOUR MAN FOR MONEY
While some men are extremely generous (the rich ones) with family, some aren’t so much. Whatever it is, pay for everything yourself as much as possible. Speaking from experience, when we got divorced I now have to pay for EVERYTHING. Groceries, bills, rents, insurance, petrol, toll, cars…you name it. And after living in comfort for years, you tend to accumulate liabilities as well and some set standards of living.
It is a good thing even after I got married, I continued paying for my own stuff as much as possible. Don’t expect your man to pay for everything, especially if it is your gift to your family. It isn’t his responsibility to do so and if he offers, then it is his gift/sedekah to them.
Pay for as much things on your own as possible, EVEN IF your husband offers to pay it for you. This is so you can develop some discipline in spending your own cash. Be independent as much as possible. If your man can’t stand it, he’s just an egoistical idiot.
If possible, invest. Not just to generate revenue for you, but also because everyone needs a safe haven. You can also consider just doing part time home-based business to have some cash rolling, or if you’re a career woman, awesome. Something. To keep you busy and not over thinking.
5. DON’T COMPROMISE TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF
This is perhaps the most important for me. I think I’ve compromised so much of myself I am literally a different person all together after coming out of this marriage. When I look back, I used to be loud, random and such a go-getter.
Don’t compromise who you are even if you are loud, random, serabut and smart mouthed like I am. If someone cannot accept your vibrant excitement half the time, think hard about how much it could affect you as a person in a long run. Someone who truly loves you will love your personality. We’re not talking about bad habits here. We’re talking about real personality and dimming the light is only going to make you sad, depressed and hating life. DON’T. Don’t change yourself because it is what others want you to do.
6. ALWAYS HAVE A NEUTRAL PARTY.
While my closest friends know about my unhappiness, some people surrounding me also took noticed. Like my mom. But most importantly, I have a neutral party I go to not for solutions, but for someone outside of my circle who could give me a different insight to what is going on. A neutral party who doesn’t take sides could be a counsellor, or a mediator within the family.
7. TAKE TIME OFF FROM YOUR PARTNER
Yes. Extremely important for mental health. Take time off, especially when you are about to blow. If you are having a bad day or tough luck at work, take time off because if you’re pissed, you will say shit.
Taking time off was good because it would give time for both parties to cool down and avoid shit being thrown at each other. Taking time off can be anything from just going to the mall, being in a different room, being at work or going back to your parents. Time off for me was relatively easy given the nature of his work so half the time, he was away anyways!
8. NOT EVERYONE APPRECIATED HONESTY
My biggest problem. While I revere honesty, I realised not everyone appreciates it. Truly, I thought honesty is one of the most important traits any religion would advocate. Wrong. While I was always honest about how I felt if I was happy, pissed, disappointed, it wasn’t appreciated. I don’t think there was a two way communication at all.
I grew up learning first hand that lying doesn’t get you anywhere. And even if you told the truth and got into trouble, it wasn’t half as bad as lying for real.
And you know what? Up till today, I realized people cannot take honesty. They just CAN’T accept it if people were blunt. Apparently, they would rather beat around the bush or mince their words.
9. DON’T BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT PAST RELATIONSHIPS
Some may experience this very differently. Some couples appreciate transparency in their relationships, but some just won’t. Some often find it as a way to provoke their partners in future arguments.
10. WATCH HOW HIS FAMILY TREATS EACH OTHER
You can tell a lot about how a person would treat his wife from the way his father treats his mother and your partner’s treatment to his parents. While some people learn from experience, some learn by example. So, watch how they treat each other as this could be a sign of how a man would treat his own family too once he is married. Sometimes, a close knitted family share a lot of similar values, if your goal is for a loving family.
All relationships are subjective, but some are quite alike. While I take some of these points seriously, some of it isn’t priority and we just learn to adapt with it from time to time.
After all, isn’t all of these just superficial on earth?