[July 20, 2022] Why is marriage important for you? There is no other place in your life where you can be totally honest and where your negotiation skills will be tested to the limits. If you can be honest, truthful, and are willing to work hard on your personal skills, then get married.
Marriage is the highest form of humanity – responsibility, honor, loyalty, selflessness, respect, and courage. There is no institution, group, career, friendship, or live-in relationship that demands the level of commitment and effort that marriage requires. If you are interested in being all you can be, to maximize your potential, then (if you are fortunate) you will find a mate you can love and respect and then marry that person. And despite those flaws you both bring to the table, you are on the only path to a good life.
If fortune shines upon you, you will also have children and raise them together. There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than marriage with children.
A marriage is a vow, a voluntary commitment to stay together and support your partner no matter what the world brings your way. “From this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…” the marriage vow is a sacred promise – a practical and moral promise – that is said with family and friends present and in the presence of God, and is not meant to be broken.
The vow is not a conditional declaration; it is forever, “till death do us part,” a literal and symbolic joining of two people. If you follow this path, you will be fulfilled. Don’t let others talk you into thinking the words are meaningless or provisional. If you are not deadly serious or have the guts to do what it takes to hold the marriage together, then marriage is not for you.
“I’m not leaving you, ever, no matter what.” My wife’s idea of marriage is straightforward; you’re in it for the long haul. We are all full of liabilities and weaknesses, and only through marriage can we bond together so tightly that there is no “out” and that union forces us to sort out our problems.
There is no running away. If you were able to run away, you could not tell that person the truth. The marriage forces you to tell the truth. And it forces you to negotiate with your spouse over every sort of thing; mundane daily chores, in-laws, joint careers, where you will live, and whether to have children (and you should have children). Some folks need this level of seriousness to push them to sort things out.
You either force yourselves to straighten out the relationship or you will suffer for it for the rest of your life. Without that bond, there are things you will never learn because you will avoid them. Unless you’ve made a serious, lifetime commitment, one that you are not going to back out of, you’re not going to take the relationship with the seriousness necessary to make it of the highest quality and sustainability across your lifetime.
If you should get to know someone long enough to know that you two can tell the truth with each other, communicate, and negotiate. If you can do that, marriage is the right place for you.
Find your mate, marry, have children, and hold your marriage together. Marriage is not for everyone but it is the only way you can be the very best you can be.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).