20: Getting Married

Getting married is a HUGEMONGOUS decision. One of the very biggest – WAY more important than choosing a college or university. You have to live with the person you marry every day (usually); you only go to college for four or five years (usually). And getting UN married is a whole lot more trouble and expense that getting married in the first place, even though you would not think so when you are trying to pay for everything required to actually get married. I understand why people “shack up,” which is a colloquial American expression that means living together without bothering to get married. It is very expensive to get married.

First you have to rent a place. Then you have to buy a license, and pay for the legal stuff: blood tests, etc. Then you have to pay the preacher, or priest, or justice of the peace, or whoever is going to be marrying you. Then you have to get a wedding dress (or two) and a tuxedo for the groom, PLUS all the clothes for the wedding attendants. Flowers. Decorations. Presents for everybody. Then there are singers, and maybe a band to entertain everyone who comes. Then there are the costs for the reception afterwards, and even more costs if you have a sit-down, formal dinner after your wedding. And the honeymoon? WOW. That costs heaps and piles of money, even if that is the most fun part, because you get to travel somewhere neat and have a nice vacation.

But. But. But. Learning to get along with another person is a difficult thing. Most of us have only the experience of getting along (sort of) with our brothers or sisters at home, and that is not the same thing. You can whack your brother or sister, and still love them. Whacking your spouse is just not recommended, and is, indeed, grounds for not being a spouse anymore. Many of the disagreements between a new wife and husband are “people” sorts of getting-along issues, not actually husband and wife issues. People who have been to college usually have an advantage here, because they have had to live in a small room with a college roommate, and have had to learn to get along with them. That is good practice learning how to get along with another human, even if that other human is your spouse.

Some of the issues between husband and wife ARE husband and wife issues. Who is going to be the boss in certain situations, how the money will be handled, whether we want to have children or not, what to do about the in-laws and relatives, and more are all issues that should be discussed and thoroughly understood before a couple gets married, and often are not. That means we hash them out after we are married, when problems occur. When you are already mad or upset about something is when it is hardest to be logical, considerate and fair. Most husbands and wives discuss things when they are mad and upset – a recipe for disaster. Learning to disagree and to work out a compromise is a life skill that lots of people never learn. It should be taught in school. Seriously. It is a skill you need often in your life, and it should be taught! I need that skill much more often that I need to know when the Magna Charta was signed, for cripes’ sake. I propose a new class for everyone to take in elementary school….getting along and how to solve disagreements class. Required subject!


One thought on “20: Getting Married

  1. Wow! Ms. Stephens this post really spoke to me. I know I’m still young and far from marriage, but I could relate to the parts where you wrote about siblings and roommates. All-around, a very well written post! I actually laughed out loud 🙂

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