So, you’ve been in a long-term relationship and you recently got engaged. Congratulations! Maybe you’re single and you’re looking for love, or if you’re trying to figure out if this guy is “the one” I’m speaking to your future self. Or, maybe you’ve been married for a few years, or let’s face it… Many years. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, OK, this woman has no idea what she’s talking about, she’s not even MARRIED YET! What could she possibly tell ME that I don’t already know after being married for X years?!”

Well, yeah, OK, you’re technically correct. I’m not married… yet. I’ll be a married woman in 23 days. And I’m going to clear one thing up before I continue my rant. I’m not married yet and I’ve never been married. In fact, I’m also 23, which I think is considered young to be getting married? I’m not sure what society calls it these days. I could care less. BUT, I will tell you – as young as I am, I know WHY I’m getting married and I know what I don’t want brewing within the walls of my marriage.

Photo Credit: Brittany Eitsert Photography
Photo Credit: Brittany Eitsert Photography

I’m getting married in 23 days… But, I don’t want to be married.

I want to date the love of my life, for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be thrown in the category of “that old married couple.” You know, the ones claiming they can’t go out and have a fun-filled night with their friends – because they’re married now. The individuals ripping each other’s heads off at a social event about something that happened last month. The ones constantly complaining about everything their husband does wrong, instead of focusing on what he does right. I don’t want to come home after a long day to fight about the dishes in the sink with food still caked on them… or the heaping piles of dirty laundry. I know this will occur some days, but it doesn’t need to be the main fight or discussion, day after day. Some days are busier than others, complete those tasks another day. It’s not the end of the world. (Still learning this one, but we all have our flaws, right?) 🙂

I’m not saying you can’t stay in on the weekends, I’m also not saying you should go out every night. What it really boils down to is: balance. I will preach about balance until the day I die. Similar to living a healthy lifestyle. I’m going to eat my salads, chicken, and veggies, I’ll try my best to get my walk/run in every day – but, when Bryce is down for wing night at Quaker, you better bet your buns I’ll have a smile on my face and be ready to eat my heart out.

So, my message to you, my dear… Don’t let the spark of your once exciting, young relationship eventually fade into an uncommunicative, unhappy marriage. There’s this negative stigma around getting married when you’re young, or in general. Don’t involve yourself in that negative stigma, especially before you’re even married! I’ve heard various comments on marriage, a common one is, “Well, everyone is getting married and having babies. It’s a trend.” OK, maybe for some, but not for me. And believe me when I say, I’m too stubborn to follow the “trend” of marriage.

BABYB0145
Photo Credit: Brittany Eitsert Photography

Don’t get me wrong, I know there will be arguments, battles, and times of hardships. I know we won’t always be on the same page. This happens in relationships too, not only when you become a married couple. But, this also doesn’t mean our love or happiness for one another should fade into thin air. I’ve had many, MANY people make the statement, “Be ready. Marriage is hard. Like, really hard.” So let me ask you, what is the definition of “hard”? Do we bring these hardships on ourselves because we’ve been repetitively told marriage is supposed to be hard? It’s just something that… happens. Is this the norm with marriage?

My answer to you: it doesn’t have to be hard, if you don’t allow it to. Don’t allow yourself to get so upset about those unwashed dishes. Don’t let yourself focus on all the things your husband does wrong. When you compliment your husband, he’ll be more likely to WANT to wash the dishes. He’ll actually be happy to assist you in all of the unfinished household chores and watch the kids so you can have your “me” time. If he sees no appreciation on your end, it’s pretty likely he’ll look past all of the things your secretly upset about. Nobody is perfect. If you dwell on your spouse’s imperfections, you’ll never be happy.

I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear, but it needs to be said. You aren’t always right. As women, we have this strong tendency to feel like we have to be right – all. the. time. We’re not. He’s not perfect, but neither are you. This marriage is a two-way street. It’s called a relationship. It takes two. So, drop your guard. Listen to him, he’ll listen to you. Communicate with him instead of automatically accusing him. Don’t get pissed off immediately. Marriage is ALL about communication and if that’s something you’re lacking, learn to communicate better. No, it won’t happen overnight, but baby steps are key. We’ve been taught at a very young age that as long as you take the small step, every day, the situation will improve, you’ll reach your goals, etc. These lessons apply to marriage and various relationships in your life, as well.

And to my hubby-to-be, in 23 days, I want to continue dating you. Yes, my last name will forever be changed. Yes, we’ll sign legal documents to unite in a lasting relationship with one another. Yes, our debt will combine (Yikes, scary!). But, no, we don’t have to let our marriage evolve into a dull and uneventful relationship. We don’t have to terminate our once playful relationship. If being married means we hinder our feelings and emotions for one another, I don’t want to be married.

Us 2012

I want to date you. I want to date you nonstop through every year of our marriage. 20, 40, 60 years from now – I want to go on cute, little, romantic dates. I want you to kiss me before you leave for work in the morning. I want to cook together (even though I will be cooking and you’ll be eating all the food in the process). I want us to set goals and accomplish them together. I want you to be goofy and make a reference to an inside joke when I’m mad, just to get a laugh out of me. I want our children to look at us when they’re twenty or thirty and know the definition of love. I want to set an example for them, I want them to know the definition of true love  – because of us. Because of our affection, because of what we’ve demonstrated for them all the years of their lives, and because we never let our spark fade.

Here’s to you – dating the love of your life, for the rest of your life. You don’t have to follow in the footsteps of everyone else around you. It’s been pounded into our heads that marriage is going to be hard… It doesn’t have to be. Don’t allow it to be hard. Yes, there will be hard times, but don’t let that make it a hard marriage. Fights, arguments, disagreements, they’re bound to happen – regardless of whether you’re dating or married. Address them right away, don’t enable them to escalate for years to come, waiting to burst at the seams of the marriage. Communicate, listen, admit when you’re wrong, commend yourself when you’re right. Love unconditionally. And don’t allow yourself to believe that marriage HAS to be hard. It doesn’t. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken, sure. But, don’t presume something that hasn’t and may never transpire.

Marriage is not a “one-size fits all” kind of deal. Every marriage is different and unique in its own way. Stop comparing yours to those around you. Focus on the good thoughts, throw away the bad. Focus on your marriage to make it the happiest possible relationship. Grow as a person, grow as a couple, grow to love one another with every part of your being – through everything.

2014

Every person in this world has flaws, so love your imperfect spouse perfectly. And seriously, live a marriage where you date your best friend for the next eighty years.

~Bear

6 thoughts on “I’m Getting Married in 23 Days… But, I Don’t Want to be Married”

  1. Wow Erin-very true. Great blog and after reading this I will think more often. Like you said you are young but I think you hit it right on. Congrats on the upcoming marriage. Hope to see that baby(little) girl sometime. I probably won’t tell Jared you are getting married-lol. Best of luck at everything.

  2. Good Morning Beautiful! When I read the heading for your blog, I thought …..”Say What?!” But then, it intrigued me to continue reading – beautifully & heart-felt writing! However, the line about “marriage can be hard, really hard” sticks in my mind. I don’t remember hearing that before Dale & I got married almost 32 years ago, but with wisdom & love (and sometimes silence & “the look”) from my family & friends, I have found that marriage can be complicated sometimes, but also beautiful; marriage can sometimes make you cry so hard that your head hurts, but also make you cry so hard because your heart is happy; marriage is about spending time together (whether in the local establishment or just sitting by the fire), taking a drive into the country, watching the sun rise (well more me than Dale) or just watching what HE wants to watch on TV & not complaining about how many times he channel-surfs! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think “Stop snoring you Ding-Dong!”, but when I wake up in the morning and that “Ding-Dong” is laying next to me snoring, I am thankful & happy and I smile! Erin & Bryce & Deklyn – we are so looking forward to your big day. Erin – you keep writing, you have a special gift to share! Hugs & Love!!

    1. Holly, this is so beautiful! Thank you for the kind words of wisdom! Bryce and I have had our fair share of differences – but our relationship only grows from them! I can’t wait to celebrate our big day! Thank you, Thank you! 🙂

  3. Wow this touched my heart deeply! Your words are very powerful. I almost shed a tear because of how it spoke to me. My partner and I do fight about little things but like you said it si a work in progress. We have been living together for almost two years now. We hope to get married soon (if he gets accepted to a naval school we have to wait longer *tears*). We are both excited for our futures together and many more years to come. Marriage to us is exciting and even my family asks when it’s happening! It won’t be a big change in what we are already doing in our lives now but I can’t wait to have his last name and be in a pretty dress and continue to grow old with my partner. Love is a crazy thing. Thanks for inviting me to your page! Def following 🙂 – Driana from Facebook group

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