Monday, November 26, 2007

A Conversation With A Divorced Man


I'll never forget what my uncle told me. As we were sitting at his dinner table (me, him and his wife of over 30 years) he looked at me... looked at her... then looked back at me. He then says "Boy...don't you ever get married! You'll end up like me."

All I could do was laugh. "haaaaaaaa! hahaha... man you are cra..."

He was stonefaced. She was stonefaced. "you're serious"

It was awkward after that. I slowly got up and left the table. The strange thing about that statement was that he was serious, but yet he loves his wife dearly. Otherwise he wouldn't be with her. The go back and forth all the time like that, but at the end of the day, they wouldn't give the other up for anything in the world.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and one of my divorced frat brothers schooled me on this whole marriage thing. His advice was this:

"Before your get married, make sure you discuss sex, children, and money. Anything else you can work around, but if you aren't both on the same page with those things, your marriage will fall apart."

He said that when it comes to money, talk about how much should be saved each month, if it should be kept together in one account, and so forth.

Also, most husbands assume sex will remain the same in marriage, both in frequency and in actions performed. A lot of wives intend to make changes in the bedroom after marriage. If couples don't discuss sex before marriage, they may be in for a real shock.

Children are the biggest point of contention, apparently. Surprisingly, it's not the number desired or whether each couple even want kids. Rather, it's how the kids should be raised. While married couples do discuss names and how many they want, many overlook how kids should be raised. Are you going to spank, "whoop" or do time outs for discipline? What time are they to sleep? A difference in values will be enough for the kids to pit one parent against the other if those values are polar extremes.

In his opinion, if you discuss these three points in depth before marriage, it'll let you know if this is the person that you should marry, or if you'll be another stat. Or worse yet, you'll end up on Judge Maybelline's Court Show on a random Wednesday trying to get your CD Player and her portion of the waterbill that she owes you back.

6 comments:

Gene said...

Marriages fail when one party stops trying. As long as both keep trying, they can work.

Jermel said...

I remember you telling me about this uncle a while back. I definitely don't want to end up like him. I agree with your frat brother. All those things should be discussed before you pop the question. The problem is, Hollywood has glamourized marriage proposal into this jaw dropping, down-on-one-knee, tear-jerking, violin in the background scene. They never show couples discussing each others values, their views on finances, or their opinions on sex after marriage. Hence people get caught up and try to plunge into marriage like they do in the movies and end up in marriages they're not ready for.

Anonymous said...

"The problem is, Hollywood has glamourized marriage proposal into this jaw dropping, down-on-one-knee, tear-jerking, violin in the background scene. They never show couples discussing each others values, their views on finances, or their opinions on sex after marriage. Hence people get caught up and try to plunge into marriage like they do in the movies and end up in marriages they're not ready for."

More true than I could ever vocalize. And what they do an even poorer job of showing is 1) couples having troubles and 2) couples bouncing back from those troubles.

People quit all the time because they are led to believe that their problems are not surmountable. But the truth is with God's help and willing spirits, all things are possible. All things.

Anjuan said...

I would add religion to this list. I don't mean the obvious challanges that happen when Muslims marry Christians or when Christians marry Jews. I mean the arguments that come when Catholics marry Baptists or Seventh Day Adventists marry Methodists. You have to agree on what days you will go to church and how often as well as if family devotions will be had at home. How much will you tithe? How much will you let the pastor, minister, deacon get into your business? Will the children be involved in youth groups? Disagreements here affect the other three areas.

Anonymous said...

Or just the magnitude of the role that faith and other values play in one's life period. Too often we assume that because someone says they are "Christian" or they are "Democrats" that that automatically means they are the same type of Christian or Democrat that you are. Not so. Sooooo not so.

K.B. said...

I don't think it's any problem in a marriage that God, communication, and common sense can't solve.

People don't realize how vital it is to talk to each other about EVERYTHING. My wife and I have had conversations as real as "Here is a list of what I don't like about you." Like, we really handed each other LISTS - with numerous things that would normally tear down one's ego. But, if we don't talk, we won't learn what to change to make it work.

Bottom line, when you stop talking, it's a wrap. Cuz you'll start coming up with your own thoughts about the other person in your head. And, it's no telling what you'll tell yourself - that isn't true.