I have the unfortunate pleasure of being in that prime age range where a lot of people expect you to be married or well on your way to being married. Ergo, a lot of conversations with people significantly older than me centre on the topic of marriage. I think this is in a bid to give me unnecessary pressure, but I refuse to collect it.
Regardless of this, talking about marriage a lot more lately, I get the opportunity to have interesting conversations about it and what it’s like. Considering that I intend to be married some day, I figure why not ask these people about it. I enjoy finding out what gems each of them have to drop on marriage. Majority of the people who ask me about it are already married and a few are divorced, so regardless of whether it was a failed or successful marriage, I like to engage them in a conversation about what they have learned. It’s always a fun way to flip the conversation.
I haven’t gotten as many “gems” as I had hoped when I decided to start flipping the conversation, but I do have an excerpt from a lady I heard speaking at a conference a few months ago. She wasn’t even speaking directly to me. I believe someone had asked her about her marriage and in her answer she said something that has kind of stuck with me since:
“The ring doesn’t absolve you of lust”
I know a lot of men usually get a lot of heat and flack about failed marriages and cheating and everything and the other, but I found it quite interesting that this was being said by a woman. A reputable woman. She explained that her struggle had always been with lust and after she got married she went on a business trip away from home and got attention from an attractive man on her trip. They flirted a little bit and before she could take it further, thankfully, another woman she was on the trip with helped snap her back into reality. This was when she made the statement about the ring.
It was just very interesting to me as I thought it would naturally be easier not to think about someone else once you were married. It also highlighted how we get swayed by the idea of marriage and the notion that it can possibly fix the things we struggle with as a couple prior to tying the knot.
It reminds me of a divorced woman who shared being with her fiancé about five years before they got married. As a couple they had dealt with some of his infidelities and yet she sort of pressured him into getting married, citing the “we’ve been together this long” card. Thinking it would help stop his cheating because they were married, she got a proposal and hopped to it. This was kind of like putting a plaster on an infection. He cheated while they were married, as his actions had indicated he would prior to, amongst other things, and that led the end of their marriage.
Each time I have a conversation about marriage and what I can learn about it before I don’t have the time to learn, with me is that idea that it’s absolutely necessary to work on myself and the things I struggle with before committing to another person and having it be their burden as well, so to speak. A lot of times some women will tell me to pray for my husband and my marriage before I have even met him. And I think that is great advice, but I find that in doing that, I unknowingly do so from a place of feeling like I am already ready, instead of also praying to find out what it is I need to change to help make that union the best it can be when it happens.
A lot of what I’ve heard is that people don’t do due diligence prior to getting married. They succumb to pressure and jump the broom without giving it thought or putting in the work to ensure it can be successful, or as successful as they can make it. Which isn’t to say there is a time constraint of any sort, because we’re all different and there isn’t a textbook of how long or short a time it takes before you get married. However, I do think it’s necessary to not be pressured into it and to talk about the difficult things before we jump into it.
When there are gaping issues that we have to deal with as boyfriends, girlfriends and fiancées, they are worth paying attention to. Instead of ignoring them only to get married and realise those are the things that are exacerbated instead of alleviated.
The ring doesn’t absolve you of lust…unfortunately, the ring doesn’t absolve you of anything, really.
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