What we saw with the Kim Kardashian situation that I covered a few days ago is what we see with a lot of young women these days. They’re in love with idea of being married (the ceremony and the admiration that a bride receives on that special day), but they have no idea about the work involved in marriage. To quote Kim, she “got caught up in the hoopla” and couldn’t stop things when she realized she and Kris Humphries probably shouldn’t get married. When you’re not willing to stop that train when you can, you don’t take the institution of marriage seriously.
Something that I touched on in my first book, Temporarily Disconnected, was the fact people are often planning their escape before the nuptials have taken place. They seem to be saying “If this doesn’t work out…” before a tux is even rented. But if you’re discussing divorce before you get married, you already have reason enough to not do it.
While a situation like the Kardashian/Humpries thing isn’t unique, it represents the danger in women looking to celebrities for role models on this. I’m not saying that if a marriage is over in 72 days, no one tried to save it. What I am saying is if a marriage is over in 72 days, it shouldn’t have happened. The two people involved know this better than we do.
My new bride and I were engaged for over a year before we got married (longer than those two were actually married). We would hear from people all the time about how rare we were. It’s like no one does that anymore. But our position was, I’m not going anywhere and neither is she. What’s the rush? Other than to appease some onlookers, there was no reason to rush. We have the rest of our lives together.
To start from the beginning, dating and courtship have taken a back seat. When we jump into marriage, there’s a good chance we’ll be jumping out. It’s not impossible to know enough about a person in a short period of time to wanna marry them, but more times than not, there are some things you still need to figure out.
In Detroit, you’re more likely to see a single mom than you are a divorced mom. It’s difficult to even get to the altar because women have given up the idea of a good man, and thus, given up on the idea of marriage. While there are times and circumstances where single parenthood just happens, it concerns me that it’s become more of a choice. People have started to stay married longer here, but studies show that it has more to with the economy (co-owning a house, can’t afford a lawyer) than love.
I know single parenthood can be done because I and my 5 siblings were raised by a single black woman. But my mom will tell you that it wasn’t easy and she probably should’ve done things differently. To quote comedian Chris Rock on women that choose to be single mothers: “Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it’s to be done”.
Single parenthood and being single in general has been unnecessarily glorified. It’s noble when single parenthood is done, but it shouldn’t be the goal. It’s okay to be okay with being single, but I don’t believe anyone really wants that. They just want some guarantees that it’ll work out and they’ll be happy. Life doesn’t come with such guarantees, but there are always preventatives measures that can be taken.
In this economy, women can’t afford to spend money on a wedding just to watch it fall apart 2 years and 2 kids later. The courts are flooded with cases of deadbeat dads in Michigan. Women must be mindful that no matter what, when that baby get’s here, a good mom takes care of them no matter what dad does.
Something else that’s gone missing in marriages is counseling. Many have frowned on the idea of some third party telling you who you should and shouldn’t marry. But they’re missing the point of counseling. Counseling isn’t about dividing couples. It’s about pointing out some things that we sometimes can’t see when we’re in love. It’s to show you where you need work so that you can tie up the loose ends before you get married and then have to end it all in 72 days.
There was no doubt in my mind that my wife was the one for me. When I went ring shopping, I had no thoughts of what “problems” we needed to work out before the wedding. We had already worked them out during the courtship. Anything that we missed, we had over a year to cover it during the engagement. At our counseling session, our Pastor told us that it felt like a formality because he had never counseled a couple that had covered all of the bases as we had.
Now, I’m not writing these lines to brag. I’m writing them to show that by taking the proper steps, marriage can be smooth sailing. I know it’s early in my marriage (we were married in June), but we’ve made it past 72 days. I’m feelin’ pretty good right now. There were many before my wife that I could’ve married, but I could see how it was going to turn out based on how things were going during the dating process.
As I told my wife, when we get married, I want us to be together until one of us dies. In my eyes, that’s how marriage is to be done. And it takes a lot of work. I know we don’t live in a perfect world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try to do it right the first time. Of course, if a marriage doesn’t work out, divorce is always an option. But it should be the last one.
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