In the past month I have heard of 5 couples divorcing or talking about divorcing. This really bothered me. I didn't come from a family where everyone stayed married - my parents divorced when I was 5 and there are several people in my family who are divorced. So, I have been around it for years. I know sometimes it is warranted - infidelity, abuse, religious differences - and I get that. Some people just throw the word divorce around way too easy - it is a BIG deal. It is a life changing event. It is not a break up, this is not high school.
Some people need to ask themselves if they are ready for marriage or not. I don't think single people realize what all marriage is about and even some married people don't get it.
Are you ready to be one? Forever bonded to that ONE person forever.
Are you ready to forgive? When you are married you forgive things that you don't when you are dating. There will be hurt and it will need to be forgiven.
Are you ready to share? Not just closet space either - life. You are going to share your life with this person. Good and bad. Rich and poor. You can't go and do whatever you want, all your choices impact your spouses life too, remember that.
Are you ready to compromise? This is a big one. There is no room for pride in marriage. You have to do things you don't want to do and may have even said you would never do - that is part of marriage.
Are you ready for loss? You gain a whole other family with marriage. (In-laws) You will lose these people over time due to death - people that the person you love more than anything really cares about. You will have to watch them hurt and try to help them heal. You will also lose friends. Sadly, some friends just don't survive marriage, but the best ones do.
Are you ready to fake it? Mind of out the gutter! I am talking about interests. Whether interested or not, you need to act interested in what your spouse it talking about. If it is important to them, it needs to be (or appear to be) important to you.
Are you ready for unfairness? This comes a lot with children, but happens in other parts of marriage also. Someone may get up in the middle of the night with the kids more or stay home with them more - it happens.
Are you ready to not always get what you want? Your spouse or child may need something more and you just have to suck it up. There will be a time you will really need something too.
Are you ready to wait? You may need to put your dreams on hold until your marriage is ready. Timing is everything.
Are you ready to be judged? If you and your spouse fight and you run and tell people you are asking for trouble. You will forget, you love your spouse, they will not forget or maybe even forgive. It is easy to do that from the outside looking in and you are inviting them to.
If you are not ready for these things then you are also not ready for marriage. Marriage also give us positive things we were not ready for.
Are you ready for true love? People who are truly in love do not fall out of love, ever. If you "fall out of love" then you were never really in love. True love is that powerful and amazing, even if it doesn't always feel like it. True love is special and rare and "I love you" means SO much more when it is true.
Are you ready for marriage friends? The spouse of your spouses friends (tongue twister!). They are awesome people that you never knew existed and make date nights fun!
Are you ready to be able to see your best friend every day? It is so fun to have your best friend to go home to at the end of the day!
Are you ready to gain family? Your spouse already had people who loved him/her and now you get to share that with them.
Are you ready for forever? FOREVER. Until you die. Think of all the memories and traditions. The best is yet to come.
Are you ready to be amazed? Children are amazing and watching little pieces of you and your spouse combined grow into little men and women is a blessing.
Are you ready to be exposed? Your spouse will know the real you, the one no one else does. They will be the person you can be comfortable and be yourself around, fully exposed. It is an amazing feeling.
Are you ready for dependence? You will depend on your spouse for life. You will not be able to envision life without them and you don't want to have to. Your life was made to share it with them.
Are you ready to trust without worry? Your spouse chose you and you get to live in comfort knowing they are committed to you. At the end of the day, you are who they come home to.
Are you ready to reminisce? You will make memories and start traditions with the same person for the rest of your life and it won't be long before you are saying "remember when".
Are you ready for marriage? You are blessed if you are.
I read this the other day and loved it: "Couples who make it aren't the ones who never had a reason to get divorced; they're simply the ones who decided early on that their commitment to each other was always going to be bigger than their differences and flaws." There will be fights and hard times. Everyone has them. If anyone says they don't they are lying or they do not have a healthy relationship.
So, I guess basically my whole point is this: things always look better from the outside looking in - everyone fights and that is ok. You are not the only one to deal with a husband who never picks up after himself or a wife who nags. Marriage is forever, there will be things to fight about daily - if you choose to. Don't give up on your relationships easily. Fight for them - especially if there are children. If you really feel divorce is the only option be sure you have tried all options - counseling, therapy, lots of prayer, etc. first - don't wonder "what-if" later. If you are not married yet, make sure you are ready. There is a lot of bad, but so much more good - you just have to choose to see it and work on it. Marriages are work, but so worth it. Just be ready to work for it if you want to benefit from it.