by Gray Graham
Part 1 of our The Key To A Happy Marriage Series
Have you heard someone say this before, “I got married and I didn't really know myself or what I wanted.”
If you are around my age you probably have heard it a few times. It is one of those reasons given when people tell you why they are divorced. In today's world it is also used as a reason for why an individual is not married.
I dislike this answer in either situation. Not because I don't think a person should not know themselves, I just don't buy it when a person says they don't know themselves. It is the ultimate cop out when it comes to relationships. It is the classic it is not you but it is me.
True it is you, but not the way you think. This is not something empowering, it just means you were not ready to be mature, you were not serious about the relationship you were in, and you were not able to be honest with the other person at any point during that relationship until the end.
A few people this past week shared different stories written by people talking about being single or why marriage was not for them. The stories all had one thing in common, understanding that marriage is not about you but the other person in the relationship.
This is why I tell many of the people that seek me out for advice that marriage is not for them and they should enjoy being single. See most people have trouble in relationships not because of the quality or quantity of available mates but because they are not willing to share themselves with others. Instead of giving to another they want to take only. They know this about themselves but they will never admit it and definitely will not share this with the other person in their relationships.
It really amazes me the number of people that believe they know other people completely, but will say they are completely clueless about themselves and their motivation for anything in life. In life the only person you truly, 100% know is yourself. Everyone else you are either going by observation or faith and both of those can and often are wrong. We are all just guessing.
So if you are a person that thinks that at some point in life you may want to be married and you want to be the best spouse you can for that individual, then sit down at a table by yourself with a piece of paper and a pen, and write down the most important things in life to you. Be completely honest after all you are only talking to yourself. Then read over it and memorize it. Depending on the type of person you are either save your list or destroy your list but either way don't forget your list.
Later in life, if the time comes where you are seriously considering marriage, pull out that list either figuratively or physically and give it to the other person. Let them know this is who you are and what you are all about. If you are lucky they are prepared to do the same. If you are really blessed then they actually gave you their list first.
At this point it is just a matter of seeing if your lists work and fit together. Believe it or not this is the hardest, yet simplest part. After this it gets more complicated.
Don't worry I will be your guide the rest of the way.