Although I never had children, there was a time when I thought that I might. Years ago I didn’t know what I could possibly have offered a child. I wasn’t prepared to be a mother.
Its only NOW, many years later, that I think I might have something worth passing on; that being experience.
Undoubtedly any child of mine would not have asked for or listened to advice, so I thought it best that I write it down for someone who MIGHT wish to listen or find something useful in these experiences… please feel free to take it or leave it. I wont pretend to be an expert or offended.
One of the things I always disliked, and still do, is the feeling of being someones ‘option’. ie “Should I marry her/him?..”
I don’t believe a thing like marriage should start by making each other feeling as though they were merely an option, like ordering from a menu.
Something like marriage or a true commitment to someone should be just that… the true commitment to someone as though they were something very special indeed (the prize). That they are someone that has entered your life and you are committed to the belief that life with them is immensely and profoundly better than the prospect of life without them; including ALL the many things that makes up their unique personalities.
I believe that if you find yourself in a position of contemplating the topic of marriage than I suggest you consider a few points. Just a couple of points you may wish to ponder, but again, entirely up to you…
1. Firstly don’t look at marriage as the answer to life’s problems but as the beginning of another chapter of your life. 2. Remember its important to love yourself as much as the person you are planning to marry; if you cannot want your happiness as much and as equally as you want theirs, then I would suggest DON’T MARRY them. 3. Don’t look for a perfect mate. There is no such thing. If you expect perfection from your partner don’t get married. 4. Don’t marry someone who isn’t convinced that it is an honour to join you in a life long commitment. If they are not honoured to be by your side, as painful as it may be, you shouldn’t marry them. 5. Ask yourself Can I love them as they deserve? Can I forgive them when they need and deserve it? Could I inspire them when they need it? Would I die for them and would they die for me? Would you live for them and would they live for you? Do you want each other to continue pursuing each others dreams or does someone have to give up their goals and dreams to be together? Do you respect and trust each other without question? and…Can you leave them, with respect, if it absolutely required?
There was only a few times in my own life that I contemplated marriage, as I had seen so many marriages crumble and hearts break, but I have learned more from my mistakes and challenges than I could ever learn from uneventful times. Challenges bring couples together or tear them apart, don’t plan a life with someone who is afraid of bumps or mess, because that’s just life. They will often be the first people out the door when times are tough and so emotional maturity is a good thing to have when you contemplate a life long commitment.
There is no perfect formula because there is no PERFECT marriage, there are just people who are have found the right amount of challenges, lessons, team work, love and commitment to create a life together and grow together. At the base of it all is a genuine respect and friendship. Sex and passion can slow but respect and friendship doesn’t need high energy to perpetuate.
A broken heart is probably the most painful and difficult prospects that most people fear more than death itself. I guess in many ways it feels like a small death. Burying the life that ‘could have been’… but with the right attitude and time, it can be a very learning experience.
It can be useful in showing us some of the most important things that we NEED to know, and that is, ‘Who are we?” and “what do we really want?”
Its not until we really know these two things that we can choose a partner in life that can help us achieve these things. Sometimes, regrettably, we don’t always know what those answers are until we are a good deal older.
The other thing that I would want any child of mine to know, is that if they were content and happy to be alone ie. Not married or with a partner, then that would be perfectly OK with me. Not everyone needs or wants to be in a life long and monogamous commitment and as long as they are comfortable with that, then I think they should be free to live as they choose. For as long as they choose.
I would like to think that I would have given my children the support and encouragement to follow their hearts and discover who they really are.
Of course, this is easy to say from someone who has never been a parent but that doesn’t mean that the advice is bad.
Marriage has been the best, and sometimes the most challenging, thing I have ever done in my life. It has tested me. Pushed me. Broken me. And lifted me higher than I ever could on my own. It has saved my life on more than one occasion.
I can clearly remember the first time I ever had my heart broken and was convinced that I would never recover from it… Sometime some people never do and they go on to build bitterness and close off their hearts with walls and doubts, in an attempt to ensure they are never hurt again…very sad and a waste of life.
But if you are someone who is loving by nature, and really believes in love, you can’t help yourself, you keep returning to it… and you find the ability to piece together a new heart from the aches of the old. Sometimes it is through this process of rebirth that you learn how to better love yourself and forgive yourself too, which is another form of love….
Which, coincidentally, is the topic of another blog…
So until then,