Marriage is no walk in the park…

As a little girl, you probably dreamt of your wedding day: How will the dress look? Where will the ceremony take place? Who will be the lucky man to sweep me off my feet?

Many women dream of their perfect wedding from a very early age.

This is a dream which, unlike the many other dreams we cherish as children, we don’t give up on too easily. Maybe as a kid you wanted to be a police officer but you changed your mind about your career as you got older. But your dream of your wedding day never died; the flowers and the hundreds of guests and the beachside ceremony stayed with you until this day.

Maybe you did experience the perfect wedding day, just the way you’ve been imagining in your mind for years. But what happened after that day? One day cannot be an indication of an entire lifetime together with a person.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Your wedding sets you up for marriage

Your wedding sets you up for a marriage which you hope will be everlasting and ever-secure. Marriage is a vast and complex subject, and like the other elements in life, it can’t be stagnant. A marriage changes over time and fluctuates through both positive and negative phases, and this is all normal.

What is not normal, however, is that a marriage ends for reasons which could have been prevented.

A marriage changes over time and fluctuates through both positive and negative phases, and this is all normal

A change in mentality

Let me start by saying that the old way of doing things was better than the way we do things today. It’s a known fact that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Although this is the sad reality of modern relationships, it didn’t hold true a few generations ago.

Think back to your grandparents: Their marriage did stand the test of time, yet yours can’t. Why? What changed in a matter of decades? Simply put, our mentality changed.

READ MORE: Stuck in a rut? 6 Ways to put the spark back into your marriage

Nowadays, we place the ego before the “I do”

We place ourselves, our needs, wants, and desires, way before the needs of the partner we call our ‘other half’. Yet we still expect our marriage to work!

The stability of marriage is comprised of three Cs:

  1. Compatibility
  2. Commitment
  3. Compromise.

The three Cs of marriage

First, compatibility. We hear of many people marrying for interest and not for love. A woman might marry a man for his money or status, and vice versa. But when two people aren’t compatible, and they marry for the wrong reasons, the marriage is almost guaranteed to end in divorce.

Next, commitment. Marriage is no walk in the park. You’re becoming responsible for someone else’s life and you’re welcoming that person into your greatest intimacy. You have to prepare to commit to this person in the same way you commit to yourself – unconditionally.

Last, compromise: Marriage means you will have to let someone else be right half of the time. Not many people are prepared to be wrong, ever.

Without compatibility, commitment, and compromise, the bond of any marriage is all too easily broken

We’ve forgotten the meaning of “through thick and thin”

But there is one final factor which, when lacking, can lead any couple down the path of divorce: Endurance.

We’ve forgotten the meaning of “through thick and thin”. In our modern society we regard people as interchangeable. We don’t embrace our partner for their strengths and weaknesses, we only embrace what our partner can do for us. And when they make one mistake (as everyone will make mistakes sooner or later), we think “Plenty of fish in the sea. Time to move onto the next!”

This becomes a recurring issue, and before we know if we find ourselves in a time crisis. I see many people in their 40s, without a partner, without a family, and they’re desperate to fulfil their need for stability.

Some people don’t understand that their partner isn’t always to blame. Sometimes, they are to blame. When I see someone who can’t get along with their significant other, someone who constantly fights with their best friend, who bickers every day with their family, I conclude that the people around them are not the ones at fault. There may be an imbalance within them that they have to deal with before they can have healthy relationships.

Marriage takes work – and we can’t be lazy

Perhaps our most important relationship in life becomes our marriage, because our marriage is our first real foundation for evolution: When we are married, we begin to build. We build a family, financial stability, our own identity, material possessions, etc.

But what good does it to do build an empire if its foundations are shaky? It will only fall apart in time.

What we need to remember is that marriage takes work and we can’t be lazy. We have to learn to compromise with our partner when they make a mistake, and not run away because we have no tolerance for error. No one is interchangeable, and when we realise this we can begin to make our marriage everlasting.

READ MORE: 7 Ways to fix a broken marriage