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What would you tell your younger self about marriage?

Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 7th February 2018, 3:16 PM   #16
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Hi Folks, I've been wondering whether anyone can actually honestly answer a question like this. What we are today after so many years of having lived and undergone the trials and tribulations that life's challenges have thrown at us while in a union, is so very different from who we were at the start of the journey. Life is a learning experience and the longer one travels down the road of life with one's partner, the more one gains in knowledge and experience and this constantly changes us so that what we are today is not what we were last year and certainly very different from what we were ten years ago.

My point in stating the above was to pose another question. Can a person who grows up to be a doctor,, explain to his or her four year old self what is good for him or her to eat or how important it is to clean one's teeth or wash one's hands before eating and so on? The knowledge that the adult doctor has is incomprehensible to the young four year old future doctor. Similarly, a person married for a number of years cannot go back in time and educate his or her young inexperienced self on how to choose a suitable partner and how to make a success of his or her marriage. For some people marriage is the best thing that could have happened for them. For others it is an unmitigated tragedy. The thing is that all of life is meant to teach us something. The people who come into our lives do so for a purpose. If instead of those people a completely different set of people were to populate our lives the outcome of our lives would have been very different and the lessons learnt by us would correspondingly be different. Sadly, we are able to relate to life through our own narrow sphere of influences and experiences. Beyond that sphere we do not know the other world that exists.

Apart from the excellent advice given by Michelle, Littleblackheart and others, I would only want to add one thing. That is that a young person on the threshold of marriage should carry out due diligence to see that the partner he or she is choosing is compatible with the values one holds dear. There should be no extraneous reasons for marrying someone. I am assuming that being in love is a given. Warm wishes.

Last edited by Just a Guy; 7th February 2018 at 3:20 PM..
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Old 8th February 2018, 12:05 AM   #17
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Great question!

I'd tell my younger self to slow down and savor the moment. You only get that magic period of limerence once, enjoy every minute. Your kids are only young once, be present and engaged. Don't make a life of work, do more working at life.

In short, I'd explain what's important and what isn't. I'm a slow learner, took me way too long to figure it out...

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"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus
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Old 8th February 2018, 12:59 AM   #18
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My younger self would have rolled her eyes at the advice I'd give now. She was 20 and knew everything.
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Old 8th February 2018, 6:19 AM   #19
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Make sure I marry the woman I am currently married to. This marriage is one of the best things that happened to me.

I might tell him not to marry my first wife but I learned a lot of lessons from that experience even if I had to learn them the hard way.
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Old 8th February 2018, 11:06 AM   #20
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Don't compromise until AFTER you get married. If you are compromising before you get married you got the wrong potential spouse.
“Now I see that I will never find the light unless like a candle, I am my own fuel”
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Old 8th February 2018, 11:31 AM   #21
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I wouldn't say anything....

I was young, perfectly naive, utterly clueless, and incredibly happy. Why ruin it?
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Old 8th February 2018, 11:57 AM   #22
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I would tell my younger self that I made the right decision staying single all of my life, that I dodged a HUGE bullet when I was engaged and she broke it off.

If I'm having trouble with someone I'm dating, I don't have to go to therapy, I don't have negotiate for sex, and I don't have to split up my assets. I just say "Good Bye" and go get the next woman. For me, variety is the spice of life.

Anytime, anyone asks me about getting married, I give them all the same three word advice. "DON'T DO IT"!!

All and I mean ALL of my married friends went through the "meat grinder" during the divorce process. NONE of them are still married and most are financially and emotionally destroyed.

Just my opinion based on my own personal experiences.
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Old 8th February 2018, 2:21 PM   #23
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Get to know each other properly.

Don't ignore the red flags.

Make sure the love is equal.

Make sure you discuss important having many. about this for sure.

Don't settle with someone jusr because you're getting on. A friend did this and it turned out tragic.
'Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, but trusting them not to'
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Old 8th February 2018, 2:33 PM   #24
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This is an interesting one here...

Originally Posted by sandylee1 View Post
Make sure the love is equal.
This is an interesting one here...

My GF says that this is the first time she had ever had a relationship where the love is equal.

I don't know if I ever thought about it before, all I know is that I am crazy about her and she seems to feel the same.
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Old 8th February 2018, 2:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by sandylee1 View Post
Get to know each other properly.

Make sure the love is equal.
Interesting indeed...

I think this is great in theory but harder in reality.

Looking back on all my past relationships including my marriage, I can clearly identify who loved who more.

There may have been times where the love felt equal, particularly in the beginning, but all the way through? I'm not sure that's ever been the case.

I will say that the relationships where I loved more, the hurt was profound and something you don't recover from easily or even completely. I think many of us who've felt this either consciously or subconsciously end up choosing partners who love us more rather than risk being hurt that deeply again.

I'd like to think it's possible to be in a relationship where the love is equal from beginning to end. Definitely something I will keep in mind moving forward.

I suppose those who find partners where the love is equal is like finding a unicorn so congratulations to those who have
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Old 8th February 2018, 4:45 PM   #26
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I would tell myself that marriage really is just a piece of paper. I spent so much time and energy just trying to get my husband to give me the paper, that I didn't worry about whether it was the right decision. It was just the next logical step in my analytical mind and I was determined to get it.

I would tell myself that REAL marriage is two people working hard to support and be with each other. Wanting to be with each other even without the things that tie us in everyday life, like kids and finances.

That compromise goes both ways and to not settle for no compromise. And that communication really is the key, and it's IMPERATIVE to maintain during times of change, hardship, and even contentment.

And finally, I would tell myself that we are going to hurt each other. Badly. The kind of hurt that changes who you are as a person. Realize that no person is perfect and as we grow and change, mistakes will be made and remember that just as a person is capable of putting a knife in your heart, they are also capable of true remorse.
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Old 8th February 2018, 5:00 PM   #27
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"Make sure you guys are best friends."
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Old 8th February 2018, 5:11 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by sandylee1 View Post

Make sure the love is equal.

I have rarely met someone who said "I love you" to me and had the same definition of love as I did.

Make sure the term love is..... the same.

My wife claims she loves me -and I think she does in her view - but to her sex and love are not the same thing or even tied together.

I disagree of course. I dont feel loved with out strong sexual bonding.

So discussions - deep ones - should be had around love ? what is love to you? what is unloving? What is cheating ? so many terms and beliefs I would explore in depth if I ever met someone new. You must be on same page.

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Old 8th February 2018, 5:35 PM   #29
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You know, I am far from perfect, as is my marriage. And there have been mistakes along the way - but truthfully few regrets.

I would tell my younger sell that relationships need upkeep, that they need to be attended to and not taken for granted.

But beyond that, I can't think of much that my 20 year old self needs to learn from my 39 year old self.

As for age... I get it that there is risk in being young, or not living a lot of life before finding someone that you want to marry. But what if you DO meet them then? What are you supposed to do? Walk away from them because you are too young? Hope that they wait around for you? Hope you find someone else as special?

I was 23 when I met my now husband, and so far I have no regrets choosing him to spend my life with. I will say, I wasn't a naive sheltered 20 something. By that point I had been living on my own for 5 years, had a lot of responsibility at home before that, a few relationships under my belt.
Sorry for all of the typos! On a cell phone that thinks it is smarter than me
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Old 8th February 2018, 6:12 PM   #30
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Wait. Wait. Wait. Be sure you are sexually compatible. Wait.
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