It’s week three, post three and we are going to continue this week with another lesson.
In this week’s post, I want to focus on three more things that I have learnt don’t change just because somebody puts a ring on it.
I know, I know, but Beyonce can’t save this one hunnay.
If you want a breakdown of the first three, you can find that here. Please note, like I said last week, I don’t want to put anyone off marriage with these, I just wanna bring some truth. I still love love, but love is work. So please take that well.
Below are three more things marriage won’t fix for you, outside of questionable behaviours, self esteem issues and daddy issues.
Again, I’ve purposely not put answers or solutions to these issues.
I want to encourage you to do your own work.
I want to encourage you to think, pray and reflect.
Like I said last week, if some of the things written here don’t apply to you, that’s fine. Just take what you want and need and leave the rest.
Forgive yourself privately.
Forgive others publicly.
Get help from a trusted/qualified/experienced person.
Commit to changing yourself and not others.
Now on to our final three things…
1. Marriage will (NOT) fix your finances
So where else to begin besides this one. One of the key areas that will absolutely change when you get married is your finances. I’m gonna throw a disclaimer out there: I don’t think this needs to be a negative. I think marriage can be a great vehicle to spur you into financial freedom if that’s what you and your spouse choose to do. It can be the plans you build together as a couple that could encourage you to go for that career move, take that promotion or start that side hustle. It can be the honest convos you have that leads you to waste less and invest more. Your marriage will mark your success in many areas, including your money.
I’ll never forgot an article I read a few years ago which spoke about the correlation between marriage and success and stated that people with supportive spouses are “more likely to give themselves the chance to succeed.”
And by succeed I mean everything from personal accomplishments to career advances. Your spouse will either make your goals more meaningful or suck the life from your articulated dreams.
I know that sounds quite harsh but it’s true.
How many wives have felt trapped and insignificant stuck in a job that didn’t allow her to aspire into a career?
How many men have felt lost in an unfulfilled role that didn’t allow him to exercise his talents?
Think about some of the married people you know – your parents, your friends etc – and some married people you don’t – dare I say it, your fav celebrated couple.
Barack always gave props to Michelle, Queen Lizzie always shouted out Prince Phillip (God rest their souls) and any Beyonce fans would recall a famous Oprah interview in which B admitted “I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man.”
Who you marry will affect how you make every major decision affecting your joined life, and it is also a key indicator of whether you are going to flounder or flourish financially.
It’s not just about how much you save.
It’s not just about what you spend.
It’s not even about what you do for a living or how much you make per month. It’s so much more.
It’s about who you marry. One of my favourite pre-marriage books had a great question for those contemplating marriage, which was to ask your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner to what degree are they a saver or a spender when it comes to money?
The question wasn’t necessarily meant to dig out you or your partner, but it was to consider patterns, discuss expectations and illicit responses. Finance in marriage, or the mismanagement of finances in marriage is still one of the top reasons that couples get divorced. Nothing’s changed. It’s an uncomfortable truth that too many people don’t want to know, but don’t let the gist they tell you in the Nollywood movies gas you; who you marry still impacts on where you will end up financially.
So if you are dating a guy who doesn’t value his job or a girl who doesn’t appreciate the value of a pound sterling, don’t expcct a walk down the aisle to change that.
One of things we learned as we were going through our pre-marriage counselling, is that in marriage, you can’t make your partner change their life – all you can do is deal with you.
So if you’re currently struggling with an overdraft, overspending on your credit card, drowning in payday loans, overstretching on your
shoe bag food bill, slacking with a lacking budget, misplacing investments in misjudged investments etc, none of this is going to automatically get better in marriage.
(Nothing wrong with the struggle btw. We have all been there, and trust me, we will all get through it. And not every finance issue is a budgeting issue. Sometimes times are just hard and having a budget doesn’t change that your rent is unaffordable and your electric is too high and don’t get me started on the price of gas and heating…)
But get your ting together, whatever your ting is. Otherwise you may find that you might be matched with a partner who has the exact same struggles with finance, spending and money as
your first boyfriend did I mean, your daddy did I mean, you do.
So before you marry, have a very honest conversation about finances.
What does your partner spend their money on?
How do they want to invest?
Have they ever seen their credit file or credit score? May you?
How do they save? Do they save? Do you?
And more importantly, how do they make their money in the first place?
Listen, it’s not enough to be out there dating a guy who does “business”.
Kmt okay do you know how many guys will tell you that they do business? These times, they ain’t got no job, no prospects and ain’t nobody making any money. Miss me with thattttttt Ah ah everyday is business business, I get it sha. Is it because jobs are so unpopular in 2023 rightttt
Actually, how do they make their money, if you haven’t asked already?
If you have questions, question it, and dare I say it, don’t just take certain people’s
fables fairytales stories word for it, actually retrieve evidence. I know, I’m being annoying but I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about husbands who have very questionable and unethical ways of making money or wives who have outright deceived their significant others into believing they had work that didn’t actually belong to them. Be warned. And remember that you’re not just choosing a future husband, but also the future father of your children. Your pick, your life but that pick, and your marriage, will mark your success.
2. Marriage will (NOT) fix your family drama
I know, I know, I did this last week….kinda.
Last week I spoke all about Daddy Issues, but this week I want to talk about something a bit different, which is family drama.
We all have it. There is no such thing as a perfect family and even if there was, the family would be imperfect the moment you step into it.
Again, I’m gonna throw a disclaimer out there: I don’t think this needs to be a negative. I think marriage and an upcoming wedding can be a beautiful tool to unite a fractured family. Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything under the sun, and a wedding party brings people together like nothing else. So please take this with pinches of salt: family dramas don’t need to be painful and destructive if managed with grace, patience, and dare I say it, healthy realism. We marry families, warts and all, and your boundaries could be the difference between a loving or loathing family relationship.
Whether it’s a controlling father, a temperamental mother, a passive aggressive brother or a self-absorbed sister, it doesn’t matter. The main characters in our lives and the things that afflict them don’t change in marriage, so if you think it’s going to, you’ll be sadly mistaken.
BTW I’m not suggesting you fix all your family issues before you get married, but I am suggesting that you are very very honest about what your family issues are. Firstly with yourself, and then with your intended.
One of the challenges in courting and then being engaged is knowing how much to share and when to share. Obviously you don’t want to scare your partner with the drama but you also don’t want to deceive them.
Sidenote: Scare is subjective lol. Suffice to say, some of the weird and wonderful things that shame us about our families live in our heads; you’ll be amazed how much of it won’t even register to your partner. Just because your dad embarrasses you, doesn’t mean he’ll embarrass your babes. And just cos you find your mum cringe, doesn’t mean your babes will. No one is expecting perfection, so there’s no shame attached to family quirks.
My advice to any young couple is not to allow yourself to get engaged to someone without knowing the full-ish picture. If it would matter to you, it might possibly matter to them, but if it’s not your story to tell, with respect, don’t.
One of the things I admired about my husband whilst we were dating is that he respected his family enough to keep private the things that were not for me, and respected me enough to not overengineer his reasons. But that’s not the reserve of a husband – we should all endeavour to be gracious in keeping confidences and protecting the past.
But please let’s not marry into secrets. When you get over the love phase and you know that you are with somebody you’re going to marry, be very clear about what they’re entering into. Family dramas are one thing, but family secrets can mess people up. I know it’s hard, but the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom for each matter.
Also, random tip, it’s probably important to have a conversation about family dynamics just so your partner can understand how your family behaves, how you operate as a unit and what your family values.
And family values are absolutely everything, I find that we don’t talk enough about our values when preparing to get married. Too often we speak about our likes, our dislikes, our preferences and our red flags. Maybe it’s a culture thing, but you can’t presume to share values with a family you are meeting or joining.
There might be some overlap between how your dad treated your mum or how you and your sister relate to each other, but no family is the same, even if our values are similar. Dramas are sometimes unintentional but values are always paramount.
3. Marriage will (NOT) fix your lust
Now, the final area that marriage doesn’t fix is your lust issue. Yes that is lust spelt L-U-S-T, because trust me, all the things that you had an appetite for before marriage doesn’t just suddenly go away.
So if you struggled with an addiction, whether that was to pornography and masturbation, food and liquor, regular drug use, casual smoking, irregular gambling,and any other vice, those things don’t just leave you simply because you get married.
Similarly, if your spouse is someone who overindulged in carnal and worldly behaviours whilst you were dating, don’t think that your influence on your spouse will be enough to pull him/her away from that life in marriage.
Nah booboo. You and they will have to do your own work with the Holy Spirit, and together.
Now, time for another disclaimer: I don’t think this needs to be a negative. The good thing is, in getting married, you get to have a partner who will help you, support you, forgive you and encourage you throughout marriage, until death do you part.
Or maybe they won’t. It’s all depending on who you marry.
Not the Holy Spirit.
I know they wish they were sometimes so they could do all the work…
Not your Pastor.
I know you wish they were sometimes so they could do all the work … again …
Not a surrogate parent,
I know you wish it weren’t like that, but can we talkkkk about people marrying surrogates of their mums and dads despite claiming that they never would, cos it’s a bit nvm…
And an imperfect partner that may even have the same struggles as you, but will be there with you. One of the mistakes we make is thinking that we marry perfectly completed, ready-made people who have 90% of their life together when we don’t. We marry people in transition.
Your lust reminds you of your humanity, and the fact that we are tempted points us to the need to surrender every sexual desure or carnal craving to Him.
When our heart’s desire is to be satisfied in Jesus, rather than be satisfied in what we can do for ourselves, we can see ourselves overcoming our lust. That’s the power in surrender.
But don’t wait for your babes to arrive on the scene before you begin.
Do your work.
Stock up on the scripture.
Surrender whatever is your struggle.
Get delivered and live free.
Whether you seek to marry someone who has figured it out or someone who is still being developed in this area, that’s your prerogative. But it’s a beautiful thing to have a partner or spouse who isn’t waiting for you to be perfect before they marry you, and most people should much rather be that partner.
Well, that’s it. A quick summary of three of the things that don’t get fixed in marriage.
I wish I could tell you that it gets fixed after year one or year five or year 10 etc, but that’s not true either.
Some of the things listed above might not ever get fixed, so if they are, we give God the glory, but if they’re not, we give God glory all the same. His grace is still sufficient.
I hope this has been encouraging.
Marriage is actually beautiful but it is work.
It is also rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, and worthwhile, because it’s worth the work.
Next week, new post.