Before anyone freaks out, I want to say that I love my Joseph dearly. I love seeing him every day. And every day I spend with him is infinitely better than any day not spent with him.
Also I want to say that I'm not anti-marriage. Those covenants Joseph and I made to each other are real and powerful and forever. While we promised each other we'd be together forever the day he proposed and I said yes, and really we promised that long before then... The covenants we made on April 25, 2013 were different. They were sacred and permanent and they were made with each other and with God. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Anyone who is mature enough to do so, and who has found a person to whom they are deeply devoted and shares a strong mutual love and connection, well, I'd recommend marriage as something to really consider.
But marriage itself is kinda a bum deal. I think a lot of people, women especially, get really excited about their big white dress and colors and music and food and decorations and sparkly rings and totally forget that those things are a wedding, and not a marriage. (Frankly, the engagement was more socially fun, simply for the fact that people always love asking questions about your upcoming nuptials and how you met your beloved, but once the deal is done you're kinda old hat.) Marriage is more about coordinating household responsibilities and trying to find ways to make date night still interesting. And don't even get me started on bills. There is no end, no rhyme or reason to bills. You think you've got bills easy this month? Surprise! Your car gets super broken! Or your bffs are getting married states away and insist on you being there! Speaking of which, you can't just get up and go on vacation whenever you want. That's far easier to do with one schedule to work around. With two, it borders on impossible at times. And housing gets a lot more expensive. And so do groceries. So marriage is not that great.
And yet, for thousands of years, people have been entering into the covenant of marriage happily and willingly. Why in the world would they do this? Lara, why did YOU do this?
The answer: Because of Joseph.
Because he was a man I could trust. He was a man I loved more than anything. He was my best friend, someone I could share everything with and with whom I'd already shared so much, and as I already stated, he made every day better than a day without him. Because a life without him, even with cheaper housing and fewer bills and easier vacations, wasn't one I wanted.
The problem with social media is that to all the single ladies and lads, marriage looks like a blast and a half, while it isn't even marriage itself that is wonderful. It's the fact that there was a great relationship that was glued together and made into the same relationship.
Yes, the same relationship. A marriage doesn't make a bad relationship good. It really just intensifies every aspect of the relationship that was already there. I have acquired attributes that I didn't have before. I've become more tidy, I'm more patient, and I don't procrastinate so much. But marriage doesn't turn a liar into someone who tells the truth. It doesn't turn the habitually unfaithful into dedicated, loyal spouses. Maybe you're better at penny pinching now than you were before, but marriage doesn't turn those who are addicted to debt (which is a thing) into financially stable and reliable people. If a person is not willing to change their habits from bad to good before marriage under risk of losing the relationship, then they will have no motivation or desire to do so when they are married. I'm not talking about nail biting and leaving the toilet seat up. Those small things that are non issue don't, nor should they, matter. I'm talking about the big red flags that cause you so much pain and anguish while you're dating. I'll give you one guess as to what those red flags will do to you while you're married.
I hate to mention statistics, but there is a high divorce rate for marriage. I'm definitely one of those who say ignore the statistics, you're not a number, you're an individual, but the statistics should serve as a warning. They should make people realize that the reason marriages fail so often is because it is hard. They're not a playground full of adventure and fun, despite what blogs may claim. (*Cough* guilty *cough*.) It is not the signed paper that makes a marriage wonderful. It is the commitment with your best friend, a person who you'd do anything for and who you know would do the same. That's what makes marriage wonderful.
I'm so grateful that I was able to find this Joseph of mine. I'm blessed that he came along so early in my life but I would have waited decades, really, forever, to find him and the relationship/bond we have. Our marriage is bliss, but when I say that, I'm really stating that our relationship is bliss. I'd make those promises and vows and covenants to him over and over again to make our relationship that much more special and sacred, but not for the dress and the big fancy party. For him.
Note: I had Joseph read this before I published it. He said "Awww... you hate our marriage, but you love me!" Then I metaphorically tickled him. And by that I mean I added this note at the end and then thought it would have been a great idea to tickle him to crap too. I love our marriage. I love doing dishes and cramming them into our too small cabinets and paying bills with him is more interesting than paying them alone. But if it weren't for him I'd be so over it. It's all for you, sir.