5 Things to Remember When Your Million Dollar Wedding Turns Into A Five Cent Marriage

BY: - 17 Jul '13 | Marriage

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I’ve been married for nearly one year and I can honestly say that while I enjoy being a husband, there are times when the laughs and joy my wife and I felt on our wedding day are not reflected in our relationship. We knew we would have occasional disputes, but there have been times when we’ve both wondered how a day that started out so joyously could evolve into a relationship that seemed so contentious. Thankfully, we’ve begun to find our groove and have learned a few very important lessons about how to create a better relationship along the way. Here are five things every couple should remember.

Marriage doesn’t create character; it reveals it.

1. You can’t play what you don’t practice

The first tip is for couples that haven’t yet said “I do”. Whether seriously dating or engaged, the courtship phase is a great opportunity to begin preparing for marriage, assuming that’s what both people desire. It allows each person to answer two very important questions before getting hitched: “who am I?” and “what do I want in a relationship?”. Marriage doesn’t create character; it reveals it. That’s why a person needs to have a good understanding of themself and their future spouse before getting married. This is why premarital counseling/education is so important. It provides a great opportunity to learn more about yourself, your partner, and how the two of you function as a unit. It’s also a great way to prepare a couple for their lives as husband and wife. Every couple needs a set of relationship tools, whether for loving communication, managing money, or resolving conflict. Get familiar with these tools now so that you can find them when you actually need them.

 The specific issue might be unique, but everyone goes through issues in their relationship.

2. You’re not alone

One of the most important things to remember when going through difficult times in the first year, or years, of marriage is that you are not alone. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your issues around finances, intimacy, quality time, household responsibilities, and conflict are unique to you and your spouse. They’re not. The specific issue might be unique, but everyone goes through issues in their relationship. The reason this can be such a shock is because many of the people closest to us never open up about the struggles they go through in marriage. Whether because of pride, shame or some other reason, they keep their difficulties secret and attempt to paint a picture of marital bliss. In addition to our loved ones, much of the media we consume doesn’t provide a balanced perspective on relationships. Reality shows often focus on the most explosive types of conflict to improve ratings.  But it’s likely that minor annoyances and disagreements are the more frequent source of frustration in your marriage. Regardless of what others want to admit or what we see or read, always remember that everyone has issues in their relationship.

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About the author

Delano Squires wrote 25 articles on this blog.

Delano Squires is a blogger and public policy strategist in Washington, D.C. His primary interests are contemporary African American culture, fatherhood, and families. He is also a contributor to The Root.

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7 WordPress comments on “5 Things to Remember When Your Million Dollar Wedding Turns Into A Five Cent Marriage

  1. Pingback: When Your Million Dollar Wedding Turns Into a Five Cent Marriage

  2. Elisha

    Loved this article! I am single, never married, but I’m always keeping an ear to those things which promote happy marriages. Especially when so many people are quick to speak negatively about marriage, from their own hurt and experiences, but never took the time to do the work. Perhaps because they didn’t know what the work entailed, or that there should even be work. My motto, “You don’t say I do and all is well.”

    1. Delano Squires

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I think your approach is very wise. It’s never too early to learn what it takes to have a successful marriage AND to begin modeling those things in our singleness.

  3. Marsha

    Hey big bro,

    I’m glad you took the time to share your experience. So many people don’t realize that marriage is work. I do disagree with you to an extent when you say that marriage doesn’t create character. I presume that you are referring to misaligned expectations or perhaps our desire to “fix” the other which are completely valid. BUT I will never forget what our counselor told us: what if marriage wasn’t meant to make you happy, but it was meant to make you holy.

    Marriage is more than companionship. It is a divine appointment by a loving God who declares that we are better together than a part. Being with my husband makes me a better woman and him being with me does make him a better man. I think that is an indicator of a God ordained union.

    So I agree that marriage reveals character but it also designed to mold you as well to be the man and woman God designed you to be.

    Side note: we are def in this together!!

    1. Delano Squires

      Marsh,
      I agree with your comment 100%. I actually struggled a bit with whether to write that because I didn’t want my intention to get lost in the words. I think marriage is one of the best environments in which character can be developed, but being married in and of itself doesn’t create that growth. I think each person must be committed to maturing. For example, some people are dishonest in dating, unfaithful in courtship, and adulterous in marriage. The progressive nature of the relationships might give the impression of a growing commitment level but it won’t do anything to address what’s at the root of their behavior.

  4. Connie

    What a great article! I shared it with the single women I counsel/teach in my “Marrying Kind” group. I do agree with you that marriage reveals character. It can also strengthen character, but in my experience it doesn’t create it. My favorite point you made was number 4 – Marriage is a team sport. It’s becoming increasingly clear and important to constantly reinforce the message that marriage REQUIRES two people being on the same team. You have to KNOW that your spouse has your back, and they have to KNOW you have theirs. This is required for a successful marriage that goes the distance. Marriage has to be “safe.” We only feel safe when we know the other person has our back – which is revealed through honesty, transparency, and giving each other the benefit of the doubt. This actually applies to any meaningful relationship (friendships, siblings, etc.), but in marriage if you don’t have that you may as well throw in the towel.

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