You’ve heard it a million times. Marriage is hard. Marriage is difficult. Marriage takes work.
Clichés are clichés for a reason. Sometimes we hear them so often that it’s easy to forget the truth they lay out so clearly.
The coupling of two worlds into one new, whole, complete, and fully functional mega-world is no easy feat.
And like any difficult thing, it takes skill and time to master. No difficult thing is mastered without a certain set of skills necessary for that task. And the task of a long-lasting marriage rooted in satisfaction is one of the most difficult things to master.
So, if you haven’t mastered the following traits within yourself, you’re most likely not ready to serve as a co-architect and partner in building a new world of marriage:
1 – Trust
Trust is the foundation of any relationship.
Even your job trusts you to perform a certain set of duties consistently over time in return for a specific amount of compensation. We trade given titles with our significant other, trusting that these titles now come with expectations of specific, consistent behavior.
Girlfriend = I’ll see you at the very least on the weekends and you can expect to not catch me on social media taking selfies with other random women.
Boyfriend = If my car runs out of gas, you better be the person I can rely on to show up with petroleum.
Titles of husband and wife come with even more specific expectations that carry even more dire consequences if not met. Regardless of what’s happened to you in the past, if you don’t have the capacity to trust, you’re going to find a life full of slightly more solitude than those who found a way to still let people in.
2 – Empathy
Selfishness is the primary toxin of any relationship. When your individual needs outweigh the goals of the couple, everyone suffers. Selfish people tend to have difficulties empathizing with another person’s perspective. They just can’t see the world through another’s eyes.
If you haven’t learned how the world can operate without you, then you may not be ready for the sacrifice necessary for a relationship to prosper.
You don’t come out of a deep and long lasting union the same way you went in.
Your world changes as much as theirs, and both of you should recognize the changes and sacrifice each has made to build a long lasting relationship.
3 – Self-esteem
Relationships aren’t about making your terrible life good. It’s about making your good life better. When people feel devoid of value, we tend to fill those voids with the most destructive branches of food, sex, drugs, and people.
Our whole consumer driven nation is fueled by a company’s ability to show you where your deficiencies are just to position itself as the solution to the problem you didn’t know you had 30 seconds ago.
When your issue is self worth, there aren’t enough marriage proposals to fill that kind of void. No one outside of yourself is going to bring out that genuine daily smile. In fact, making such a permanent decision to have someone else in your life to validate your own sense of self has to be the number one cause of regret and resentment in the world throughout history.
We all come into relationships as a whole person. Perhaps as a broken person, yes, but still a whole broken one.
We have to be accountable both to the person we are today as well as the person we hope to be tomorrow.
No one else can do this for us.
Your partner isn’t there to mold you into someone you’re not. They’re there to support you through the painful growth of life. As you lean on each other through time, you should blossom and reach your full potential or at least something close to it.
In a relationship or not – you will always be responsible for you.
BMWK, which of the above traits needed, or needs, your attention?