“Sometimes it’s our fear of failure driving us more than our lack of desire.” This was the conclusion of one my inspirational social media motivational messages, but it may not be about what you think. No, I’m not talking about being afraid to chase your dream or start your own business. What I’m talking about is the fear that so many people have about entering into the covenant of marriage. It’s funny how marriage can be so beautiful, but as a society we have made it so ugly for so many people. Let’s talk about it…come follow me!
The more I coach clients about life and love, the more patterns I begin to see. At least once a week, I will speak with a client that is at a crossroads in their romantic relationships. They are at the intersection of what they feel, the “I want to be married,” and what they hear, the “don’t get married because it never works.”
I think back to my journey towards marriage and honestly sometimes I can’t blame them; these two thoughts could not be any further away from each other and it’s hard to figure out which direction to go. I mean think about it…if you grow up in a home where neither your parents ever got married, or if they were married it was far from a positive or pleasant experience, you may have a cloudy vision of what a successful marriage should be. Perhaps your parents argued every day and fought every night. Maybe Dad never hugged or kissed Mom and you rarely ever heard him tell her “I love you.” And, maybe all Mom ever did was tell you about how bad Dad was. Or, maybe Mom had been married and divorced a few times leaving you with twp different step dads, none of whom ever treated her like the queen she was. Another situation: maybe Dad cheated on Mom or Mom cheated on Dad and as a result you were cheated out of a positive example of what a “good” marriage is supposed to look like.
Do any Google query and there are many examples and statistics that could make you fearful of marriage. However, be mindful that there are many examples and statistics that should encourage you as well. Here’s one I hear thrown around more often than I like to hear, that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Ouch! But let’s get some silver lining in these dark clouds. Dig a little deeper, and we can find this statistic. Men that are married are 135% more likely to report a higher happiness score than single men. I won’t dive too much into stats because they can always be debated, but I would challenge you to focus on writing your own story in life and in love.
Don’t let the “bad’ things that you hear, see or read deter you from finding the beauty that lies within the covenant of a beautiful marriage. Instead of being afraid to fail at and in it, be determined to succeed at it! When you find the person that you know, feel and desire to be “the one” don’t let the negativity of others fester in your head. Instead of looking at your parents’ bad relationship as your only example, seek out some people that are actually happily married. Stop treating marriage like products and deciding not to buy just because you read one bad review online. If you haven’t noticed, when people are bitter or upset about something it’s easy to share it with the world, but when they are happy you won’t always hear about how good things are. Instead of fearing the potential failure, invest with all you have and put in the effort to be the example that you may not have had! I’m not saying that marriage is for everyone, but what I am saying is don’t allow the story of your parents or your friends to stop you from writing your story…one that could be a fairy-tale in the face of others that have been nightmares.
In every other facet of life we love to claim to be leaders and not followers…so my question then is…why in the case of marriage should it be any different? Don’t let the misery of others make you miss out on the potential happiness that can belong to you and the one you opt to spend the rest of your forever with. Allow a healthy marriage to be the foundation for you and your family’s future. Believe it or not there is somebody watching you and they are hoping you succeed because they subconsciously want permission to hit play instead of stop!
BMWK Family – get involved in the conversation. Was there someone or a couple who either discouraged you or encouraged you about the idea of marriage?