Homes 202: Marriage

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Homes 201: Relationships

Actually getting married is not as hard as society pretends that it is

  • Wedding rings are a ridiculous industry, and there are rings for every budget
    • A more affordable ring has the advantage that it can be lost and replaced easily
    • To anyone that isn’t a jewelry expert, cubic zirconium is completely indistinguishable from diamonds
    • Usually it’s more affordable to get an engagement ring and wedding ring combo than both individually
  • Depending on your financial situation, you can simply elope
    • The more expensive a wedding is, the more stress will be connected to the money
    • One of the tradeoffs of eloping, however, is that many people want to celebrate the wedding
  • Set a wedding date 3 months to a year out with an approximate idea of the type of wedding
    • Determine the number of guests
    • Choose the wedding party members and ask them about participating in the wedding
    • Work out a basic budget and a honeymoon budget
  • Plan the locations for the reception, ceremony and anything else like bachelor/bachelorette parties
    • Schedule a rehearsal time
    • Secure parking and transportation for the venues
  • Determine what wedding professionals you’ll need, get bids on them and sample their work
    • Wedding planner or consultant
    • Florist
    • Photographer or videographer
    • Wedding coordinator
    • Officiating pastor
    • Ushers
    • DJ or musicians
    • Caterers
  • Make final arrangements for hiring the professionals
    • The wedding industry is a very overinflated market, so anything you can do yourself will save you a lot of money
  • Coordinate with the professionals about the desired theme and style and determine the details applicable to each
  • Find out what you’ll need to buy or make
    • Decorations
    • Food, drinks, desserts, snacks
    • Tuxedo and bridal gown, headpiece, veil, gloves, shoes and jewelry
    • Bridal party’s and groomsmen’s outfits
  • Send out Save the Date notices, and later send out invites
  • Get the gift registry filled with new home items
  • There are many other ways that a conventional wedding can become very expensive
    • Hiring professional calligraphers or painters
    • Having a destination wedding in a scenic vacation location
    • Adding ceremony elements that require additional professional work
    • Many other ways too long to list here

Once your marriage ceremony is over, marriage is simply a relationship with more parts to it

  • There are a few things to do shortly after the ceremony
    • Send out thank you cards for the wedding
    • Memorialize the event and archive it
    • Go through every document with your name on it and change it
    • Combine both of your possessions into one home
    • Get rid of or store everything that you and your spouse have duplicates of
  • Though a wedding will stop life temporarily, it will start again the same way
    • Keep growing together and developing life in a shared way
    • Make a list for the other to complete, and finish items on the list they give you
  • Your family and their family will become a permanent part of your shared life
    • You can include or exclude your family as much as you want, there’s nothing wrong with either outside of cultural norms
    • Don’t try to find faults in their family if it’s not dangerous, unhealthy or destructive
    • Learn to say “no” to extended family, especially about decisions that affect your whole family unit
  • Marriage is permanent, but it’s a lot of the same thing
    • Marriage is essentially a lifelong friendship, which will only hold together based on both of their skills at being a friend
    • They’re still human and won’t be able to provide all of your answers, especially as you get to know them more and start thinking like them
  • It becomes much easier to take a spouse for granted than simply a relationship
    • While there is a constant uncertainty outside of marriage, marriage makes that person more familiar to be around than being alone
    • Keep the romantic passion alive after marriage
      • Break routines once in a while and keep life interesting
      • Do something silly or unpredictable to make things more fun
      • Try new things together with them
    • Reaffirm your love for them consistently
      • Write love notes
      • Find new ways that you like them and new ways to let them know that you like them
      • Make sacrifices for the benefit of the family
    • Keep learning about them
      • Think about what’s important to them
      • Make a more thorough assessment of your partner
        • People in their life (friends, potential friends, rivals/enemies)
        • Recent important events in their life
        • Upcoming events
        • Their current stresses, worries, hopes and aspirations
      • Look at yourself in relationship to them
        • Your triumphs and strivings
        • Your injuries and healings
        • Your emotional world
        • Your mission and legacy
        • What you want to become
    • It can be tempting to put distance with them, but keep learning openness and love
  • Don’t compare your marriage with anyone else’s
    • Each marriage story is uniquely different
    • You will eventually experience small parts of every other marriage you see
  • Eventually, the sex will get boring
    • Try new things and be willing to explore
      • Dress up and make foreplay matter more
      • Try new positions or silly ideas
      • One person gives directions
      • Talk sensually or harshly to them
    • Be spontaneous and open-minded
      • Take it out of the bedroom
      • Never withhold physical affection, sex will always make both people happier
    • Above all, avoid porn
      • Porn has destroyed many relationships by setting unreasonable expectations
      • It reduces the commitment to your spouse in the bedroom
      • Women look at porn almost as much as men, so it’s not gender-specific
      • One of the easiest ways to fall into porn is to put nearly everything else as a priority over sex
  • A marriage doesn’t hold together for the reasons that people think it does
    • Personality problems and mental disorders don’t ruin marriages, but the way that both people respond to those problems will
    • Shared interests don’t keep a marriage together, it’s how people do those shared interests
    • A good marriage doesn’t have people keeping track of each other, both people do what they do out of desire and love for each other
    • Gender differences don’t cause marriage problems, but problems do come to the surface from those differences

Marital conflict is not necessarily a bad thing

  • There are many reasons conflicts in marriage happen
    • Stress from work, family and miscommunication
    • Anger while venting or complaining over the other person’s lack of sympathy
    • Issues about loyalty between in-laws and spouse
    • Money issues and balancing between the freedom it provides versus its symbol of security
    • Feelings of sexual inadequacy
    • Housework and chores to be done and the distribution of labor
    • Moving from being a couple to being a parent
      • This comes from lack of sleep, not feeling appreciated, extra responsibility and managing responsibilities
      • Mothers tend to feel intense affection for a newborn along with a protective instinct
      • Fathers tend to feel resentful for their wife not having enough time for him, constantly tired and preoccupied with the baby
  • Most conflicts are natural and progress in a healthy way
    1. It starts up softly and without extra harshness
    2. Both sides have the relationship in mind when saying something potentially hurtful
      • Expressing feelings openly
      • Expressing the personal need to calm down
      • Apologizing for rudeness or intensity
      • Stopping the conflict if it’s clearly out of control
      • Sharing appreciation and love during the whole dynamic
    3. Both sides are watching their body’s reactions to the conflict
    4. Both people are willing to compromise
    5. At the end, both sides are more tolerant of each other’s imperfections
  • There are some conflicts that can’t be solved for some reason
    1. The conflict makes one of you feel rejected or hurt by them
    2. You keep on bringing the conflict up, but there seems to be no resolution
    3. One of you is stuck in your position and unwilling to budge
    4. There is no humor, amusement or affection in the conflict
    5. Over time, you mutually see the other person as an enemy
    6. You both become more extreme in your views and unwilling to compromise
    7. Eventually you’ll both emotionally disconnect completely from each other
  • Watch for clear signs that the marriage relationship is hurting
    • Criticism – attacking your partner’s personality or character
      • Usually done with the intent of making someone right and someone wrong
      • Diagnoses the other’s failures, but not self-diagnosing
      • Uses generalizations: “You always…”, “You never…”, “You’re the type of person who…”, “Why are you so…”
    • Contempt – attacking your partner’s sense of self
      • Done with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse them
      • Communicating from a superior place
        • Insults and name-calling
        • Correcting their grammar
        • Hostile humor, sarcasm, mockery
        • Body language and tone of voice involve sneering, rolling eyes and curled upper lip
    • Defensiveness – seeing self as the victim
      • This can be any method of warding off a perceived attack
      • Making excuses for personal behavior
      • Meeting their complaint or criticism with a separate complaint and disregarding theirs
      • Disagreeing and then complaining about something unrelated
        • “That’s not true, you’re the one who…”
        • “I did this because you did…”
    • Stonewalling – withdrawal from the conflict to avoid conflict
      • They may be thinking they are being neutral, but they really just don’t want to be involved
        • Stonewalling actually elevates heart rate
      • They are actually conveying disapproval, distance, separation, disconnection and smugness
        • Stony silence
        • Monosyllabic mutterings
        • Changing the subject
        • Removing self physically
        • Silent treatment
  • Every one of these problems can be resolved, but it takes both sides to resolve it
    • The only way to succeed in a hurting marriage is to mutually apologize and accept being wrong
      • Counterintuitively, the one who receives the first apology, not the one who gives it, determine’s the relationship’s success
    • Respect the other person’s hopes, aspirations and desires
      • If they don’t feel free to share their values, they will feel unsafe
      • The only way to create shared meaning in a marriage is for both sides to value each other
  • Getting out of a vicious cycle of fighting is difficult, especially with a tough family background
    • It can be distressing to feel like your new family is repeating what your childhood family was doing
    • The more stressed you are, the less reasonable your answers will be to the conflict
  • If these problems are not resolved, then hopelessness for an answer and loneliness will set in, which will eventually lead to divorce
  • Anyone who succeeds in resolving the conflicts in a healthy way will have a lifetime of generosity and kindness to share with their spouse
    • There is a middle ground to aim for between conflicts being avoided and bluntly confronting disagreements
    • The quality of a marriage will determine the quality of parenting
Next: Homes 203: Preparing For Children