5 things to differently in marriage

Zach Buckley, IV Leader Columnist

The full title of this article is “5 Things I Plan on Doing Differently in My Marraige because of Observations I Have Made Over the Course of My Life” – it just wouldn’t fit.    I figure I would clarify that, in case you were wondering.

In my Marraige and Family course we are watching The Story of Us.  It’s a movie chronicling  some of the inevitable trappings and heartbreak of a marraige.  It truly made me think about what I want from my future marraige and what can be done to sustain it.  I come from a divorced family and, statistically speaking, half of everyone reading this right now does as well.  I know that my parent’s divorce was the most difficult thing I have ever had to go through in my entire life and it’s radically shaped the person I am now and it will still shape the person I will become.  When I really took the time to think about it, I realized that my ultimate goal in my life is to make sure my children will never have to watch their entire foundation that their world is built upon literally break in two.

So I went ahead and made a simple list of five things that I plan on doing differently in my marraige to try and offset any chance of divorce:

5.) I will not cohabitate with my future wife before we get married.

There are a few reasons for this one, chief amongst them being that I do not believe in playing house.  That is just something that does not work for me, personally.  It facilitates the notion that I can come and go as I please and that the commitment is not permanent.  It implies something temporary and I take the whole “til death” part of marraige very seriously.  I do not want to fool myself into believing that marraige will be exactly like our period of cohabitation before we actually say “I do”, because of course it will be different.  What happens if I find that we disagree on the ways that we operate and that there are clashes of interest?  Well, many people would just walk away from it at that point thankful that they didn’t make the commitment.  To me, that is foolish.  What happens if you find that you work together perfectly in cohabitation and then after you get married the conflicts begin?  Many people would still walk away at that point.  I believe that you have to work through it and find common ground.  If you expect to find someone who compliments you perfectly on every level then chances are you may end up poorly disappointed when you find out that you have differences.  Which actually leads me to my next point…

4.) I plan on marrying young and staying that way.

I think there’s something completely ridiculous about the notion that we should go to school, figure out who we are, make a career for ourselves and establish our independence – only to then enter a completely co-dependent relationship.  Turn that situation on it’s head for a minute.  Say you have a pet, okay?  Your pet is completely dependent on you for it’s very existence.  Why would you condition it to that and then just release it into the wild to survive completely by itself.  It makes no sense.  Now, I am not in any way, shape, or form comparing a marraige to owning a pet.  What I am saying, though, is that there is no point to devoting the beginning of your life to preparing you for independence if you plan on marrying for your entire life.  I’ve seen a few marraiges of friend’s parents fall apart because they simply could not work together.  If you don’t want any help from anybody in this life then why do you want to get married?

3.) I plan on waiting until I am married to have sex.

Now, I am sure this one makes me out to be the crazy guy to everybody, but that old saying “sex complicates things” has done nothing but resonate complete truth in all of the relationships I have seen.  It’s interesting, actually.  All abstinence programs warn only about the physical repurcussions of sexual activity but not the emotional dangers.  Of course it makes immediate sense, infatuation is less likely to kill you than HIV.  But I think that just because our bodies are developed enough to be able to participate in sexual activity, doesn’t necessarily mean our mind is up to handling it.  Too many times have I seen friends and acquaintances alike have their lives fall apart because they entered into a sexual relationship with somebody.  Moreso I’ve seen good relationships go bad because the couple started to engage in sexual acts.  Now, I am not saying that sex is bad or evil.  We all know it is far from that.  But just like everything else, there’s a time and place for it.  For me, that time and place will start on the night of my wedding.  Call me old fashioned, but I still believe there is something to be said about saving yourself for the person you have deemed worthy of spending the rest of your life with.

2.) I plan on swallowing my pride and growing up.

When you think of a sitcom family, chances are you may very well be imagining the same picture I am: a couple of kids, a wife that takes care of everybody’s needs, and a giant bumbling goof of a husband – practically another child.  The TV show King of Queens is a perfect example.  It is this image of a man that the world has seemed to adopt as the social norm, as the standard for the 21st Century man.  It has become so common place that corporations are trying to capitalize on the ineptitude of the modern man.  Costco has now introduced Man Land which is literally nothing more than a giant play place for adult men that their wives drop off so that they can go shopping in peace.  They do that with their children, they should not have to do that with their husbands.  If you cannot take the time to go shopping with your wive then chances are you shouldn’t be married in the first place.

1.) I will never let communication breakdown.

This is the number one killer in all the relationships I have seen in my life.  So many people for whatever reason it may be have such a trouble communicating with their signifigant other that it tears them in two.  If you cannot accurately tell your partner what you want then how can you ever expect to be happy.  Whatever gets lost in translation always seems to surely come up in a fight later.  So when I do get married I will always try to say the hard things no matter how difficult they may be and I will always try to articulate to the best of my abilities.


That’s it!  Those are the five things I plan on doing in my marraige in hopes of success.  You may very well disagree with me and that’s perfectly alright.  I am curious, though, to hear your thoughts on the matter.  What will you do differently in your marraige?  Will you even get married?  Or is marraige unnecessary in today’s fast pace world?  Drop a comment on our website or send an e-mail to the paper.  We would love to hear what you have to say.