My church is currently going through a series on Sex, Love, and Relationships. At first I was not all interested…I was rather bah humbug…seriously? another talk on this? I’ve read every book on the subject, and it seemed to be turning into one of those series, like the oh so popular ones on baptism and the book of Revelation, that make me just want to stay home on Sundays until the pastor has moved on to a new topic.
However, I showed up anyway, and have been pleasantly surprised with the talks, and I daresay I might have even gotten something out of the last couple of sermons. Sigh of relief. No having to dread church for the rest of the month.
Last week’s sermon was on the importance of preparing for marriage. Our pastor emphasized the point that good intentions and sincerity are not what will get a marriage through the tough times like being prepared for those hard times will. Obviously,it behooves couples to get to know each other as well as possible before marriage, and deal with their issues and childhood baggage. As I have reflected on my own marriage, I can certainly see ways that Mike and I could have prepared better, which would have saved us alot of heartache. However, as my mind always does, I moved toward sarcasm and humor and questions that there was no way we could have thought to ask.
If you’re not married yet, maybe you should ponder over these questions…it might save you from a few fights and surprises later on down the road. This might be a little slanted towards women rather than men. :)
1. What is your future spouse’s capacity for change? Like, 180 degree change? When I met Mike, I was a country girl, drove a huge pickup truck, and while I don’t like to describe myself as redneck, I was definitely not what one would call cultured or sophisticated. Mike, on the other hand, was a city boy, and preferred cars, specifically foreign made with leather interior.
Now, eight years into our marriage, it seems we have flip flopped. I’m driving a Camry, and Mike is driving a huge Tundra. He has suddenly taken an interest in guns, archery, and all thing camouflage. I, on the other hand, have tried hard to distance myself from my Gretchen Wilson-esque past as much as possible, and though I grew up on a ranch, I favor gun control and rebuff most of the country music released these days.
Mike’s change caught me completely by surprise….in less than a year, he went from a sports coat wearing, Mercedes driving, golf and fountain pen kind of guy to a Tundra driving, NRA card carrying, camouflage wearing archer. I never saw that one coming.
2. What is your future spouse’s understanding for the rule of toilet cleaning? When I was growing up, my momma taught me to squirt the toilet bowl cleaner into the toilet, scrub the toilet, and then leave it to sit for a while before the cleaner was flushed down. When Mike discovered that this was the way I cleaned the toilets our first year of marriage, he was horrified and declared that the toilet bowl cleaner must be flushed away immediately. I, of course, said, no, that’s not how my momma taught me. And yes, we got into a fight about this. I’m guessing there was some underlying root issue we were really arguing about, but at the time, that poor potty was definitely caught in the middle.
3. What is your future spouse’s pain threshold? This is an area that will really catch a lady by surprise. Men pride themselves on being tough, hard workers, who refuse to let women do certain jobs that they deem dangerous or requiring brute strength. They can work through injuries and pain to get the job done. However, if you head towards a man with a tiny pair of tweezers to get that one stray eyebrow hair that is bordering on two inches long, that same man will cower and run like a little girl. You should know this ahead of time, so that you won’t get irritated when he insists on waiting two weeks to get that hair trimmed when he goes to the barber.
4. What is your husband’s perceived level of involvement in interior decorating going to be? How attached is he to furniture he owned before you got married? This question is crucial. Seriously, we fought over this the first five years of marriage. I went into marriage expecting that I would be the queen decorator of the mansion, and Mike had other ideas. He and I have very definite style preferences, and it took us a while to find some common ground and things we both liked. Furthermore, as a bachelor, he owned some furniture pieces that I, well…I wouldn’t have been upset if they had caught on fire. You need to be prepared for some serious negotiating when it comes to moving your future hubby’s prized possessions out of the house. And, take my advice….if he really wants to keep that huge, dumb sofa that is so yesterday, just let him keep it and simply put a slipcover over it. Turns out, you will never find another couch as comfy as that one to take a nap on.
For all of those married ladies, I’d be very curious to hear about the funny things you wish you had known about your spouse before you married?
Seeking to fully live,