Recently, one of Mr. Awesome's co-workers needed to stop by our home for a quick visit. As he sat down he seemed nervous while looking around at the walls in our home. I asked him what was wrong in which he replied that he did not want to do something that my husband was trying to convince him to do. After more probing, I found out that he did not want to have the types of pictures hanging on his home walls that looked like the pictures hanging on ours, wedding pictures. Of course, I had to keep probing and found out that he had a live-in girlfriend, but did not see the need to make the full commitment. Yeah, they are sharing bills, food, children, and might I assume the bed, but according to him there is no need to marry. Although they have not lived together for too long, they have been together for three years and his reasoning for not wanting to jump the broom was that he felt that he was happy with the arrangement as it is. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is what he said to me. According to him, the marital statistics guaranteed him personal failure at anything dealing with a marriage and he did not want to risk it. Sure, he signed up to risk his entire life for the sake of this country, but was not willing to risk it for marriage. Hhhmm.
Unfortunately, far too many people feel this exact way. Looking at the statistics as well as the various relationships that are barely hanging on, it is easy to see why marital hopes are easily demolished. However, could Mr. Awesome's co-worker be looking at things the wrong way? Is he (like so many) falling into the attitude that marriage will fail before it has begun? To answer that, I must say yes. First, a lot of people think of marriage as some type of fantasy land that resembles a permanent vacation. Yes, marriage is absolutely beautiful. Yes, you get butterflies when you see your mate coming home from work. Yes, you love gazing into their eyes until you both fall asleep. However, during the times that the eye gazing is not happening, there is work to be done. Lots of work. When Mr. Awesome and I were in pre-marital counseling, we were taught a very true lesson. When you say 'I do', you are really saying 'I die'. Yes, you die everyday. You die to selfish ambitions. You die to attitudes that seek to weaken the marital bond. You die to the notion that it is all about you. You die to the myth that the marital relationship is just about getting your needs met. The ' I die' concept is so foreign to many in the society today and that is why many walk away when they are just not feeling it. It boils down to the fact that it is all about them when in reality marriage is made up of more than just self.
When I heard the excuses of Mr. Awesome's co-worker, most of them had to do with his unwillingness to let go of his own self interest for the interest of the woman (and children) that he shares a home with. He seemed perfectly content with reaping the benefits of marriage without the legal piece of paper or more importantly, the vows made in front of God. Despite his fear, I tried to convince him that an expensive wedding is not neccessary for the wedding vows to be made . With this being said, I must also wonder why his significant other would be content with giving away her "milk" for free.
I do believe that he is probably a good person, but is very decieved about the why fix it notion. It needs to be fixed because with this arrangement, the tone is already being set for selfish preservation. Should one go into marriage with that mindset? It is probably not a good idea. However, I have seen cases where couples do the honorable thing after living together and I have seen some who seperate painfully after living together for years. But I feel that it is better, if things are started on a more honrable note. Stay tuned for Part 2.