The promise of an everlasting companionship in an equally never-ending tide of challenges is very tempting to a lot of us.
It’s natural to be concerned about the changes that might occur once married, and many of us have our own ways of appeasing our worries and fears. Most of the time we plan ahead. Some prepare physically (exertion to build strong healthy mind and body), others prepare emotionally (commitment can be a big thing for some), and many prepare financially (for the wedding and after).
It is, however, my belief that nothing can ever completely prepare you for a lifetime with someone. You best believe that there are always going to be things that will skip your mind. When a thought finally hits you, the feelings have already consumed you.
The changes can be random and so little. So subtle are these changes that it might be jarring once you begin to acknowledge them.
You might be shopping for food with your mother-in-law one day. As you pass by the meat section you suddenly recount that time your mom told you which part of the chicken is the healthiest: the breast. You lift your head up as if expecting to see her pushing her cart towards you but instead you see your mother-in-law’s head poking from one of the aisles smiling back at you, “Is everything alright, dear?”
In the morning when you get ready for work you skip your breakfast-as you might normally do for many years now. Your partner comes out of the bathroom brushing his teeth furiously with one hand while writing an email on his phone with the other. At work, you can come in anytime as long as you deliver each day. Meanwhile, your partner’s demanding job is an hour away so he comes home tired and late, skips dinner to get barely 5 hours of sleep before he has to wake up to rush back to work. You sit there thinking of your spouse, he hasn’t eaten since last night. And so every morning from that moment on you wake up early to prepare breakfast for both of you and even a lunch pack to remind him to eat daily. Until then, you never thought you needed to have breakfast.
At night you turn on the fan (or AC) to the highest level subconsciously aware of and expecting warm cuddles with your partner in bed before sleep. It becomes a routine that you might discover one day that you can no longer sleep soundly when the other is not in bed with you or close by. And so the bed feels extra cold and the room, extra lonely.
If God was part of your lives before marriage, He may play a much bigger role in your marriage. At times of struggle, you will turn to him for help and strength. When good things come your way, you might drag your spouse down on his knees alongside you to remind him to thank the Lord. You find yourself more grateful for having someone special in your life that you might begin to dread the moment it gets taken away from you. You will see God and the afterlife in a different way as you begin to yearn for a special place in paradise for you and your spouse to live a truly happily ever after (forever).
You see, marriage will test your patience. And like other milestones in life, it might even test your humanity. The goal is to come out stronger and better together (and individually). What is most true is that a decision that pushes you to various heights is most certainly of an unpredictable nature. And often it’s the small subtle things along the way that create the big colorful images of our lives.