Hope Springs Eternal: An Open Letter to My single friends looking to get married…

So I've been watching the new reality show, or as they like to call it social experiment, called Married at First Sight; and in light of my 6th anniversary, I thought this might be fitting blog.

Dear Friends,

In this day and age, it's difficult to find that special someone, settle down and start a life together. At some point in our friendship I'm sure we have discussed marriage briefly or at length. Perhaps I've given you a false sense of marriage in a complete sense. When you're single sometimes marriage looks like a gift from the gods. Coming home from work and having that special someone waiting there for you. Being able to share those special moments. Buying a house, raising a family, growing old together,  and everything else that make marriage so appealing. But perhaps you have been lulled into a false sense of what marriage might really entail. Or maybe the opposite, perhaps, I've scared you from it all together, this was not my intention.

As I watch marriage romanticized in movies and destroyed in reality TV, I am moved to say something.   First don't get married cause you think you're running out of time or you're in a rush to have children. These are not solid marriage foundations, and will likely bust at the seams at the first sign of conflict. In full disclosure, during my first year of marriage I swore we were doing this whole marriage thing wrong, because everything seem to be going wrong. First off don't believe the hype. Marriage is a full-time commitment that requires a lot of attention much like that of a pet or small, medium or large sized child. And like all living things if it is not taken care of (feed, changed, etc.), it will ultimately die. People know this, but I doubt most people get it.

All couples have disagreements. Most of the good fights happen behind closed doors. And no matter what they tell you, you hardly ever really fight fair. And the truth is fights are hardly ever won playing by rules. But what you should do is remember to mirandize yourself , "everything you say can and will be used against you…" This might help in cut down saying things that might be detrimental to your relationship and/or help prevent fights in the future. Unfortunately every couple is different and has different ways to solve problems, so there's not easy fix to overcoming such hurdles. But it's also important to note that marriage is not a 50/50 thing like most people claim. As I've stated before sometimes it's 30/70 or 80/20 or 100/0. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win in theory, but lose in reality.

Marriage just like everything else in life has good days and bad days, but the outside world should never be able to tell those days apart. Your treatment of your spouse should remain fairly constant, despite the day, week, month or even year you are having. The most successful marriages I've seen do 3 major things (there's more but i decided to condense it, you'll thank me later). They are dedicated to one another, their marriage and its success. They respect one another and their marriage. And they are committed to each other and making their marriage work. These are simple principles I know, but they are not a magic bullet. Again marriage takes work, and you have to work even when your partner is not. But remember it's your marriage and it can be anything you want it to be. You are the captain, you can't avoid the storms, but your navigation is imperative to make it through.