Two years into it, I have one thing I absolutely must say about marriage:
Marry someone you wouldn’t mind turning into.
There is a saying that when you marry someone, you marry their family. Well, I want to add an amendment to that. When you marry someone, you marry them, their whole family, and all of their habits.
You don’t think about this when you are dating a person. All you can think about is how great they are, how they make you laugh, how they take you out on nice dates, how special they make you feel, how they make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside…blah, blah, blah. I’ve been in the crazy love zone before. I know how it can be. It’s in this zone that you tend to brush all the annoying small things under the rug. You don’t want to confront them, you don’t want to challenge them because you don’t want to burst the happiness bubble.
It’s easy to only think about rainbows and butterflies when you think you’ve found the ONE, but what you really need to think about is: would I want to become more like this person? What is their character like? How do they treat others beside me? How do they treat the people they aren’t trying to impress? How do they treat their home? What is their attitude toward work? Life? God? Their family? Are they responsible? Are they ambitious? Are they respectful? Are they loyal? Don’t just pay attention to their words, but watch their actions and their habits. Actions speak more volume than a screaming rant ever will.
Your spouse becomes your biggest influence in life. They are the one person you will spend the most time with. You go to bed with them, and you wake up with them. Whether you care to or not, you will start picking up their habits because they will bring all of their habits into your marriage just like you are bringing all of your habits into your marriage. When two habits clash, one of you is giving up the habit. Let me promise you something: as determined as you feel when you start out, you won’t win every clash. If you set out thinking you will turn your spouse into the dream person you think they can be, you will be greatly disappointed. You will win a few habit battles, but you won’t win them all.
The thing about rainbows and butterflies is that they don’t stay around long. Both have a very short lifespan. Habits, on the other hand, tend to last, linger, and entrench themselves into your life. So, please, I am begging you: marry someone you wouldn’t mind turning into. Marry someone whose habits you wouldn’t mind picking up. After all, you are going to have to be dealing with them for a very long time.