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Friday, January 27, 2006

Arranged Marriage

Since I have been posting my random thoughts on parenthood lately, I thought I might as well give marriage a try. I mean, I'm married just as much as I am a mom.

I was parking the car yesterday and Olivia was asleep in her car seat. As usual, I was lost in some train of thought that has no begining or end. This one happened to be revolving around a conversation I had with my Mother-in-Law about Rob.

We were driving to get coffee and orange juice before our church's voters' meeting and yaking about life. I mentioned to her that I was learning how introverted Rob is by nature.

Flash forward to parking the car yesterday.

It dawned on me that I should have been aware that Rob was introverted far before we ever married. I am not really all that introverted, and rather more clingy so it should have been apparent. But it wasn't. Rob was, and is, a lot more talkative while he's getting to know someone than he is once he becomes comfortable with people. All that time he was being outgoing with me was so that he could get to know me. Now that we're totally comfortable he's content to sit in a room together and say nothing for hours.

There is no way that I could have known this unless we had lived together before we got married, or if we had dated for ages and ages. It takes a long time for people to let their guard down all the way.

So, what's the point, Devona? Are you saying we should all live together, or date forever before gettting married? Actually, no.

I think that the opposite is true. Rob and I were no more prepared for marriage than two strangers set up by their parents. That wasn't a downfall though, since I don't think you can ever truly know someone until you've been married to them. Besides, even if you spent 10 years trying to get to know someone in order to find all the reasons why they are perfect for you, you'll be looking forever.

Everyone settles when they get married. The reason is that everyone is marrying someone imperfect. If the qualifications for the perfect marriage were perfect spouses there would be no point in even trying.

The one thing that will make a marriage perfect (by which I mean that it will last until death) is an understanding of commitment. When one understands the severity of promise that wedding vows are, he or she is less likely to break them. That's what truly prepaers someone for marriage.

A wedding takes about 30 minutes, whether it takes place between strangers or lovers (who will soon discover that they are more or less strangers). You have the rest of your life to get to know each other.