The Road to Marriage: Where You ARE vs. Where you NEED to Be

Two weeks ago, with much hesitation, I kicked off a mini-series on Marriage. In February 2016, I realized I was ready for marriage. I was beyond excited for this realization and I could not wait to share it with my close friends.

A few months later, somehow pandora’s box opened. Before I knew it, I found myself in many in the gray area of relationships, often hearing and seeing truths that many see or feel in their relationships or other relationships that they do not talk about.

“What are you trying to tell me?” I asked. “You’re confusing me. I don’t feel comfortable sharing what is being presented to me.”

I kept quiet.

My silence started to stifle my creativity and writing, but my voice fought back. I whispered my experiences to others and got more confused with their reactions and words. Why all this honesty all of a sudden? Does the universe intend to speak through me?

Once I accepted the topic, so much has come to the surface…

Almost eight years ago I was in a long term relationship. We met through work, became friends, started dating and became a couple. This was my first serious relationship. From the beginning, I could see us in a long term relationship, because of how we got along, how he made me laugh, how we supported each other and how we worked together.

Even though things “felt right”, marriage never crossed my mind with him. I wasn’t focused on marriage at the time and it was something I didn’t want for myself.  I believed I would never be married.

Five or six months into the relationship, we discussed marriage. He brought up the idea, and it didn’t scare me. I realized it was something I could see for us and it was something I wanted with him. It felt right.

As our relationship progressed, with the conversation of marriage on the table, several factors lead me to look at our relationship with new eyes.

We worked as a long term couple, but we needed to work better as a team, so that we could last in marriage.

Still young and filled with career focus, the more I grew in my personal growth and in my career, the more he was motivated to grow in both areas. At some point, we diverged. He fell back into old self inhibiting patterns, which were his comfort zone. I gave him pep talks, while I continued to press forward in and move up in my career.

Each time I visioned our marriage, I saw where we were and how we could be so clearly in marriage.  After that image popped in my mind from time to time, one day, I realized I could not see the bridge that would get us there. Our path abruptly ended, leaving that clear image of our marriage in the clouds. That’s how I always saw our path, but I never thought to look for the bridge until that moment. “He doesn’t have it in him, to be who he needs to be for us to be a stronger couple.” I thought to myself. Shortly after that realization, I broke up with him.

There were many more reasons why we broke up, but that one in particular is one that I think of often. While I was very young and naive at the time, I am thankful that I saw the sign or message so clearly. Too often people get married based on that clear image of their relationship in marriage, but not many people deeply asses their relationship before they are married and often it is assed when it is too late which usually occurs in marriage.

If you are single, dating, engaged or married, when thinking critically about your future in singlehood, couple-hood or marriage, make sure to slow down and try to see the bridge between where you are versus where you need to be. Be honest with yourself with what you uncover with your new perspective.

Love – Stephanie XO

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