Singlestalk: Rite time-A A +A
Saturday, September 14, 2013
b>Michelle: How do you know it’s the right time to marry?
Migs, who is 28, is asking. He and his girlfriend (GF), who is 23, have been going out for a year now. They both have stable jobs and they are now in a stage in their relationship where they are talking about marriage. But is it too soon, he asks?
For me, there is no time too soon or too late because it should be both of them who should determine their readiness to marry. And mind you, getting married is not just about age, financial stability (although that would be a very good indication that the couple is ready to start and provide for their family) or length of a relationship. I think it is also important to consider emotional and psychological readiness to enter into a committed and lifelong (hopefully) relationship.
DJ: It’s cool that Migs is looking at such possibility in a practical and not just romantic perspective. There is no such thing as a perfect age to get married. It is different for each person and unique in each situation. But one thing remains true: marriage is not only a commitment but a covenant to remain faithful to each other for the rest of their life, no matter what.
M: Don’t get married because it feels just right. A decision to get married should not be based on just feelings because feelings are, as the song goes, nothing more but feelings. They are fleeting. When your spouse irritates the hell out of you and you no longer feel loving towards him or her, you cannot simply get out of your marriage.
The truth is it is harder to get out of marriage than to get into one. If people say you’re too young to get married, don’t let age alone stop you from thinking of settling down. Proper communication between the couple can address that uncertainty. Being advanced in age does not necessarily mean that one is mature or that being young is a sign of immaturity. Sometimes, an emphasis on career may also put marriage in a lesser role. But marriage and career can go together. I read somewhere that “a career without family, where family is possible, is a tragedy.”
DJ: Before people get a driver’s license, they first need to learn how to drive. The same principle applies to getting a marriage license. There are certain lessons that need to be learned:
1. Love is not just a feeling; it’s a decision. Getting married and potentially starting a family requires a level of self-regulation. One will no longer be ruled by his or her emotions. Life will no longer just about one’s self. There’s a spouse to partner and children to consider before making any major decision.
2. Communication. Having differences is part of every relationship. What makes the difference is how two people listen and communicate their way through their differences. This is key for a marriage to work for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
3. Positivity. It’s sharing smiles, laughter, being there for each other. It’s a union of two imperfect persons working together as team, committed to bring out the best in each other.
M: There are others who put off marriage for financial reasons. Postponing marriage until money is sufficient to sustain a grand wedding or a stylish living is not wise. A wedding is just one day but a marriage takes a lifetime. In fact it is good at this point of your relationship to go through a marriage discernment process such as the Discovery Weekend.
Deciding to get married is a process that requires discernment and prayer. Being in love is a good reason to get married but sometimes it is not enough. The wise counsel of longtime married couples can help you and your partner make a more informed decision on whether this is the right time to consider taking your marriage rites.
DJ: I encourage Migs and his GF to pray for it, to listen to each other and the views of people whose wisdom they trust. Know in their heart and their gut that they are truly happy and that both of them accept each other for who they are.
If they’re sure that they can love until it hurts until it hurts no more, perhaps it’s time to sign the papers and let her have his last name. Life isn’t perfect. And nobody is perfect. What matters most is that they love each other and are mature enough to truly grasp what “forever” means.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 15, 2013.