Marriage Matters Monday – Who are Your Marriage Role Models?

Clair and Heathcliff Huxtable of "The Cosby Show" shared a fictional marriage admired by many in the 1980s.

Last week I had the unique opportunity to chat about marriage, parenthood and lots of stuff in between with my mom, my fiance and his mom. The four of us happen to engage in this very impromptu (but life-changing) convo with a 78 year-old widow and her single forty-something daughter. The entire conversation was enlightening but below are my highlights from the encounter. I was blessed by them and I think you will be, too. As I’ve mentioned before — although I’m planning a wedding, I’m much more concerned about my marriage. For the record, I had heard many of these things before but hearing them come from complete strangers was confirmation in a sense. Here goes:

1 – Often, temporary fixes lead to longterm problems. – I happen to know many folks (males and females) who have expressed similar sentiments after cheating on their partner. But this mantra can even be applied to shoe shopping, chocolate cake and alcohol.

2 – You’re a team; act like one. – If you can’t attend an affair/event (think wedding, housewarming, etc.) with your spouse, then you should both RSVP with regrets. If said event is a fundraiser, send your donation as a couple and apologize for having to sit that one out. Of course there will be exceptions, but you send a message (consciously or not) when you consistently attend affairs solo as a married person.

3 – The best gift you can give your children is a solid marriage. We all know marriages that are fake, dysfunctional and probably do the children involved more harm than good. And we also know single parents that rock and raise amazing children. (Ahem, see President Barack Obama. Love him or loathe him he changed the game.) But I think the moral of the story here is — and this tidbit was from the single, unwed daughter — if you’re going to get married and have children, realize that your spousal relationship being unified, honest, caring and loving will outlast and is much more important than any iPad, Wii or Barbie doll.

4 – Don’t let yourself “go”. It is easy to slack in the image department when you get all warm, fuzzy in love and thus comfortable. But rarely is the easy way to do anything the best way, right? And this applies to both sexes.

5 – Contrary to popular belief, the best marriage advice might not come from someone married. Generally speaking, I seem to seek relationship advice less and less. This isn’t because I’ve figured it all out (at all!) but rather because I now realize I need to talk to my fiance more about us and how we plan to define our marriage rather than always running to my co-workers, homies or even family members. But when golden, sage advice lands in my lap like it did last week, why shouldn’t I accept it? The giver could be a widow, single and never married, separated or divorced. If it makes sense to apply to my personal life and situation, I’ll take it!

So what are your thoughts on the above tips? I wanna know, good, bad or indifferent. I also want to know who your marriage role models are or if you even think such a thing should exist. Sound off in the comments, folks!

 

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    Comments

    1. #2 – You’re a team act like one is GOLDEN advice! When my husband and I were just dating we often attended parties and stuff like that alone or with our single friends but now I’ve learned how important it is to keep that at a minimum. Besides, he’s my #1 road dog. We have the most fun when we hang out together. ;-)

    2. Having been in and out of therapy since adolescence, the wisdom this duo imparted was priceless. It was quite obvious every sentiment was heartfelt. The mother was a big proponent of a solid marriage because she had one, the daughter because she was a product of/witness to one. Besides bonding as a family, meeting these women and experiencing their gift was a highlight of the visit.

    3. Great advice! My marriage role models are my parents, hands down. They were my first examples of romantic love, sacrifice and the importance of family.

    4. Thanks for the feedback, all!

      @ Mary – #2 was actually new to me but oh so timely.

      @Spikesdtr – Def a highlight of the visit! See ya soon.

      @PQ – Ditto. My parents were the same for me.

    5. I am so proud of the lady you have become. I got this good feeling about your upcoming marriage that everything is going to workout fine. Remember the ingredients for a successful marriage: LOVE, TRUST, RESPECT, FRIENDSHIP, CONFIDENCE, LOYALTY but, the greatest of all is LOVE.

    6. Thank you, Mommy! Duly noted.

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