I think we have all heard the term “I Got Your Back.” I know it isn’t grammatically correct, but let’s ignore that for now. Growing up with siblings and/or other close relatives is what allows most kids the first opportunity to use this expression. As we grow older our circle begins to include friends. If you’re anything like me, you have many stories of how you’ve proven this mantra. Perhaps even better stories regarding how it was proven to you by others. I’d share a few, but the statute of limitations in New York and the District of Columbia are a bit fuzzy in some cases.
Fast forward to marriage…I Got Your Back takes on a much deeper meaning. I believe most people enter marriage placing pressure on themselves to, at the very least, meet the expectations of their spouse. My personal opinion is societal pressures probably places a heavier burden on men. Because of this belief, after marriage I Got Your Back means so much. For many husbands, everything and anything is covered under this idiom’s umbrella. Prior to jumping the broom, I remember spending plenty of time factoring the age and health of my mother and soon to be mother-in-law. Knowing my fiancé’s brother already had a family which included young children, I understood that there was definitely a possibility that my wife-to-be and I could be expected to be the primary caregivers for her mom. For over a decade, I have expected my mom would become my responsibility when health and/or finances dictated. In fact, I think I viewed this real possibility as my opportunity to repay her for the many years she devoted to me. The career goals of the woman who agreed to spend the rest of her life with me were also considered. Yes, this is all going through my mind prior to and during the engagement process.
During marriage couples learn to expect the unexpected. This can cover a wide array of things. Illness, job loss, career changes, parenthood, and relocation are just a few of the issues that may arise. Learning to love someone as much, if not more, than you love yourself can be an interesting process. Supporting something that you couldn’t otherwise care less about for the sole purpose of making your spouse smile, at some point in a long healthy marriage, becomes fairly routine. Would you be willing to place your career on hold because child rearing trumps professional titles? Is moving out of your home state a deal breaker? How about filling multiple roles on an internationally acclaimed bridal blog simply because she cares about this industry? Sounds crazy, huh? If you’re considering marriage, consider all of marriage. If you are married and have somehow made it this far without realizing what you signed up for, now may be a good time to plan some discussions.
Do you have a story idea for Cousin Mars? Shoot him an email at: BBB.Mars@gmail.com.