Do the words “some assembly required” send chills down your spine? They do me. I want things now! I want to blink my eyes or wiggle my nose and poof, I have a new china hutch. The stores lure you in with perfectly assembled shiny bikes, furniture and accessories. The angels are singing. “It’s perfect for that little corner.” “This will make our lives so much better.” “We can’t live without it!” So we pull out that tiny slip of paper and bring it to the register. The clerk rings up our sale and calls to the back. The man from the back wheels out a small box. In our confusion, we walk over to check if he has the right item. It must be right; there’s a picture on the box that looks just like what we bought.
Never-the-less, we load it into the car and head home, trophy in hand. After wrestling it into the house, we open the box only to find hundreds of little parts???? How could that beautiful china cabinet come from all these little parts?!
And this is where the nightmare begins. We pull the parts from the box and begin the work of putting it together. The box usually tells us this is so easy to put together even a fifth grader could do it. Are we smarter than a fifth grader? Apparently not.
The test, of not only of our IQ but also our communication skills has begun. Unfortunately Jay and I speak two different languages (maneese and womaneese) and have totally different ideas of how we should go about assembling it. I(Christa) believe you should always read the instructions first to get a clear picture of the assembly process….he (Jay) believes….. instructions are for wimps. I’m not going to take liberties and talk about who is right and who is wrong here, but we all know it’s me. (Insert cheesy smile)
The point is that we both want the same outcome. We both have the same goal in mind. But how can we get to that goal together without fighting against each other?
This process is true for marriage as well:
- You see what you want: Marriage is a good thing. You see the friendship, companionship, love and you want it. Your view of marriage can come from your parents, other marriages, the media, and many other sources. Your view of marriage may differ slightly from your partner’s view, but over all, you both want the same thing…..a healthy, happy marriage.
- You buy what you want: You find that perfect someone to share your life with. The angles are singing. Your dream has come true. You found “the one.” You jump in. Get hitched. Your married!
- You bring it home: After the honeymoon phase, you realize, this isn’t all that you thought it should be. You were sold a perfect marriage but as it is laying in the box in pieces, it doesn’t look the way it is suppose to be. At this point you can become overwhelmed, disappointed or frustrated. You may even feel like you made a mistake.
- Assembly Required: Now the hard part. Everything isn’t perfect. You realize you are going to have to work to put these two different lives together. If you want a good marriage your going to have to do some assembly. So where do you begin?
- Keep the Goal in Mind: What is your goal for marriage? Discuss this with your spouse. Come to an agreement on what you want your marriage to look like.
- Read the Directions: Unfortunately like parenting, marriage does not come with an instruction manual. But there are many ways to find out how to build a healthy marriage. Watch successful couples, read marriage books and take classes. Learn the skills needed to build a strong foundation and a healthy marriage.
- Use the Right Tools: Apply what you have learned. Use good communication skills and learn healthy habits to improve your relationship.
- Learn Your Partners Language: Every couple faces one big obstacle . The person you are sharing your life with speaks a totally different language, has a different personality, and had a different upbringing. Taking personality quizzes and reading books like, The Five Love Languages, will help you understand your spouse.
- Anything Worth Building Takes Time: Never give up. A good marriage takes time to build. Always keep in mind…..this is a work in progress.