In this final installment of the Marriage and Millennials Series, I conclude with the most pivotal and most overwhelming part of marriage. The honeymoon can only last for so long. Well, the honeymoon is over. The problems have set in. The marriage is at a crossroads. What do you do? How do you react? What's at stake? As I mentioned in other parts of the series, I addressed that I am not an expert. However, I was married. This last segment comes directly from my heart. I dedicate this open-letter to the twenty-five year old me. I guess you can say this is my public apology as well.
At that age, my marriage was on the decline. I was about a year into my marriage before I started messing up. There were warning signs. SHE asked for a divorce. Not once, but four times. Yet, the first time she asked, I should have paid attention. I should have changed when she pointed out my flaws. I didn't. Two years post divorce, I'm still struggling. My failed marriage is my biggest failure to date, but it was also my learning curve. My loss was my lesson. I dedicate this to those on the verge of something life-changing. Love is kind, and love is patient. Sometimes, a view from the other side can make the differenc. Husbands, put your wives' shoes on, and walk a mile. Wives, do the same. Maybe you'll end up on common ground.
To my ex-wife, I'm sorry...
What are you doing to yourself? Your wife just asked for a divorce! Do you know why, though? Okay, let me explain. You can not continue to entertain women outside of your wife. Are you dumb? Are you even aware of how you are affecting her? You should know. She cries, and you hear this. You completely ignore her feelings because you are too selfish and inconsiderate to even care or recognize. You talk so much shit to your friends and mother that you complete disregard your own screw ups. You're not right, sir.
Do you know why she is always working? She's trying to support your broke ass! So you say idle hands are the devil's playground? Why can't you match her hustle? You don't have an answer, do you? Well, I do. You got too comfortable. You are lazy. You'd rather live through her that set your own path. Yet, you call yourself a leader. Please! Man, you can't even follow. In order for you to become successful, you have to learn to follow. Everyday, you see her degree. I know you want one. She has proven that she is willing to help, but stop making excuses. Excuses can't keep the lights on. Makes strides, not excuses. You talk about how proud of her you are, but man, I doubt she's speaking as highly about you! Do you blame her? If she is, I bet she is doing it to save face. You have to do better. You see her grind? Match her grind.
Now, I have question. How would you feel if you found out she was being dishonest and messing around on you, and you are supporting her? You'd be in an absolute rage! No wonder her family doesn't like you! LOL! You come off as weak and a user. There is no mistaking that you love and adore this woman, but she is not your mother. Stop acting as if she is. Mothers can't un-claim their children no matter how rotten they are. They can kick you out and no longer support you, but they are still mothers. Your wife can peace you out and only leave behind a trail of tears, but those tears are behind her. Those tears will soon become yours if you don't chill.
Can I offer you a few solutions? Take them for what they are worth.
First of all, be honest. Think of it like this. You can be an asshole, but at least you can live with yourself and sleep at night. Liars have to maintain the same lie, and that gets tiring. After all, you love her. Lying doesn't spare her feelings. It creates hard ones. Don't create resentment.
Second, maintain your friendship. Your friendship will preserve your marriage. Sam, you are settling. You ain't no damn pilgrim! Continue to date. Ice cream on a Friday night IS a date. Time together is time invested. Be silly. Be obnoxious. Laugh louder than you ever did with her. Eat at the table, and talk. Turn off the phone, and turn her on! Be fun to be around again! Show her the man she fell head over heels for!
Third, no finance equals no romance. A steady cash flow and bills paid on time can increase the intimacy. Not to mention, it provides stability, and she just wants to be feel stable and secure. Sleepless nights are contagious. Bad attitudes are as well. Money isn't an end to a problem, but it can be a bandage. Who knows?
Forth, shut the hell! Listen for a change! You don't have to always get the last word. Most of the time, the conversation is about you messing up. I know you don't like the taste of your own shit, but you made the plate, homeboy. Go get yourself a bottle hot sauce. Hot sauce makes everything tastes better. But you have to eat it.
Last, but certainly not least, follow from time to time. A better her is a better you. A better you is a better her. If she lacks in a certain department, help her to become better. Where she excels and you lack, ask her to help you. Here's an example. She can't cook for real, but you can. Don't overpower her with what she needs to do, offer up suggestions. Cook with her. She'll appreciate that. You suck at financial planning. She's great at planning. It's ok to ask for help. It's easier than climbing out of that big ass hole you dug! In other words, partnerships are crucial.
I'm going to leave it there. Sam, marriage is hard. If it were easy, there would be no divorce. I know what I'm struggling with at the age of twenty-nine. It's not easy. Those tears that were left behind are now mine. I loved her more than life itself. I just could not shake my demons. You can! Do it for your future! The problems in your marriage were created by you and no one else. I'll always be here for you. But she won't if you don't change. Love that woman, and love yourself. Otherwise, you will be singing your sad song right next to me. Good luck and many blessings...
The Wiser You