What is marriage all about?
Oct 8, 13
by George Butiri
Hey, long time no see. Yes, I’m still around and alive and kicking. No need to worry. A friend of mine asked me to speak about the M word, or marriage. I guess she wanted to see what marriage was all about from a guy that’s been at it for over 13 years.
I’ll tell you right now. It’s Hell. It’s awful. It’s painful at times. Sometimes you feel like pulling your hair out. Sometimes you probably will. There will be fights. There will be arguments. You won’t agree on many things. But, if you can go through that with your best friend, why not your spouse? The only difference between marriage and friendship is that in marriage you sign a piece of paper. You can easily sign another one that splits you two. You lose half of your stuff, and you go your separate ways.
I absolutely despise people who divorce, and say they remain friends. Who are you fooling? You’re not friends. Friends don’t do that to each other.
Imagine marriage like moving in with your best friend. You have a roomie! Have a kid? Another roomie. I have a saying that I go by. We all live under the same roof. This can be taken into context at the household level, the village level, the city level, the state level, federal, global, on and on. You get the picture. We really do live under the same roof. We become a unity. We become something combined. It’s as if twins become conjoined. Deal with it.
I’m not speaking about the people that are involved in abusive relationships, or a one way love relationship, or arranged marriages. That’s just not a friendship. And if you don’t have the friend factor, forget it. It’s not a real marriage. It’s just a convenience. Your marriage is a task in a list of tasks. Get a degree, get a job, get married, have a kid, retire and die. Your marriage is comparable to getting a HS degree. And your kid, a college degree.
You build a relationship. A strong one. Any relationship has to be built on something. Not just trust, or rules, or ideas. It’s all of these combined. It’s something you feel, like love, and intuition.
This next paragraph, only us guys that enjoy a good beer would understand. For us guys, it’s like opening up a cold one. The same feeling you get out of opening up a cold one should be very similar to walking into the front door, seeing your wife in the house. That first sight should give you the same tingles as the psht sound of an aluminium can. Opening up a can brings a sort of pleasure, relief, calm that makes you feel good. When you come home and open the door and you see her, you should feel no different. Sometimes the beer is bitter, sometimes it’s sweet, but whenever you go for that tab, you expect to see happiness, or something that makes you feel good.
I’ve had my bitter beers in the past, and I thought about divorce, many times. I say many because in the first 5 years, I’ve threatened to leave her at least 10 times. But the important thing is that I didn’t.
Whatever the argument was about, believe it or not, it made us stronger. It made us fight for what we have now. It made us understand each others points of view, even though we didn’t recognize it at the time. My wife and I even to this day have differences in so many things, but we’ve learned that not everyone likes Vanilla ice cream just because we do. And that same idea goes well with deep discussions as well; even philosophical ones.
Over the years we’ve called each other names, we cried, we argued, but in the end, if at the end of the event you look at each other and say to yourself that you really want to try to stay together through it, like friends would… and pull through together, then all those moments seem to mean nothing compared to all the good times you’ve had, and the true relationship you’ve built. In the end, it’s all worth it.
I actually want to grow old with her. I want to sit on the bench of our house, or patio, or porch, or balcony, and just look out and remember all the things we’ve been through. All of the history that we’ve had, life events… every time we were sick, every time one of us lost a job, or had to move, or had a kid, or all those times that we went to the hot tub, or when we went skydiving…. or all those times we went to watch a movie in the theater and had to yell at people to keep quiet… all those times that she put too much salt in her cooking, and all those times that her food came out so great, I just HAD to have seconds. Even all those times she told me to not eat so much. All those times we worked out together in hopes that we can both get in better shape… Those times we both went to school together. The time we worked together at Ruby Tuesday’s. The time we moved to The Netherlands, and had to take our cat with us. The time we came back from The Netherlands, with our cat. All those times we spent together with Ethan, watching him grow and learn about the world. And re-living the world once again through his eyes.
Then, we can talk about the time we met, how after 3 dates, I asked her to come with me from Romania to the US. I was going to leave at the end of the month, and I told her that I liked her too much, so either we split up, or she could marry me. The time she came over in a new world, not knowing or expecting anything, and experiencing everything, and having to learn English from the ground up, and learn to drive.
Anyway, in the end, if all these awesome experiences outweigh the bad times, it was worth it. Remember, first and foremost, you’re friends. Treat each other as that. Respect each other, and try to understand each other, and you too can talk about it 13 years later.
I always believed that weddings should be celebrated after 10, 20 years. Not in the beginning. You’re never sure about what next year will bring. Wait a decade before you tell yourself that you’re ready for it.