It's like going through the fire drill at school. You get the jist of what is expected of you. But when it really happens, nothing is like what you practiced. Everyone is freaking out and you are just trying to make it out of the building alive. If your a decent human being, you don't trample those that fall and help anyone you can. If not, well... times like those show the world your true colors.
Unfortunately, no matter how "prepared" you think you are for marriage, you aren't. You can never account for another's actions. I made a list of qualities I wanted in a mate.You see, my parent's were never married and had a very volatile relationship. I did not want that for myself. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to have a "normal" relationship. I would be everything they weren't in life. (What kid doesn't think that of their parents?) So, I made my checklist and if a guy didn't meet the criteria, they were not put on the long term list. What I didn't account for was a guy could meet thing on the check list and still fall short where it mattered.
What do you do when a guy is:
✔ financially stable
✔ family orientated
You think, "I won the lottery", or "I don't deserve someone so normal". I've never had normal. His parents are still married. He went to college and finished all 4 years. He owns a house.
You start noticing things. Every time you buy things for people, (your money) he makes remarks that he hopes people are as "generous" when you guys :have kids, get married, etc. It seems like he's keeping tabs on what you spend versus what others will spend on you. Now... You grew up poor. Like, dirt poor... Welfare Christmas poor. You know what it's like to literally have NOTHING in the house to eat. To depend on free lunches at school. To shop the Goodwill for your "new" school clothes. This man, he went on vacations every year. He's gone to Disneyland. His family scrimped and saved, but they were never poor. Not food shelf poor like you. He has never wondered where his next meal will come from. You don't hold it against him. But you do expect him to have a little sympathy for those that come from places he can't fathom. Yet, he keeps score.
Then you become pregnant. Or maybe your a first time dad. And your spouse is more worried about their parents being included in on the birth process than you guys experiencing it together. At first, you think, maybe this is how "normal" family's react to this. And then you talk to other people. And you find out it is not normal for your mother-in-law to be over every fricken day and to buy your first born every milestone thing. And it's perfectly normal for you to be pist about that. And when you say to stop talking baby talk, or that your child's name is ____, please don't call them anything else, and they don't listen. Be mad. Say something. Your spouse needs to speak up, too.
Scripture calls for man to leave his parent and cling to his wife. (Genesis 2:24) If a man is unable to do this, than he is unable to spiritually fulfill his duty as a husband. When you marry, you make the person you take as your spouse the second most important person in the world, after God. Next comes your children, then you. If you are unable, or unwilling, to make that so, than you are not ready to be married.
While my checklist had everything I though would be important to a successful marriage, it didn't take into account what I would want to make me like the person as a human being. I want someone that thinks of others before themselves. I want someone that will make me and our children #1. I want someone who seeks God in all that they do. I want someone that loves me so much that our daughter seeks to find a man like her father. I want a love our children want to emulate. I want them to know that in all they do, they were surrounded by love.