One of the most topics I get asked about on Instagram after Photography and Books is Marriage. It is truly fun to talk about but still scary because you know people will take your words for it. So, I try to be very careful with what I say and not to take their interest and trust1 for granted.
Today I will be sharing my thoughts on marriage and money and how a healthy marriage shouldn’t be focused mainly on the financials And might add few more stuff not related to the financials.
A lot of people focus mainly about the wedding part of it all. They pour all their energy, emotions thoughts and money into that day. Yes, I do believe that we all wish to have the perfect wedding: dress, venue, wedding invitations.. etc
But not a lot of people think about what comes next. The actual life you will be living with that person. How will your life change and what are you going to do about that change.
As a young woman I did really work hard on myself financially by working part time jobs along with my uni classes and building my photography name. And for a freelancer who was too shy to approach people it was a bit hard but I managed. Anyways, What I want to focus on here, financially I was pretty much independent and I knew the value of money even way before getting my degree and starting to actually work as a full time employee. So when I was about to get married I was focused on who I was going to marry rather than who was going to secure me financially. To be quite honest with you, this should be your way of thinking because working on yourself to secure yourself emotionally, mentally and financially will save you a lot of the heartaches that you are better off without. A lot of the time’s young girls care too much about how things are looking from the outside than how they feel from within. Would you rather spend all your money on a wedding that will end in few hours and live for many years probably in debt? and perhaps eventually you might realize that you have married the wrong person just few months after that speculator wedding? Or, have a normal wedding with normal, realistic expenses and focus on building your personality and getting to know the person you’re about to live with for pretty much the rest of your life?
A lot of the women out there don’t care about the man’s financials especially when having the ‘wedding’, They would say something like ” He better pay all that he have and get me all those gifts and jewellery…”etc but often forget that she will actually live with him. and his financial loss will actually be hers………
Of course I am not talking about all men here, I am sure there are men would be more than happy to live off their wives salary. But I am generalizing here and talking about the healthy kind’s of relationships. Because a normal man would be like my money is your money and your money is yours. They wouldn’t dare ask you for money but still ask you to be a little bit considerate with his paycheck because after all he is going to take care of two.. and maybe more? “kids”.
Of course for me it was easy because I didn’t want a wedding in the first place. My whole family was a bit shocked and my dad asked me to at least wear a white dress (I settled for an Ivory one) but close enough haha….! Anyways, I know for a lot of the girls out there you might be dreaming for that big day; but truthfully speaking and out of experience you should be thinking about the life that follows. Think about it in every aspect. Make sure you spend time creating a life that you actually want.. You don’t want to just exist in life living an imagine that people would expect to see….
Don’t worry about people. They will talk whether you did something fancy or not. People cannot be satisfied. Live a life that is completely yours, make decisions that satisfy you first. They will only see fractions of your life. It doesn’t matter what appears to them. You are the only one who get to see the whole picture. Make sure that it’s worth it. Marriage is truly a union between two and the more time and effort you place in this circle the more it will last. I read a quote long time ago it was a conversation actually between two and it went something like this…:
-When do you think this marriage will end?
__The Moment you stop working on it.
We expect just because we got married, it is done.. we are good now…. It doesn’t work like that. You still have to work on it every day. And work on yourself every day. You will face new challenges and life changes that you might have never thought of….. But when you choose the right person not “the perfect person” Because they truly don’t exist… You will really get through any obstacle or struggle you face.
I was asked about how did I deal with living with a new person and how to face the challenges in this new life.
First of all, it wasn’t easy it needed time to adjust to it all. There are things you will only see and experience when living with someone. From waking up in the morning until you go to bed. Someone’s behavior can’t be faked all the time so my advice to you is to be yourself because sooner or later you will end up showing your real self and that will be awful for both of you. I laughed the way I did, I walked the way I did, I ate the way I did. I spoke the way I did. Nothing changed in that, I mean I wasn’t afraid of being myself.
It is also scary because not only I began living with a stranger, I had to go visit more strangers “his family” and felt the need to leave a good impression and that was hard. Yet, it went well because again, I did not fake anything at all. I was respectful to all and that was it. Patience is a virtue. My husband always says, you don’t have to win every argument because you could lose the person. I started to let go. There are things only married people will understand when it comes to the in laws…. Sometime’s you don’t really have to prove a point. Even to your significant other; Because you don’t want to lose them. There are many things that will change in your personality if you focus really well you will mature and see things differently. You face the challenges with an open heart. Make sure that you are in this together, it will and should always be you two against the problem, not you against him. You face the challenges with the realization that both of you are new to this and it’s ok to make mistakes or misunderstand each other.
I have learnt to be verbal; to say what I mean and mean what I say. There are many days that your words could be misunderstood or your actions would be misread. But it’s ok. Be a good person but don’t try hard proving it. Make sure that you get in in your head that it is his money first before it is yours. So, you can’t demand it all, you can’t live believing that it is his job to give you all of his money. He is a human being as well with hobbies, desires and needs. So, balancing things out and being rational is the way to go. Donot be defined by your spouses financials, emotions or thoughts. Be your own before being someone else’s.
I will end this post with a beautiful quote by Khalil Gibran,
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”