A minister once told me that many of the married couples that he counseled had Single problems that were now showing up as marriage issues. That sunk down deep in me. Digging a bit deeper, I realized he was discussing issues that one or both of the individuals brought into the marriage that they should have dealt with and resolved while Single. Now they had a whole other person to blame their issues on, instead of looking at the man (or woman) in the mirror. This ministered to me, so let it minister to you.
He elaborated that examples of Single problems are bad credit, poor financial planning, no direction in life, excessive shopping habits, low self-esteem, or image issues. Married problems are squeezing the toothpaste from the middle or the bottom, washing the dishes at night or in the morning, or taking off clothes and leaving a trail to the bedroom after work. Let’s unpack that. As a Single you have an unique opportunity to fix those areas in your life that are lacking, or even the areas that are great but you want to grow into phenomenal, without having to take into account someone’s opinions, feelings or input. So if you have areas of your life that you are unhappy with, then take this time and fix you first instead of getting married and expecting someone to deal with at best, and try to heal at worst – the issues that you should have resolved Single.
What does this look like practically…I’m glad you asked. If you don’t understand the value of saving and investing in a future now, then this can be evidenced in your marriage as you believing your mate is stingy and restrictive because he wants to invest one income while living off the other, and you would rather spend it on the newest trend, house, vacation or gadget every month. If you have a jealous streak and think it’s disrespectful every time your girl is shown any attention by the opposite sex, when you get married you will constantly be fighting every Chick-Fila employee for having ‘the pleasure’ of encountering your wife. What does this mean? If you are a jealous person, this won’t magically go away in marriage…you will just have someone to constantly be jealous about. If you haven’t perfected the subtle but vital art of being alone and enjoying your own company, you will end up suffocating your spouse or feeling neglected when they have healthy interests that include you. Issues that you don’t face and deal with as a Single, will cause unnecessary stress and strife in your marriage because you will seek to get from a spouse only what God can provide.
Marriage is hard enough without your added baggage that you should’ve taken the time to unpack during the time when it was just you. Trust me.