Monday, February 21, 2005

Love Isn't Enough

As the SO and I prepare for our wedding, we have heard of statistics that say that 50% of weddings end up in divorce. Now a year or two ago, the stats were one-third. Needless to say I was intrigued by this jump. Hence the link. Nevertheless, the thought that one-third of marriages end in divorce still rattles my brain.

Recent research" suggest that money might not be the root of all evil. But I am not as convinced. I still believe that money becomes one of those things which people focus on for control and easy discussion of life's problems.

When I first started going out with the SO, I figured it would be a good run if I went out with her for two years. Yes, marriage was in the back of the head. But really, I did not have as much to offer her. So yup, yup, I was ready to let go because I already met her. If it was meant to be, I would find her again when I was ready.

Well, two years became three and then five years. Next thing you know, we were talking about marriage. I was stuck in a dead end job and could barely support myself. More specifically, while watching television, she suddenly asks me "Honey, is 2004 a good year to get married?" I felt the noose shrinking around my neck. Ladies, believe me, that nooose is real. The SO suggested marriage and I felt like I could not breathe. But since my Mama did not raise a fool, I quickly settled my poor butt down and talked to the SO about the plan.

I don't like surprises and neither does any man. My belief is open communications to expectations. You all need to talk to him and brief him on what you are planning. Otherwise, expectations fall and divorce comes a knocking. If he does not want children, and you do, pack up your bags. If you are twenty and think you don't want children, better do some research with your cousins who have children. Carry that baby around. Make sure you really don't want one of those cute little tykes. You are going against 10,000 years of evolution.

At any rate, the SO and I went through a planning of our future. I was feeling out of sorts at work. Haggard from all the crap. I needed to see where I was going. Believe me, it shooked me up pretty good to see that I could have children in two or three years. That we needed a house. That we needed this or that. Two children by four or five years. Three children after six or seven years. Yikes! With a progression like that, your fatherly instintcs kick in or you leave.

Fast-forward to last night. The SO and I are in a financial group. She tells the group that if I had gone one way or another with my life, I probably would not be waiting for the wedding bells. She never told me this in those precise words. I didn't even know that I was being tested. But in the end, just like when I determined if she is a good enough person to raise my children or when I determined if she had a good heart, she was judging if I could provide for the family.

There is no shame in saying that love is not enough. Many times, people marry for love. But if they have a bitterness welling in them, love is not enough. If the person is not money-smart, love is not enough. If the person is an addict, (and who isn't), love is not enough. Sometimes, the best thing to do when you love someone is to walk away and let them find themselves. They just might not be a large enough container for your soul.

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