It has been often said “that marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” Nor is this blog going to give advice on marriage, but I was recently interested to read that Twitter users have shared their tips for a happy marriage with the hashtag #BeforeGettingMarried, which rocketed to the top of the social media site’s trending list on Tuesday.
Thousands of suggestions – both humorous and wise – poured in, covering all elements of marriage, from money, to religion, and the dreaded in-laws.
Some users joked the jarringly honest responses, many of which simply said “don’t do it!”, were enough to scare them off marriage for life.“Don’t try to change them”, “don’t rush into it”, and “enjoy being single first” were common refrains, while some offered tongue-in-cheek suggestions like “sober up”.
It’s unsurprising the hashtag took off the way it did – in an era where divorce rates in some countries hover around 50 per cent and marriage is the topic of several reality television shows, people are desperate for guidance.
In it, de Botton reasoned there was no “right” person for anyone, but rather, suggested seeking out a “not overly wrong” person.
“The good news is that it doesn’t matter if we find we have married the wrong person,” de Botton wrote.
“We mustn’t abandon him or her, only the founding Romantic idea upon which the Western understanding of marriage has been based the last 250 years: that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy our every yearning.
“We need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us – and we will (without any malice) do the same to them.”
Many of the tips shared under #BeforeGettingMarried echo de Botton’s sentiments and provide practical advice for making a marriage work despite the many challenges married couples will inevitably encounter.
Here are the responses, broken down across the five most common topics discussed.
By far the most tweeted-about topic was marital finances. Should you combine bank accounts? Keep things separate? Start a secret savings account for when things inevitably turn sour?
While the jury was out on the best approach, there was agreement marriage is not a financial plan and both parties should be financially independent before saying ‘I do’.
Of course, everyone advised actually meeting your spouse’s parents before saying ‘I do’.
Others went further and suggested setting up a solid plan for whose family you’ll spend the holidays with to ensure no Christmas crises in the future.
Whether religiously, politically, ideologically, or even just culinary, most people urged those thinking of taking the plunge to first see if there were any major discrepancies between what they value and what their partner values.
Others urged the unwed to make the most of their freedom while they have it and to use their alone time to develop as a person.
Travel was up there as a necessary solo experience, as was being financially independent, having fun, spending time with friends and family and dating around before settling down.
The living situation
Nearly everyone agreed one of the best ways to test your compatibility with someone else was to live together.
If that’s not an option, many suggested travelling together to get a taste of some serious one-on-one time.
When I was in the Australian Army, one of the senior Warrant Officers cited, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to ever have loved and married!”
Source: The New Daily 11/01/2017