I have a fear of divorce.
A troublesome, worrying, want-to-curl-myself-into-the-fetal-position kind of fear of divorce.
It's not pretty, and it's not constant, but it's there. In the back of my mind. And it's been there since we got engaged. Actually, that's a lie. For the first 8 months of our engagement, I don't even think I realized we were getting married. And no, I'm not stupid, thank you. I was just caught up in the hub-bub of wedding planning. My brain was all fuzzy and I couldn't see the marriage for the wedding. Yep, I was one of those girls. Thank God that didn't last.
And since the day the wedding fuzz stopped clouding my vision, I've been scared of divorce. Finally realizing what a huge commitment marriage really is can be a scary thing. Terrifying actually. Have I mentioned the fetal position? We'd talked about marriage for years prior to getting engaged, but there's something about being 5 months away from the big day that has the ability to snap you back into reality with lightning speed.
Everything that had previously seen so stable and certain suddenly seemed to be the exact opposite. I felt as though my feet had been kicked out from under me and I was looking at our relationship from a whole new angle. And that angle left me wondering things like: are we right for each other? do we fight too much? will it really last? how do we know marriage is right for us?
And the last question has stuck with me the longest: how do we know that marriage is right for us? Personally, I don't subscribe to the whole "you just know" philosophy. I do believe people can genuinely "just know", but I am not one of those people. While I realize that love can't be imperially measured or even seen, but I needed something more than a feeling. I mean, c'mon, it's marriage. The big one. How could I base the biggest decision of my life on a feeling?
Well, that's what I'm going to have to do. Because although Dr. Phil seems to think we're ready, we'll never actually know until we jump in. I don't know we'll be together forever, but we share a mutual desire to make this relationship work. I don't know marriage is right for us, I can only feel it. There's no proof, no flow charts, no diagrams that indicate -- without a doubt -- that our marriage will work. We could be married for 40 years and discover that it's just not working. Or we could come to the same conclusion 4 days after the honeymoon. That's the part that scares me. Flow charts are for sure, this is not.
But we have a great (albeit, not perfect) relationship that works because we really, really want it to. And there is some circumstantial evidence (I watch way too much Law & Order) that what we're doing isn't totally crazy: the last 5 years are proof that we do have at least a decent amount of sustainability; we have a compatible outlook for the future; our core values and desire are similar; we treat each other with respect; we communicate (not always super well, but it happens); and more importantly, we laugh, a lot.
I don't think any of us will ever know if what we're doing is right. Marriage or not, life seems to be a trial-and-error kind of deal. All I know is that I'd rather take the risk than spend my entire life sitting around for some scientists in a lab to develop a way to tell me with 100% certainty that marriage is right for us.
But, if you're not so apt to go with this whole "feeling" thing, you could always get some proof here and here. Apparently online generators can tell you, unequivocally, whether or not you're ready for marriage in with the help of as little as 8 questions!
So what if it made me feel a little, teeny bit better that both of these quizzes told me I was ready for marriage?