A letter to my sons for when they get married
"There may come a day when she is an absolute mess, perhaps crying along with your newborn who won’t stop crying. Step in, take over and be her shoulder to cry on and lean on."
My darling boys,
You are both so small right now and marriage is certainly the last thing on your minds. In fact, when I asked you, my older son, one day if you would ever like to get married, you replied with absolute conviction, “No way! It’s just too scary!” It made me laugh out loud.
But some day when you are old enough, I’m guessing that both of you will find someone you will want to live with for the rest of your life. Then, maybe marriage won’t seem so scary any more.
In most cultures, it’s kind of a tradition for mums to have chats with their daughters about marriage. But I’m going to step outside of that norm just a tiny bit, and tell you my sons, about a few things that I think are really important to keep in mind the day you decide to get married.
Here are my lessons for you:
Follow your heart
Yes you may roll your eyes and think that’s like, so cliché. But when it comes to love, your heart really knows best.
As of today, I’ve known your father for over 15 years. When you actually read this, many more years would have been added to this time spent together. We love each other as much as, and maybe even more than, when we first met.
Love sets a solid foundation to any relationship. It’s what helps you forgive, forget and move on when you have an argument (yes, marriage has many of those). It helps you stay together through thick and thin.
Your heart will also tell you quite firmly when you meet the one you want to be with forever. So listen to that message and follow it. As your mum, I will respect it too.
Pull your weight around the house
No, I don’t mean you should over-eat and drag your over-stuffed body around the house. What I mean is that you should equally contribute to household chores as much as your partner does.
Back in the olden days, men didn’t cook. They didn’t wash dishes, mop the floor or do the laundry. Neither did they help out that much with kids.
But you, my sons, should aim to be different. On the surface, it’s about being self-reliant and being able to do anything by yourself. But at a deeper level, it’s about breaking deep-rooted stereotypes that define certain roles by gender.
And because you need to be part of that change, I will nag you every time you leave the toilet seat up — nothing annoys a woman more than this. I will be teaching you how to cook, how to clean up your messes, how to do laundry and other chores. I know that some day you will appreciate these skills and so will your partner.
Do not compare your partner to me
Many men can’t but help compare their wives to their mothers. Dear sons, please don’t make this mistake – if you do, it will only breed resentment. While I do hope you will consider me a role model, remember that the woman you will marry is her own person. She will be unique and have her own special way of doing things.
This individuality and “specialness” is probably what will draw you to her in the first place. So respect that in her and she will respect you in turn. Plus, I will want to be her friend and not her rival – comparing her to me is so not going to help with this!
Keep loving her like the day you met her
When you meet the woman you want to marry, you will experience a love like nothing else on this earth. Perhaps the only other time you will feel the same is when you see your newborn child for the first time.
Over the years of marriage though, those rose-tinted glasses that you looked at everything through may fade a little. Your life will probably get heavy with work, social commitments, big decisions and more.
But do try to remember to keep that love for her going, because it’s quite simple: women love to be loved. Even the strongest woman likes to feel special and cherished.
So keep loving her and surprising her with cups of steaming tea in the morning, date nights, that special song when she least expects it. Most times it’s the little things that matter, and this is bound to keep your marriage fresh and strong through the years.
I am pretty sure your partner will be perfectly capable of supporting herself financially so that’s not really what I’m talking about here. What I will ask you to do is support her emotionally through trying times.
When she’s undecided about which road to take in terms of her education or career, support her intelligently through her decision-making process. If you are thinking about making life-changing decisions such as moving to another country, consult her, discuss your ideas with her and take her feelings into consideration.
And there may come a day when she is an absolute mess, perhaps crying along with your newborn who won’t stop crying. Step in, take over and be her shoulder to cry on and lean on. Rest assured that she will be your rock too, always.
What are your “marriage messages” to your sons? Share with us, won’t you? Just leave a comment below!