Here Is Why I Didn't Marry for Love Either
I don’t believe in soul mates, but I married! *gasp*! The God in me knows that the closest thing the Bible describes to a soul mate was between Jonathan and David— which was not about a romantic relationship but about a deeply committed friendship. The scientist in me knows the chances of you “finding the one” out of 5.6 billion post-pubescent people and counting on planet earth is statistically impossible. My husband doesn’t believe in soul mates either, but he still asked me to marry him! *gasp again* To put it more clearly, we don’t believe in “finding the one”. What we do strongly believe is that marriage is for building and contrary to popular belief, is not simply because you love someone.
I recently watched a vlog by Samone “TorahCents” Blakely “Why I didn’t marry for love...” I was yelling “PREACH!” at Sir Lucious (my computer).
Disagree or agree with her overall point “Don’t Marry for Love”, TorahCents spoke so much truth about marriage in this vlog that it is still a must watch if you desire to get married or are married:
If you can’t listen to the video or you just don’t want to watch a 6-minute video right now, here are the highlights:
(0:17) Someone posted a Facebook status stating that: ”Marriage only has 2 purposes: 1) generational success, 2) personal growth. Love is not a good reason to marry.” And... all hell broke loose in the comments! lol
(1:12) "Marriage is not a vehicle for love as much as it is a vehicle for building: foundations, stability, wealth, legacy, intimacy, community, each other."
(1:48) Usually, people marry for how they feel about someone. Basically, feelings = love. However, the reality is that feelings = hormones— dopamine, oxytocin.
(2:40) TorahCents talks about how she did not think about how good her husband made her feel, but thought instead about his resilience, intelligence, social network when she was considering marrying him.
(3:50) When you are married, you will not always like your spouse. But if you enter into the marriage with the intention to build, you will still come together to build towards the future.
(4:49) People who say they married for love, usually are the ones to file for divorce because the feeling of “love” will fail. Because…*drum roll* Love is an action, not a feeling! Also, marriage is not about romance and finding happiness.
(5:48) "Love the person you marry, but do not marry simply because you “love” that person."
Love alone is never a good enough reason to marry. Don't marry for love alone. Seriously, just don't do it.
My husband and I would not have gotten married if we decided we couldn’t build together— period.
Now don’t get me wrong, my husband and I deeply love each other. But our love for one another was only the catalyst for the process of us evaluating IF and how we could build with one another. What ability will our career ambitions provide for us to create the wealth we desire to pass down to our future children? Do we both have an ingrained commitment to spiritual and personal growth? What doors will our combined families, friends, and networks open for our future? How can we impact our community by becoming partners? Basically, what can we achieve as a unit instead of two individuals? Only after agreeing that we both have the resources, skills, drive, and commitment to begin this journey of building together, did we agree that marriage was an option for us.
Exactly how did we determine that we could build together?
The following beliefs are what we hold regarding what we need to have a strong marriage capable of building. Keep reading, but keep in mind that you may have different needs and beliefs.
We discussed our career ambitions, in "ultimate" but "abstract" terms. He wants a career where he can earn a lucrative salary. I want a career where I can have influence and foster positive change in society— money would be a nice bonus. Though different, we both felt that our career ideas were compatible and didn't go against each other's personal values.
CHILDREN!! He wants children. Having a child terrifies me. I am afraid of being physically miserable for 9 months. Then thought of giving birth in a hospital is equally as scary as the thought of giving birth at home. However, I will willingly travel down that path with him, and I'm sure in the end it won't be terrible. Enuff, said.
We also reflected on our strengths and weaknesses as a unit. Compatibility. I tend to be a worrier. Seriously, my favorite bible verse starts with "Do not be anxious about anything..." His temper is more even-keeled. He often helps me overcome my insecurities and negative thoughts. Since I often think about what could happen, we tend to be prepared for events. Finance isn't my strong suite, but he is a master at investments. I am risk-averse, and he is more risk-seeking. He is ready to take the lead, and I I try my best to let him lead. On our good days, we both are fairly organized.
Did we have enough common hobbies to balance out our different interests? Though opposites do initially attract, we believe to have a strong marriage that we need to have a healthy amount of similar hobbies. Among our top 2 love languages, both of us highly value quality time together.
We closely examined our relationships with each other family + friends. We both believe that when you marry your spouse, you marry their family. To us, family is very important to a strong marital support system. Therefore, we both agreed that if our family did not accept our significant other that marriage will not be something for us to pursue— no matter how hard of a decision that would have been for us. Since we are both from different cultural backgrounds— he is Nigerian and I'm black *fist in air*— we also had honest conversations about how we will accommodate, or not, our differing family opinions and expectations, as a unit. Likewise, we believe that our individual friends will become our collective friends. In this context, I am not using friends loosely. I am referring to our inner circles. Basically, if the crew is not vibing with us as a couple—for valid reasons— then marriage was something we should heavily reconsider.
The above conversations are among the few that we had with one another leading us to decide, "Yes, we can build with one another!"
>>>Related post: 10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Marriage
When we agreed to marry one another, we tweaked the traditional vows to better fit our beliefs of the call to build through marriage.
We also agreed that I should write the vows because I’m obviously the better writer lol. I reflected on our beliefs about what our marriage represents to us and spoke to God for guidance on what should I include in our vows. The morning of our wedding, I prayed for more clarity before writing our vows on the paper that I gave my uncle, who officiated our ceremony. The changes I made to the traditional vows came naturally to me and captured our call to build perfectly.
I Christa, take you, Jacob, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, to be your constant friend and faithful partner. I promise to love you unconditionally and to be intentional in building our legacy together. I promise to stand beside you, to respect you, and honor you through all of our days in life. As God is my witness, I give you my promise.