As I continue my transition from single to married, I’m trying to cover all of the foundational items before saying “I do!” One of the areas people sometimes neglect is the topic of family. No matter the love that exists between two people, it’s still VERY important to understand where a person comes from, along with the potential challenges associated with their upbringing. As I have mentioned many times, marriage is merging the histories of two individuals. This includes their goals, dreams, desires, appearance, health, finances, credit, debt, spiritual beliefs, children, nightmares, educational level, character, accountability and more.
When it comes to family, you get a chance to see the DNA of the person you say you love so much. This includes both the good AND the bad. You have to ask yourself the difficult questions like…
1. If the person I claim to love turns out like his/her mother/father, will I be okay with it?
2. Has the person I desire to be with learned from the negative experiences of his/her past?
It’s important to take a look at these questions because you don’t take someone to the altar with the intent of altering him/her. The reality is the person you marry will most likely remain who he/she is at the core, and there isn’t anything you can do to modify him/her. To make it clear…we call that unconditional love, something that is missing from a lot of today’s marriages. I digress!
Tamiko and I have had pretty deep conversations about family including both the good and the bad experiences. We both realize that our family foundations are totally different. She has documented some of her life’s challenges in her book Wounds to Wisdom…I’m Still Standing. I appreciate her so much for addressing the challenges of her past and expressing an intentional desire to provide something different for her family. I truly see manifestation of her desires in her children Destiny and Michael. They are awesome young adults who have respect for adults, love for their mother and desires for their future. This is one of the many reasons why I learned to love Tamiko so much.
Also, I had to be honest with myself when it came to my family. I grew up in a two-parent household that was pretty conservative and filled with structure. Many see this as a positive experience, which is true. However, I had to ask myself if there is anything I would do differently? My answer…be flexible and not rely solely on the basis of MY experiences. I believe we all have something to learn in life and family and must be open to the ideas of others.
Marriage isn’t the process of imposing YOUR will upon the life of your spouse. It’s about creating a foundation and environment that is in the best interest of your family.
No matter what people tell you…family matters when it comes to understanding your spouse/future spouse.