Twice a week I sit through an African Politics class with a brilliant professor. He’s been to Africa a few times, but certainly didn’t grow up there or live in destitution or poverty for decades, and he is as American as it gets. But, he is an amazing teacher, and I dare say an expert. While my professor has lived in Africa, talked with the natives, and traveled widely, he is an expert because of his research. He learns because he’s asked questions. He’s read all the books, talked to hundreds of people, and developed his theories.
Yes, I am quite aware that I have been married for under two years. I am also quite aware that I write posts that sound like I am giving advice for successful long term relationships. No, I don’t sheepishly believe that in the past year and a half I have learned everything it takes to build a successful lifetime or eternal marriage. But, I have spent my life surrounded by couples who have been married for decades. I have some of the most wonderful examples of marriage. And if that weren’t enough, I ask questions. Before I was engaged I was asking them questions. When I found out I was getting married I asked a million more questions. And now, being married, I am still constantly asking questions. Posts like this (how to fall in love again) or this (how to get divorced) are the culminations of carefully curated advice that in my short while as a married woman I have tried and found helpful. Yes, I’m sure there are many answers. No, I am not an expert from experience. And no, I am not saying that my marriage is perfect or better than yours. But, I am saying that my parents, my grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, and my role models shared some pretty wonderful things with me…and I’m sharing them here with you (and as my personal record here on this blog).
I’m sorry if that offends some of you. I’m so sorry if you have experience with failed relationships and heartbreak. I’m sorry if it feels like I’m coming off cavalier in appearing that a 22 year old newlywed has a better handle on things than someone who tried marriage for a decade. I haven’t been through all the hardships – so far marriage has been a fun ride. I’m sure I’ll get there. I’m sure things will be hard for Ben and me at some point. But, I’m hoping that doing some of these things now will make us stronger when the hard times hit.
Do you have different thoughts than I do on marriage? I’d love to hear them. Don’t want the comment to be public? Shoot me an email.