When my husband and I became engaged, we shared our news with everyone in our lives. People we knew who were happily married were excited for us. However, our family and friends who were divorced, single or unhappily married were worried for us: "You're so young!" "You hardly know each other!" "You haven't even experienced life yet!" None of these things was true, and I have to laugh at the last concern; isn't getting married about experiencing life "together"?
One of the biggest worries we heard, however, was that we needed to try living together before we got married. The list of "what-ifs" was endless, but my husband-to-be and I knew we did not want to go down that path. When we made our commitment to be together, we wanted it to be binding, not some wishy-washy “trial period.”
Well Dr. Laura, I am so glad we stuck to our guns because it has had a huge effect on our attitude toward each other. If we had decided to shack up together and see how things went, then I think we would have been watching for signs of trouble. I might have let it get to me he never puts his dirty clothes into the hamper, or he might have decided my habit of leaving boxes of feminine hygiene products on the sink was just more than he could handle. Instead, we made a commitment to one another. He is my husband and always will be and I love him, so I pick up his clothes every morning, because I'm his wife. I don't let it bother me because if dealing with dirty clothes or occasionally having to take the garbage out is the trade-off for having such an amazing husband, well then I happen to think I got pretty lucky.
The difference between "let's see how this goes" and "let's make this work" is the difference between failure and success in a marriage. And for the record, as one of my co-workers predicted, I really do love being married.