So She Wants To Get Married
On this week’s Poppin’ Questions Podcast, a reader wrote to me about a guy she’s been dating for over two years who has told her (assuming on more than one occasion) he wants to marry her, but first, he wants to establish himself. It confuses her because she has always believed when a man wants to get married, he will do so, established or not. Never mind the fact that she doesn’t mention in the question whether or not she’s ready to get married. We’re just going to assume so.
I answered the question on the podcast, so at any point in time you all are more than welcome to listen to my two cents, but I wanted to create a post about it, for two reasons. The first is I actually get some version of this question in my Formspring quite often. Every week a woman writes to me and asks why her man can’t just pop the question? Why must he wait until he’s established? These questions are what leads me into the second reason for writing this post.
At least one man ought to try and explain what other men mean when they say they want to establish themselves before they get married. I’m going to give it my best shot right now.
Establishing oneself is about more than just having a good job, it’s about finding a job he’s happy doing so he doesn’t come home everyday pissed off at the world. Establishing oneself is more than just getting paid a huge amount of money, it’s about managing a huge amount of debt. Establishing oneself is more than just being able to pay the rent on time, it’s about being able to acquire a mortgage.
And some of us are going to say these are things a woman can help him accomplish. Fair enough. Women can help a man manage his debt, maybe she knows some people to get him the kind of job he wants, can bring her own nest egg to the table and together they can get a mortgage.
But there’s other things a man needs to establish for himself, things no woman can help him with no matter how hard she tried. In order for a man to ask a woman to go through the rest of their lives together, as one, he has to feel comfortable with himself as one. Establishing that comfort with who he is and where he’s at and where he wants to go are way more important than having the money to buy the ring his girlfriend always wanted. As they say, peace of mind is priceless. And I guess women have the same concerns. They too don’t quite know if the man who is asking their hand in marriage is the man they want to spend the rest of their life with, but then again, they know they want to spend the rest of their life with somebody.
Men don’t know who they want to marry or if they want to get married until they meet that woman, and all the while they’re wondering if they have what it takes to really be the type of husband they want to be and see; that’s what women don’t get. They don’t understand a man isn’t worried about whether or not his woman is ready, he’s too busy wondering if he is ready.
Even if I met the woman I wanted to marry tomorrow, I wouldn’t marry her the day after tomorrow or even a month from now. As a matter of fact, I don’t even have a time for such a thing to occur. What I do have is a long list of things I need to establish for myself before I bring any woman on board. To put this back on the women reading this blog, let’s say the woman I wanted to marry was you. Yes, you, woman who is reading this. Let’s say I wanted to marry you. That you loved me and knew you would for the rest of my life, and I loved you and knew I would love you for the rest of yours. Now that we have that established, I need to know if you’re ready to marry me in spite of a few other things some might call issues.
Would you marry me even though I have a massive amount of debt and barely a penny to my name? Would you marry me if all I had to offer was a one bedroom apartment I paid rent on every month? If I told you I feel a little unhealthy these days all because of some bad eating habits I’m not disciplined enough to change, would you marry me still? Would you say yes if I told you if I ever had to defend you against another man, I might lose the fight because I haven’t been in a fight since 8th grade? Would you marry me if I told you I had no idea whether or not I could stay faithful for the rest of my life because life is long (as Chris Rock once noted), but I promise to give it my best shot? Would you marry me if I told you I wasn’t afraid of getting a divorce? Would you marry me if I said I wasn’t baptized in the church I frequent? Would you marry me if I told you I will always do for a living what I do now, and so if my career isn’t where it needs to be to support our family, you would have to support it?
Would you say yes to me in spite of all these issues I just listed? Would you say yes to me if I hadn’t yet established whether or not I had what it takes to be a good husband, but I was for sure in love with you enough to want to spend the rest of my life with you?
If your answer is still yes, it’s good to know you’re willing to be with me in spite of all the conditions I gave. But unfortunately, I’m not comfortable with any of that. In order for me to marry you, I have to be able to look in the mirror and say ‘Every part of me is ready to be this woman’s husband.’ Instead, these days when I look in the mirror, I only see a man in love and I was always taught, love alone is not enough. So before I do (marry you) give me time to establish myself not for you, but for me to be with you for the rest of our lives. Please understand, it’s a process.
Real Quick: If you haven’t already (thanks to those who have), I would really appreciate if you take a look at the post I wrote, “Was It Something I Said.” Once you’re there, you’ll know why. Click here for more.
Also, as mentioned in the beginning of this post, the FIFTH edition of The Poppin’ Questions Podcast is up and can be streamed or downloaded. Click here to do one or the other.