The old adage, Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, might apply to many young men and women who get married with no thought of the morrow, and with no real knowledge of each other. All they know is that there is a strong mutual sex attraction, which they wish gratified, and that they are drawn to one another. All this is good, as far as it goes, but does it go far enough? Have they any mutual interests? Do they both want children? Have they any work or hobbies in common? How will they feel towards one another five years or ten years from now? These questions are, in all probability, never given a second thought; and yet it is upon the answers to them that a happy and lasting marriage can alone be based.
One of the most essential things for such young people to realize is that each one of them is an individual, with his or her own tastes, likes and dislikes, disposition and temperament, and that a great deal of sympathy and understanding must be exercised, if these temperaments are harmonized and their marriage made a go. Compromise is the first law of marriage; and each must realize that, thereafter, neither of them can live his own life one hundred percent free, as they did before. Each of these young people must learn to adjust himself or herself to the other, and sacrifice certain individual desires for the good of the combined union.
A large percentage of marital disputes arise over money matters, and the financial side of marriage should be discussed between the prospective husband and wife before they marry. Not only must the amount of his salary be taken into consider tion, but also how this salary is to be divided and spent, after it is earned. Most men are at fault here. They expect their wives to be content with a few pennies in her pocket-book, while he does all the spending and has entire control of the family income. The wife naturally resents this; she may have been accustomed to a certain income of her own, particularly if she has worked before marriage, and desires a more even distribution. Every woman needs money for clothes and all sorts of little necessities, which the husband rarely takes into account. He feels that, if she desires these, he can purchase them for her. But the modem woman wants money to spend herself, and resents being without it. If the husband fails to understand and appreciate this, and is naturally stingy, marital trouble is bound to ensue; and squabbles over money matters are sure to lead to estrangement in other directions leading perhaps to a permanent rift and ultimate divorce. This question of budgeting the income is one of the most important points to be settled by young people thinking of entering the charmed circle of matrimony.
In this connection, it should not be forgotten that a certain amount should be set aside regularly for accidents or a rainy day. Babies will be bom, and these involve added expense. Sickness may develop; and if there is no adequate insurance, and no money laid aside, times will be hard indeed. Every young married couple should see to it that a certain amount is saved regUlarly; so that, when the time comes, this may be used to tide them over until the normal income is restored.
Both husband and wife should realize, also, that they must sacrifice a certain amount of freedom of action when once they are married. If he was in the habit of spending four or five nights a week playing cards or shooting pool with his buddies, he cannot expect to continue this after marriage, and leave his wife at home alone, without her seeking other interests and perhaps getting into trouble. Many girls marry partly because they are lonely and seek companionship; and if this is not found after marriage, they are naturally disappointed and disillusioned. If the wife occasionally wishes to go to something in which the husband is not particularly interested, he should please her and go; and she will doubtless reciprocate by accompanying him to ball games or other attractions in which she is not particularly interested. If this give-and-take procedure were followed, it would go far towards insuring a lasting and happy marriage.
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