My dear daughter,

I have watched you grow up over the years, and I must confess that you have given me much joy. Now in your twenties, I am sure your thoughts sometimes turn to the subject of marriage. With this in mind, I want to share some of my thoughts on the subject.

My dear, marriage is an exchange of vows, which are meant to bind two people together for life. I will like you to understand that marriage is not what one should embark upon without deep reflection. Marriage is a legal contract. However, many tend to see marriage through the hazy prism of romance, and its realities diffused by the wedding daze. We are sometimes told the wedding is a life defining occasion that will help make our lives complete.

As unromantic as it may seem, however, like any other contract, marriage requires a lot of thought before we sign on the dotted line – a weighing of the pros and cons, a reading of the fine print, before we make a decision. Inherently a risky business, with built-in problems, which must be addressed every step of the way as a marriage’s contractual obligation proposes making a commitment for life.

When a marriage fails, and the couple gets divorced, there are few, if any, couple that walk away from marriage unscathed. The consequences and ramifications of dissolving a marriage continue to affect the couple long after they call it quits and move on with their lives. If for no other reason, these long-term consequences should be enough to make one pause and take time to think about exactly what it is they are getting themselves into.

Part of the reality of marriage is the fact that one is taking a calculated risk, a chance that two persons who are completely different individuals from different backgrounds, will be able to adjust and overcome their differences. Together, they must work as a team on a relationship that will, over the years, be tested in all ways and manners.

There really are no guarantees when it comes to relationships, especially marriage. However, if we understand that there will be adjustments of all kinds to be made, ups and downs to negotiate, twist and turns, unforeseen stumbling blocks to surmount, temptations to overcome, in short, circumstances that may cause one to falter in their stride and consider very seriously throwing in the towel and giving up, and accept the risk, there is a greater chance of overcoming the problems we will face.

If we think about it, what compromise we must make and live with is the ultimate determinant of whether or not a marriage will stand the test of time. For better or for worse, marriage, in one form or another, has remained a reality in human society. More thought should be given to it, from all angles. We must be prepared before embarking on a union which has the power to either make or mar one’s life.

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