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Amy Patterson – “My Thoughts”

Posted on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

“Marriage isn’t for you.”

This article, written by a man named Seth Adam Smith on his blog ( details the lessons he’s learned in his short year-and-a-half of marriage. These lessons he brilliantly illustrates in the blog are worth learning, and clinging to for the rest of your life. Yes, I’m talking to you (assuming you are married or plan to be married at some point).

“Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me,” he says. “Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.”

The thoughts he explains are ones I would guarantee everyone preparing for marriage has thought. “Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?”

What he says happened next is brilliant; a wonderful revelation that few are fortunate enough to experience.

“Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget,” he begins.

“My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, ‘Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.’ ”

Have you ever heard, read, thought, said, whatever, anything so blatantly correct? I haven’t.

All to often we get caught up in what I want or what I think or what I need. Especially us in a relationship, be it marriage or not. What happened to the goal of doing everything in your power to please your partner?

Mr. Smith says it perfectly. “My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s ‘Walmart philosophy’, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.”

“It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry,” he says. The rest is what every girl wants, much to the dismay of this particular article. “I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.”

It’s the perfect arrangement.

“The more you truly love that person, the more love you receive,” he writes. “And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.”

“Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”