I remember the day I proposed to my wife. We were out walking in Central Park after a hearty meal at this New York restaurant whose name I couldn’t even pronounce. I had bought the engagement ring a few weeks ago, after sneakily getting her ring size while she was asleep. It was totally unplanned and there were no bells and whistles; I just got down on one knee, popped the question, and she thankfully said yes.
We told everyone who we felt need to know about it, of course. Everyone was ecstatic, excited for the day we would tie the knot. We told them it wasn’t set in stone yet–we had both agreed to save up for the wedding expenses, and of course the honeymoon. Everyone understood; times were tough. Unless we wanted to go to Vegas, a wedding would definitely set us back financially.
I guess our decision of waiting to be financially secure for the wedding was a great idea too. Along with the gifts and well-wishes we got from friends and family (her grandmother gave us beautiful ethical jewelry), my married coworker gave me what probably was the best advice I ever got during that time. He told me never to get married unless we had aired our dirty laundry out to each other.
To be honest, I was a little offended at what he said, but looking back at it now it made so much sense. While you’re dating there’s always this tendency to sugar-coat everything, to present your best self to the one you love. Being married tends to pull those curtains back and reveal a person who might be entirely different from the one you were dating.
We set some time aside and got to be really honest with each other. And during that time, it felt like I was talking to a whole different person; later on, she said that she felt the same way too. Had I not done this, I would never have known that she was not as confident as I thought her to be. Or that she wasn’t as amiable with all of my nights out with the boys. I also wouldn’t have found out that she didn’t mind my expanding waistline (which I was very self-conscious of) or that I wouldn’t mind if she didn’t want any kids. I just wanted to be with her, and not having kids in the picture felt fine with me.
I think it’s really important for couples to spend some time unlearning what they know about each other and seeing each other in a new light. Whether it’s speaking to a marriage counselor or doing it on their own like we did, getting married with a clear conscience is such a great feeling to have. It feels like going off on a new adventure without any hang-ups from a past life. It allows couples to experience the person they love and want to spend their time with forever without any filters or rose-colored lenses.
This content is sponsored by Mian Azhar.