Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Live Together Before Marriage?

(Previously blogged on Goodreads July 28, 2014)

I read an interesting article this morning about living together before marriage. It made me think of a friend of mine. This buddy of mine, whom I've known since high school, thought I was making a huge mistake by not living with my husband before marrying him. (Well, technically we lived together 3 weeks before getting married, but we were engaged and had the date set. It was a matter of my lease on my rent house being up first.)

So, even though my hubby and I dated for a year and a half, my friend still thought it was a bad idea. Anytime I've called her up and talked to her about the little bumps in the road that I've had with my husband, she always goes back to the whole "You should've lived together first" thing. 

But I don't agree. I don't think that's where the problems have come from.

I think all relationships have their ups and downs, and I don't necessarily think that living together before we got married would have prevented them from happening. My husband and I are in a really fine place right now, with 5 years of marriage under our belts. And I think it has more to do with our willingness to compromise and grow together than anything else.

My friend, on the other hand, is still living unmarried to her boyfriend of 7 years, and has two children now. She really, really, really wanted to get married and have a big, fancy wedding, but it never happened for her... I think it's because she lived with her boyfriend first, and he didn't see the need to marry her since they were already living together.

Also, they haven't had a peachy-keen relationship... Nobody has a problem-free relationship! It's all about how you tackle those speed-bumps, when they hit, that matter, in my opinion.

Now, I am not an advocate of just marrying someone you barely know. No, no, no. That's why Drew and I spent a year and a half dating and spending weekends together and getting to know one another before we wed. 

But on the flip-side, you can "know" someone for 30 years and still be finding out new things about them that you didn't know before. I think getting to know someone is a life-long process that never really ends.

I think if you have some core values in common, similar goals in life, and you respect one another, that is more important than if you live together before marriage or if you don't.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the matter. What do you think?



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sex Ed and Finicky Parents

(Previously blogged on Goodreads 8/27/14)

I remember when my mother told me about sex. I wasn't very old, maybe 5 or 6. I'd been asking her a lot of questions, and rather than avoid me, she bravely drove me out to our small town Wal-Mart and explained everything as we sat in the car in the parking lot.

And I mean, so told me everything.

With drawings on notebook paper.

Yes, it was a little bit of a shock. I was silent for the drive back home and didn't speak to her for the rest of the day.

You mean to tell me that men put THAT in THERE??

Well, fast-forward to now, and I've gotten over my horror. Also, growing up, if I had any questions about sex, I felt like I could comfortably go to my mother, and she'd be open with me. So her telling me at a young age didn't scar me for life or turn me into a nympho. 

I think parents should educate their children about sex as soon as the kids show a healthy curiosity about it. If you wait and avoid it, you risk doing more damage than if you gently explain the facts of nature at the time of their curiosity.

Parents who freak out and avoid talking about sex with their kids because it makes them uncomfortable aren't doing their children any favors. The kids are bound to find out from other people and in other ways, and it'd be better if you were the person they came to with questions and not, say, the Internet.

It's the same with educating kids about drinking, too. You can't hide under a blanket and pretend it doesn't exist. They will find out about it, and if they don't have a clear picture of the do's and don't's, they're more apt to figure it out the hard way.

Sex is natural. It can be beautiful part of life. What better person to educate their children than the ones who brought them into this world?