Pre-marital counsellors should always advise on the forefront that when your spouse hurts you, it is THE most painful thing that you will ever experience, apart from childbirth, of course! Then again, since couples who are about to wed are often so madly in love with each other, they have wide angled blind spots and would probably regard the counsellor as being neurotic! They would say, "Who needs pessimistic counsellors anyway? We're in love and we'll always be in love. Hey, baby, we're in this for the long haul!"
Little do they know what lies ahead. I'm not saying don't get married. I'm saying that nothing can really prepare you for the hardships that lie ahead. It's all a matter of having the right "tools" in place and a deep sense of commitment and courage to see things through; to live up to the "till death do us part" portion of your wedding vows. Of course, in order to meet the objective of this vow, you are not to kill each other to speed up the process!
Personally, I don't think I have all the tools in place. There are still times in my marriage when I am surprised by how much hurt and pain can occur overnight. It's like a "two steps forward, five steps backwards" dance with plenty of toe stepping along the way. After such a draining routine, it is not a surprise that there are days when I just want to give up dance class all together and throw away all dance instructions manuals!
Does this mean we don't get married? No. God created marriage. It's a good thing and when you get it right, you feel invincible. A force to be reckoned with. You have companionship, a refuge of safety and completeness. For those who have taken the plunge and are actually enjoying it, I salute you. For those who wouldn't want anything to be different from what their marriage is like now, please go write a book and have it published! The world needs to hear of such good marriages and your secrets to success.
I'll be the first person to buy a copy!