New category: Things I wish I had been told at age 18

Image from marketworks.com

Just what the name implies. Now, whether I would have listened at age 18 is open to conjecture. (I sort of think I would have. This one, at least.) But even if I hadn’t listened right that moment, I would have heard and maybe pondered it later. Time-release wisdom.

Starting out: here’s an excerpt from an article on Huffington Post by Jennifer Gauvain, an author and therapist from Denver. Though the article comments on marriage from a woman’s perspective,  I’ve found that wisdom can be gleaned from unexpected sources.

Have you ever talked yourself into a decision that you already knew was the wrong one? Of course you have. We all do. Have you ever taken a job that you knew in your gut wasn’t a good fit for you? (Totally ignored the weird vibes from your new boss? Assured yourself you could learn to be “detail oriented and good with numbers”?) What about buying that car that you really couldn’t afford? (A $600-a-month car payment on a thirty-thousand-dollar-a-year salary?  Yeah, right.) Or maybe you agreed to split the rent with your slovenly college friend in order to afford a nicer apartment? (Shut your eyes and hope she had magically changed into someone neat and tidy?) And what about the third donut you ate for breakfast this morning? (The little voice in your head promised, “I’ll go for a run after work”?)

We can rationalize anything. But when we talk ourselves into dating the wrong guy or girl — that’s where the potential for lifelong heartache begins.

More here.


2 Comments on “New category: Things I wish I had been told at age 18”

  1. tamyrad says:

    I had those reservations and I wasn’t 18, and from the early days of my marriage I found my fears to be better founded than I had even dreamed of. But I had thought we are none of us perfect and I didn’t feel unique in my misgivings. It turned out that what we did have together just wasn’t enough, but I am not so terribly regretful that I made the commitment and that it lasted a bit less than twenty years. I am still hoping to find someone to share an intimate loving relationship and am not ruling out marriage either.

    So far no one has been the “perfect” guy for me, but I know in my heart that the basis for a loving relationship is both partners waking up each day and making the choice to love one another, warts and all. Marriage shouldn’t make so much of a difference, if you love each other the fact that your legal position includes an other person should be a cause for gratitude, not a feeling of being trapped. I’m sort of tired of people who marry someone and than when it “doesn’t work out” get all hateful and nasty, especially when they have kids together. What gives ex spouses the right to be meaner towards someone they once professed to love then they would ever dream of being to a stranger in the street?

    I read a lot of the comments on this blog and so many of them seemed so bloody shallow and blaming “western” women for being too self centered or too domineering. Someone has to take the lead in a partnership, if only to get a dialog started and we train other people how to treat us. If a man doesn’t take control or make his position known , even, how can he be shocked that his wife makes decisions. And for the overtired burned out wife who was contemplating leaving her family and being resentful that she was the one going to counseling, well I can see why she’d be tired, but I bet she didn’t follow my sister’s wisdom about never taking on a task you don’t want to be stuck with for life. (said sister has been married over 25 years and going strong)

    I wanted to at least have some input, but I was willing to let the final decision on many issues go to my husband. I just wished he would at least be able to tell me how he came to make the decisions and was aware that when I didn’t agree that I had the right as the mama to be unhappy( and when mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy) when I turned out to be right. Instead I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. Just one more reason I am a happy divorcee. I’m not looking for a fantasy figure, I want a real man who has lived a real life and can still find it in him to laugh and love.

  2. scottmac56 says:

    Wow, Tamyra. Thanks for the reply. I really like your sister’s wisdom about not taking on a task (burden?) you’re not willing to be stuck with for the rest of your life. I also agree that we teach other people how to treat us (as Dr Phil would say).


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