Those of you who are reading this are probably thinking, what does she know about being a wife? She’s not married… she’s not even engaged! Does she even have a boyfriend?? And you would be exactly right. I don’t know a damn thing about being a wife. I’ve never been married, or engaged. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never even been in a relationship for longer than 18 months! SMH… So, the title is a little bit misleading, I guess. Let me explain…
I’ve always wanted to get married. How awesome would it be to go to sleep and wake up to the same person every day? I’ll have someone to take care of and someone to take care of me forever… I imagine it’s a wonderful feeling! I’m almost 25 years old and of course, my biological clock is ticking. I’m starting to see friends and old classmates tie the knot and start families, and it makes me want to join the bandwagon too. As my relationship with God began to grow, I started to realize WHY I wasn’t married yet. Back in the day, I was arrogant. I used to think, “I’m smart, I look good, I cook and clean… any man would be lucky to wife me up!” Now I realize that I’m not all that (which is why I’m not married or engaged). I’m extremely flawed—I’m broken, insanely insecure, sinful, needy, spoiled, and the list goes on and on. Once I made the discovery that I’m absolutely NOT marriage material, I began to pray. I asked God to fix me and turn me into a wife; someone that a strong man would be proud to claim; someone who could one day raise intelligent, righteous children; a true Proverbs 31 woman.
And it’s definitely working! Ever since I said that prayer, I have noticed a lot of changes occurring within me; changes that will make me an incredible woman for my own sake, as well as a phenomenal wife to some lucky man (if that’s in the plan for me).
1. I pray harder and more often.
I started to pray about everything, no matter how big or small. From “God, please allow me to pay my bills this month” to “Lord, I pray that my hair doesn’t frizz until I get home!” LOL! Seriously though, I’ve just been submitting everything to Him. I rarely get stressed out anymore, whereas in the past I would stress myself out to the point of becoming physically and mentally ill. I think this is an important trait because marriage is very difficult (so I’ve heard). If you stress out over every little thing, you’ll run yourself and your husband crazy!
2. I’m more financially responsible.
During my internship, I’m not working so I had to plan out every expenditure for the next few months. I know exactly where every cent of my money is going in advance and I have a strict budget. It’s so hard because I love shopping and trips… honestly, I just love spending money lol. This is a great trait for a wife to have because monetary issues are a main cause for divorce. Actually, this is a trait that ALL adults should have, regardless of marital status. You should always keep track of where your money is going so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises in the checkout line at WalMart.
3. I’m less emotional.
I’ll just be real… I’m a woman. I can go from 0 to 100 realllll quick. I can go through all five stages of grief in 20 minutes. One day I may want to kill everyone, the next day I’m everyone’s best friend. Women are emotional by nature. I will say that now I’m in more control of my feelings. Little things that used to send me over the edge don’t have the same effect on me anymore. Seeing a tiny scratch on my car or someone saying something negative about my hair used to ruin my whole day. I don’t dwell on things as much as I used to; I have more important things to worry about. I also don’t act on my emotions as quickly. In my past relationships, if I felt the urge to break up with a guy, I would do it with no hesitation. I would just wake up one day angry for no reason and decide that I’m going to be single lol. Now, I wait a while before making a decision. Strong feelings like that usually pass after a day or two.
4. I’m more patient.
This has been the hardest transition yet! When I want something, I want it NOW. Not in 10 minutes, not next week, not next year… RIGHT NOW! One of the bad things about making changes is that you’ll be forced to do a lot of things that you don’t want to do. Right now, I’m literally in a state where I can’t do anything but wait. I have to wait to graduate, wait to see my boyfriend, wait for a job, wait for my hair to grow… It’s driving me crazy! I have to remember that gaining patience will make me a better person/future wife/future mother in the long run.
5. I’m more comfortable with myself.
You’ve heard the old saying “No one can love you until you love yourself.” It's cliche, but very true. In the past, my insecurities ruined every relationship or possible relationship I had. Guys would say they loved me, but I wouldn’t believe them. Or I would think there was something wrong with them for having feelings for me… Yeah, I was messed up in the head. Now, God has helped me learn to love my flaws which will give another person the opportunity to love them as well. :-)
I know that I have changed in more ways but these five stuck out to me the most. Ladies, I encourage all of you to say this prayer if you haven’t already! Even if you never want to be married or tied down, you can still have the attributes of a Godly woman. Your life will be much less stressful and happier. There's a possibility that I may never get married, but I’m glad that God is changing me into a better woman!
Update: I'm married now! See? Working on yourself will change how people perceive you and bring all of the right people into your life.
You and your guy have been dating for a few months now and everything is perfect! You laugh at each other’s corny jokes, you can talk to each other about anything, and you’ve met all of his friends (who love you, btw). There’s just one problem… you’re not official yet. At first, it doesn’t bother you. I mean, you’re still getting to know each other; it’s only been a few months. When you really start to think about it, it doesn’t make any sense. He’s at your house 5 nights out of the week, you go to church together, you even met his mom. Once. By accident, but it counts! But he just can’t put a title on it. One day, after torturing yourself about this situation for weeks, you casually bring the topic up in conversation. “Hey babe,” you say gently. “I know we’ve been kicking it for a while and I just want to know, what are we?” or something like that. If you’re lucky, your man will say something like “We’re together. Everyone knows you’re my girl.” Aww… That’s awesome! The rest of us get some type of bullshit response such as:
“Why you ask?”
“Does it matter? You know how I feel about you.”
“I’m with you right now. That should tell you something.”
If this has happened to you, you are in a dark place known as relationship purgatory. If it sounds awful, that’s because it is. Some people believe that purgatory is a place where mediocre souls go after life. It’s not hell, but it sure ain’t heaven. It’s limbo—eternally stuck between the fiery pit and paradise. You’re probably thinking it’s not that bad, right? But imagine your friends are in this exclusive party, living it up VIP style, and you just watch helplessly through a window because you can’t get in… That’s spiritual purgatory.
Now relationship purgatory is the same concept. You’re not single, but you sure aren’t in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong if you’re just having fun and DON’T WANT a commitment. The problems start when you’re stuck here, but want a title. It doesn’t help when you see your friends in public relationships, getting married, etc. and you still don’t know if you can post a pic of your man as your #MCM… Men have been putting women in limbo forever! It’s the female version of the friend zone (Yikes!). Everything starts out wonderful—you’re going out on dates, kicking it, and hanging out for months—then you realize he hasn’t made it official yet. What do you do??
I’ll tell you what NOT to do… DO NOT play the passive aggressive role. Dropping hints and playing wifey won’t work. I used to think that if I showed a man how much I cared he would see how great I was and make me his girl… HA! That’s not how life works. There are some rare cases where women have escaped purgatory and went on to live a happy life with the guy. If you ask me, if a guy doesn’t make a commitment after a few months, you should probably leave him alone; but if you’re keeping hope alive, here are some things you can do to make purgatory a little less frustrating.
1. Continue to live your life.
Keep doing whatever you did before you met the guy. Work extra hours, study more, exercise, make plans with your girlfriends… anything. Just make sure he knows that you have an active life and will NOT cancel plans for him (He’s not your BF, btw)
2. Date other people.
DISCLAIMER: I do not encourage sleeping around. I’d advise you not to have sex with purgatory guy, but if you are, please don’t spread your legs to others!
Yes, date. If your guy is keeping his options open, why shouldn’t you? Plus, you might meet Mr. Perfect in the process! Also, he’ll begin to see that you’re a catch and can be snatched up at any moment.
3. Express your feelings.
Let the guy know from the beginning that you want a real relationship and ask him what his long-term goals are. Honest communication will save you a lot of trouble. Avoid giving ultimatums though because he’ll definitely run in the opposite direction.
4. Never settle.
If you want a relationship and he clearly doesn’t, just leave. You can’t change his mind no matter how generous, nurturing, or sexy you are. Don’t let him distract you from your true soulmate. If you want different things, just let it go quickly.
I wish someone gave me this advice years ago. Trust me, purgatory is not nearly as fun as a genuine relationship with someone who is ready for commitment. As the old saying goes,
Whitney is currently an exhausted teacher, a loving daughter, an annoying little sister, and a devoted wife. :-)