Why choosing your spouse is the most important decision in your life

Ever since I heard those words I've thought about them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY of my life. It's because they really make you reflect on your marriage and the person you decided to marry.

They're words that came from a surprising source. Not from my mom, dad or even best friend. They came during a conversation with a co-worker in the middle of the newsroom. I can't remember how we got around to discussing marriage... but I remember what he said. It's advice his father gave him. Advice I plan to give our daughters and anyone else who wants to listen.

"Choosing who to marry is the most important decision in your life," he shared his father's wisdom.

I thought about it. Could that be true? Yes, it is. Think about it. 

Many people think where they decide to go to college or what they want to major in or what career field they want to work in or what school their child attends are the most important decisions. Yes, they're important. But they don't shape your life... and furthermore the lives of your kids, should you choose to have them. 

The qualities you love about your spouse and those you try really hard to tolerate... will inevitably be ones your children inherit, too. Take for example our marriage and kids. I will admit I am stubborn (quality passed down from my father) and sometimes bossy but I know how to voice my opinion. I'm also very out-going and friendly. Our youngest, Lil Tank, is the same way. However, I think she takes stubbornness to a whole new level. She'll even argue with me about how I and others feel.

Me: "Your sister feels sad."

Lil Tank: "No, she doesn't."

Me: "Yes, she does. It's her mood. It's her feeling. You can't decide how she feels."

Lil Tank: "She's not sad, Mommy."

Me: "Yes, she is. It's a fact. It's how she feels. Just like the sky is blue. That's the color of the sky."

Lil Tank: "NOOOO. The sky is NOT blue!"

My husband doesn't like to admit it but he has problems managing time. I really didn't think this was something that could be passed down to our offspring. But I distinctly remember when our oldest, Monkey now 5, was 3 and in preschool. During a parent-teacher conference, her teacher told us how she has a hard time completing projects and staying on task. Many other parents and friends told me she'd learn to manage her time better as she got older. But her teacher told me about things we could do at home to help her. Things I was already doing. Like setting a timer and having her complete certain tasks during that allotted time - like coloring a picture or putting away her toys and picking out a bedtime book. Not just one task but multiple tasks so she'd know how to prioritize and get things done. When she turned 4, her teacher (a different teacher) reiterated the same concern. She even had Monkey sit with friends at lunch that ate faster than she did so she could keep up. I thought that was brilliant! At the beginning of this Kindergarten school year, I shared our concern and the ways we were improving her time management with her teacher. I'm pleased to say it's working... but it has been a nearly three year process. Again, I never thought this would be something that you'd have to work to change in your child nor did I think it was a trait that could be passed down to your child. But alas, here we are. While Monkey might have this challenge for now, she's also the sweetest, most compassionate person I know. She puts others before herself. Something my husband does as well.

Lil Tank {drops her granola bar on the ground in the backseat of the car, starts crying & whining}: "I dropped my snack. I want my snack."

Me {handing her crackers}: "It's okay. Here's another snack." 

Lil Tank: "I don't want crackers. I want my granola bar."

Me: "I'm sorry but you dropped yours on the ground. This is all I have right now."

Lil Tank {flailing around in the car seat}: "But I don't want that. I WANT A GRANOLA BAR!"

Monkey {handing her sister her granola bar}: "It's okay. You can have my granola bar. I'll have the crackers."

Lil Tank {smiles big and takes her sister's granola bar}: "Thank you."

Me: "You're so lucky. You have the best big sister in the world."

So while I married NewsyDad because he made me laugh, was super sweet & romantic and extremely supportive of my career (he left his family and friends in his home state and followed me to three others as I lived my dream), I've come to realize those are also qualities our children have, but they aren't the only ones. Together, we created two children who are our blessings, who represent our genetics and traits, looks and qualities. The good. The bad. We embrace them all. It's the best combination in the world!

What about you? Did you know when you chose your spouse that it would be the most important decision in your life?

I've written this post as part of my friends', Melissa from The Eyes of a Boy and Carrie from Huppie Mama, March Marriage Challenge. Go here to read more stories just like mine inspiring you to create an awesome marriage.

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Newsy Parents

Passionate parents (mom & dad bloggers) with a nose for fashion (women's petite, children), food & fun (travel). We are former & current television journalists who met in the business, got married and now have two multi-cultural children.