Personal Growth

On Maturity & Marriage


~ By: Mari Nichols-Haining ~

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,

With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,

Who won’t hold them against me,

Who loves me when I’m unlikable,

Who sees the small child in me, and

Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night

With someone who thanks God for me,

With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity

To grow in love in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline

To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail

When they enter into marriage

Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,

I promise myself to take full responsibility

For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness

I create me

I take half of the responsibility for my marriage

Together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding

The possibilities are limitless.

I’m happy I came across this post again today. I believe very strongly in everything it states.

I’m happy I’ve finally stepped into a phase of my life where I value maturity and all the benefits and responsibilities that come along with it.

We have to be mature to be married, I think.

We have to be mature to be in any sort of long-term, successful relationship.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t mature in any of my partner relationships and I’m only recently asserting my new-found, ‘grown-up’ self with my kids and friends and even professionally… let me tell you, it’s not easy.

Truthfully, I’d go so far as to say that I wasn’t anywhere near ready for marriage, at the time, but I had NO IDEA. Nobody teaches this in school or in secular society. I only really discovered it when I started to study the Judeo-Christian Bible and through the modeling and mentorship of the spiritual leaders in my faith community. I remember when I heard one speaker and leader use the word “maturity”, over and over again, at a Christian youth conference I attended this spring. His message was intended for the youth but it struck me like lightening. It felt like the missing piece in everything I had been seeking for decades. “Of course”, I said to myself, “that’s it! I’ve got to grow up!”

Like most of us, I grew up with less-than-perfect-parenting… and yes, I realize that some are more imperfect than others… but, regardless of our childhood wounds, there comes a time when we have to stop feeling the shame or assigning the blame. There’s a time to stop trying to re-parent ourselves by looking for new solutions to fix old problems. It’s time to accept what was, take responsibility for what is and move on.

You want peace? You want happiness? You want meaning? You want purpose?

Well, I’m here to tell you, it only comes with constant practice. The minute we get pulled back into the old ‘story’ (and we will) we must simply take it as a sign that we’re getting sloppy and undisciplined.

For me, that’s a cycle I’ve gone through my entire life and I when I felt myself starting to slide I would try to fill the holes with various distractions which were temporary, at best and destructive, at worst. Now, with maturity, that cycle is less frequent and with fewer and fewer desperate moments in between. Instead, my self talk sounds something like this:

  • Don’t wait for others to treat you well.
  • Treat others (and yourself) the way you wish to be treated. (Jesus said this… it’s the universal ‘Golden Rule’)
  • If you want respect, command it.
  • If you want help, ask for it.
  • If you’ve been hurt, address it.
  • Know yourself.
  • Show yourself.
  • Set boundaries.
  • Do better.

As I search for the new definition of what I once called ‘Self-Love’, I have no doubt that emotional maturity is the cornerstone. Without it, we can’t possibly trust ourselves to lead a life according to our values… or even to know what our values are.

For me, now, there’s no room for excuses. There’s no room for self-pity. There’s no room for justifications about “why I can’t” or “why I should” or “why I did” or “poor me” or “if only”.

Now, there’s only room for faith, truth, authenticity, accountability, discipline and… of course… mistakes.