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Word Count: 1,125
I married the first man I ever kissed When I tell this to my children they just about throw up Barbara Bush Marriage is a complicated and personal concept Its meaning ranges from the melting of two special souls in a union of love to a financial merger complete with pre-nup contracts and inventory lists Traditionally it is a statement You are IT The One Ive looked over the others and there is no match for you I must have you in my life for a happy future It comes with a ceremony that despite cultural and religious differences has more similarities than divergences The differences happen later after the gifts are opened and the couple retreats to their relationship My divorced male friend D says if you simply must get married live together first Dive in To hell with the survey that says it doesnt work Communicate If you cant do that call the engagement off Here are some topics for exploration before deciding on marriage How much time do we spend together Do I need permission to hang out with the friends you hate Who keeps track of the money Who decides how to spend it How often does your family come for dinner Do they help clean up To whom do we lend money Your chronically out-of-work sister Does she qualify as a charitable tax deduction How much of your mothers approval do we need when making decisions Who explains to your father why we no longer want to spend summers at the cabin fishing The list is limitless and being caught unawares has caused more squabbles than splitting up the guest list for the big event If variety is the spice of life marriage is the big can of leftover Spam Johnny Carson Good marriages involve compromises and a sense of appreciation for the absurd as the fusing of folks into a partnership brings some of the most basic areas
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