Pulling Your Own Weight in a Marriage

People with physical disabilities have special problems when thinking about marriage. Individuals who may require some physical aid may be very self-reliant in other areas of their lives and much less helpless in a marriage relationship than able-bodied people. A marriage is a serious proposition that involves real responsibilities. It is not a life-long party. Being ready for marriage means that you can take care of yourself, but many individuals seem to reach adulthood without this ability. Some people want to appear strong, while others prefer to 'mother' those who seem helpless, finding their helplessness attractive.

Marriages involving these kinds of people are dangerous because, eventually, everyone gets tired of carrying someone else's burden, and because people get tired of dealing with the 'abled-bodied helpless.' Helplessness does not refer to the lack of any specific skill or ability. Few people, at the time of their marriage, have all the abilities and skills required.

No, helplessness means a general attitude that makes a person avoid taking any responsibility and expecting others to take responsibility for them. These people should not be blamed for their attitude; it may not be their fault that they are like this. They are not incurable either. While they may be incompetent because someone else has always been there to take care of them, they can learn to live on their own with time. However, as long as these individuals cannot take care of themselves, they are not ready to be married. A successful marriage requires the ability and willingness of both partners to do their share of the work involved.

Let's consider the case of Harold and Dolly. They were nearly engaged when they spent several days together at a party during which work was divided up among the partygoers. Harold seemed to always be somewhere else when there was work to be done. He also seemed to be very good at getting someone else to do his share of the chores and at looking busy when he was, in fact, doing nothing. Watching him, Dolly realized that she did not want to take care of Harold for the rest of her life, being responsible for all the work while he sat on the sidelines. The idea of marriage was eliminated, and Dolly was thankful that she had found out about Harold before the wedding.

Any individual who always leaves work for others to do is not ready for marriage. This person is not mature. Someone who is ready shows a willingness to accept the responsibility for carrying his or her share of the load in a marriage.

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