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PSA: Just because you're married DOES NOT mean you have a marriage!


In Episode 008 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott talk about the differences between having a marriage and simply being married.




Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothed the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband.

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich, and today, we're going to talk about being married versus marriage.

Nik:

Because there is a difference. Before we begin every episode, we always have to let our listeners know that we are not licensed or trained therapists or counselors. We have been married a long time and been through a lot of the topics that we share here on the Naked Proverbs. So, we just use this as a platform to share our advice, our opinions and our experience. If you haven't already, make sure that you are subscribed to Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to podcasts on. And if you like what you hear show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes, it really helps us out a lot, y'all.

Rich:

So as always, we want to thank our listeners. And I specifically want to thank our listeners in California. And in Oregon. Yes, we have listeners in Oregon, we see you. Thank you all for tuning in.

Time is precious. And I think a lot of times we get so caught up in our day to day activities, whether that be running kids to practice or going to work, or whatever it is, that we miss those small opportunities just to enjoy one another. And that's not just you and I as a husband and wife, but even those small moments, especially with teenagers, that we get with our children.

Nik:

The fact is for us specifically at this stage in our lives, and in our marriage, it is very, very busy. And our kids are at a stage and phase where they really don't need us for much. And that's not to say they don't need us at all. They just need us in a different way. And our oldest has a driver's license. And she likes to be on the go. Our youngest is an athlete and her whole life seems like it revolves around that. And even on those days where it's back to back to back to back where I'm doing this and you're doing that, it's important for us to make time to connect with each other because that time is precious.

Rich:

Really, I think it's just important that you take those moments when you can, whether it be grabbing lunch with your spouse, or even grabbing lunch with your children, maybe taking a little morning drive, having dinner as a family, whatever you can do to try to preserve those moments as much as possible. Because like I said, especially when you have little children, or you know, in our case, older children, or maybe no children at all, just life itself can come at you like fire hose.

Nik:

It really can and I remember when our girls were small and toddlers, and in elementary school, I thought that those times were never going to end. And I never really cherished those moments because I was always looking forward to the next step. It's like, okay, when is she going to do this? When is she going to do that? And now that she can do all of these things, it's almost like I rushed through those times, that I have a hard time recalling what it was even like to be in those stages.

Rich:

Being married, versus marriage. You know, the very first time I heard somebody talk about the differences between being married and being in a marriage. I was like, Is there really a difference?

Nik:

Yeah, there's definitely a difference. I say it all the time when I counsel women who have been married less time than me or even women that have been married more time than me that there is a difference between being married and having a marriage and the first thing that comes to mind for me is that married the word married is an adjective. So, it's a word that describes something. It's a descriptive word. But the word marriage is a noun. And we all know that nouns are those parts of speech that can stand all on their own. So those are the first two huge differences, grammatical differences between married in marriage.

Rich:

And even when you look at the definition of marriage, it basically says that marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people, as partners in a personal relationship. So, it's, it's an action, it is something that happens. So for me, I think about like the word marriage, and it refers to the actual long term relationship that one the two people have, whereas when you think of the one I think of the word married, it just refers to two people that have gone through marriage ceremony. They've gone through something saying, Hey, we're married. Now, we're not single. I'm not just Mr. Scott. I'm not just Nik I am Mr. And Mrs. Rich Scott. So, it's it's that action is married. But marriage is what happens after you've been married.

Nik:

I think there's a huge fascination in the marketplace. Because I think that married being married is marketing. And there's this huge fascination with people about being married, but they don't really know what happens next. They don't even really know what to do next. Then for me, getting married is only the first step in two people forming a marriage. A marriage involves intimacy it involves intention. It involves creativity marriage takes two people who are not only married, but these two people are truly naked with each other in every area of their relationship.

Rich:

I've been blessed to see a lot of married people and a lot of people that are in marriages in my lifetime. And, you know, one thing I've noticed is that people can start off by being married, right? They have the ceremony I do, then they start strong, and they've got all this ambition and all these goals and their marriage is going to be whatever. And then the aspects of what marriage is, begins to tear down that dream, you know, when you have your first real fight, or you have financial troubles, or you have children who now take away from that time that you both were spending together, or you have careers or career changes. I mean, you have health issues. I mean, there are so many things that happen in a marriage because you're talking about people and things happen to people, right. So, when all these things start to happen, it can start to erode the marriage itself and you go back

Just being married, you end up just being two people that went through a ceremony and said I do. But you are not truly living the greatness that marriage can be

Nik:

You lost that connection. And I think that's the biggest thing that makes a marriage, a marriage and married, just the ceremony. It's that connection piece. And there needs to be focus and intention between the two parties who have made the choice to become married, to really invest in their marriage and the erosion happens. Because there is a lack of discipline. There's a lack of desire. There's a lack of motivation to want to continue to connect and reconnect. And that doesn't just mean sex. It does not just mean sex.

Rich:

And I mean, because let's be honest, who gets married? It doesn't really want to have a marriage? Because if you didn't really want to have a marriage, then you never would have wasted your time or money to get married. You know, there are a lot of people that choose to stay in just long-term relationships, knowing that marriage is not something that's on the table, because that's not really what they want. But those I believe that say, I do take those vows. walk down the aisle, they truly desire to have a marriage. And I think that in today's society, and probably past societies, as well, there's a lot of conversation around a lot of things. But when it comes to marriage, that is one of those areas that people are walled off quiet, they don't speak about the negatives that can happen. So then when you go through those negatives, you feel like oh, my God, woe is me my husband's crazy, I'm all alone or my spouse, my wife is off the chain or whatever. But reality is, you've said this before, and I've learned to realize that you're right. That most marriages go through the same things.

Nik:

They do. And I do say that a lot. I say that most marriages go through the same things, just that different intensity levels. So, the same opportunities, I hesitate to call them negatives or issues. I say they're opportunities to really grow and build on the foundation of that ceremony of that action of getting married. And the different intensities revolve around sex, money, communication, we know finances. We know those things that couples constantly argue about children. Those to me are things that every marriage goes through, and we will find a mentor in every area of our life. We will talk all day long to other parents about all the opportunities that are happening with our children, and what's going on at work and how our in laws get on our nerves and all of that, but we will be so tight lipped to even let people in on the idea that we might be struggling or growing through an opportunity together.

And that's one of the reasons why this podcast is so important to me, because we were married at a young age. And we didn't really know what it meant to have a marriage. And I would argue that a lot of people who get married, don't even know what a marriage is. And because they don't know what a marriage is, they only understand what it means to be married. That's a recipe for disaster. We've been fortunate that we've been patient with each other. And we saw the opportunities in the struggles that we were having, because without us being connected the way that we are, we wouldn't be here today.

Rich:

I mean, we've also done other things, you know, we've gone to marriage counseling, we've gone to marriage retreats, we've gone to things that have helped us understand what a marriage is, because like we've said in other podcasts if you've never seen a marriage then how can you really have a marriage right? If you're not reading books, if you're not listening to Naked Proverbs, or podcasts like us, I guess, if you're not doing things that are going to actually educate you and teach you what a marriage is, then you're going into it blind, and you're just trying to figure it out. And when that happens, you're going to make a lot of mistakes, you're going to trip and fall often you are going to eventually reach that point where you're like, why am I trying to do this? Like what is the point of this because there is no positive in being in a marriage.

So to me, it's, it's understanding that just like you would work to get better with a golf swing, or you're going to work to become a better driver as our children are currently both doing or whatever that thing is that you want to be better at. It takes practice. It takes you going out and being about that. You can't say I want to have a better marriage, but you're not not actually doing anything to make yourself have a better marriage. It takes work and it takes commitment. And it takes dedication and like you said, it takes discipline. So, if you aren't doing things that are going to make your marriage better, then unfortunately, you're going to just become one of those people that are just married.

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Nik:

So, I had a conversation the other day with a husband of a young married couple. They've only been married about four years, and he said that he and his wife on a Sunday went to a marriage retreat or a marriage workshop. And he says to me, he says, and football was on all day long. And when he said that I was like, I appreciate you admitting that like, you know what I am doing this for my wife for myself for my marriage. I'm missing all the football that's on that day to come to this with my wife, and nine times out of 10. It's the woman who wants to do those things. And the husband feels like he's being drug. But the difference with this conversation that I had is that he actually saw value in being there and making that investment this early on before there's all of these troubles and struggles and, you know, we don't want to talk to each other in the marriage. They're doing this they're almost doing it in a preventative and proactive way.

Rich:

And I think that's really great and smart, because when you can start to create opportunities to learn how to navigate marriage together early, then it makes it so much easier to navigate marriage together. Because the last thing you want to do is to be married for a long time. And you're not in love. You really don't even like each other. You might not even love each other anymore. But it's just like, Well, we've always been married. So, I'm just married. And unfortunately, I know people like that I know people that have been married for double digits, that it's just routine now. It's just what they do. But it's not really that the marriage is gone. They're just two married people. And you know, I think a lot of times when we're talking about this, we're thinking, well, initially you get married, and then it's those rookies that fall out of marriage. But the truth is, you could be an old couple that is no longer in a marriage. You're just two people married. You have gotten so used to being with this person that you know, you don't see your life any other way but you're not happy. You guys are not enjoying yourselves. You're not indulging in your spouse anymore.

You are not thriving in your marriage anymore. It's just something that you do. It's kind of like, you know, if you think about it, most people can drive to work without even thinking about what streets they're on, which turns to make when they're supposed to turn, they just know when to merge, they know where the bus is gonna stop, they know where the stop signs are. So, you're not even thinking about the drive to work anymore. You're just making that drive. And marriage can be the same way. or excuse me, being married can be the same way. If you're not working on your marriage.

Nik:

And a lot of times I feel like when we're talking about marriage and family, the kids are not around when the parents got married, our kids weren't around when we got married. The marriage again, as you explained is the ceremonial aspects, but the marriage that is the legacy that we are going to leave our kids part of their legacy is going to be our marriage. It's going to be that thing that shapes who our girls grow up to be and what they will reference in their own intimate relationship.

So, the difference between being married and having a marriage is heavy and it's deep. And it's much, much, much more serious than jumping the broom in a beautiful white gown in front of a roomful of people.

Rich:

And you have to remember that, you know, when you do have children involved, that you are showing them what it looks like. So, if you are two people that don't talk, and never sit down for dinner together, you never hold hands. You never look into each other's eyes, and you never talk about your future together. Like it's just something you're just doing, then that's what your children are going to think is normal. And they may never really have the opportunity to have a great marriage, because they're just trying to recreate what they saw in their own childhood or in their own lives, from their parents.

Nik:

Going through marriage on autopilot is never a good thing. It's never good for your spouse to be on autopilot and it's never good for you to be the spouse on autopilot. Because, again, if there are children involved, if you're unhappy in your marriage, right? You're not going to be an advocate for marriage. You'll probably tell your kids don't get married. There's no benefit to getting married. But it takes work. I think I said a couple weeks ago in another episode, marriage takes work. It is not easy. It's like a muscle. It's like a muscle. You said golf swing. I love to do kettlebell workouts. And I started off with a five pound kettlebell. And I could barely swing that thing and now up to a 20 pound kettlebell. But if I had stopped at the five pound kettlebell because it was too hard, because I can barely move it, then I would have never grown to the place that I am today. And that's the same thing in your marriage. It's supposed to be hard, y'all. It's not supposed to be easy but know that there are resources available to you. We again find mentors in every area of our of our lives, I encourage you to find a couple that you respect that you trust, that you can see that they're real about who they are, and ask questions.

Rich:

Because the reality is a lot of married people, their marriages fall apart, after the kids leave, after they get done, running kids and all these things because they didn't really have a marriage. All they were doing was going through the motions of raising kids and paying bills and going to work. But you have to take time to have a marriage, to have a relationship, to build on that relationship to understand that you're both going to continue to grow. And it may be different than the person you initially said I do to. So, understand that that your marriage will only be as great as the time that you put into it, the time that you commit to it. And if you're not committed to it, then you're just going to be married at the end of the day.

Nik:

And that time doesn't need to be spent on trying to change the other partner. That time needs to be spent on investing in yourself and ensuring that you are everything that your partner needs, because it's easy for us to focus on the lack in the person who's not us, right. I can talk all day long about the things that he isn't doing, or the things I wish he would do. But have I ever asked him am I everything that you want? And if you're not having those real, like I said, naked conversations with your partner, how can you grow and evolve in your marriage?

Rich:

Understand there's a time and a place to have those real naked conversations. You shouldn't have that conversation right after you had an argument or a disagreement, because it's probably not the best time to say, well, no, what I really need is, you know, whatever. Because the average person is going to get defensive, and you're not going to actually make any progress, you're not going to move forward. So, understand that there's a time and a place to have any conversation. But when you're really trying to grow your marriage, make sure that maybe it's while you guys are having a great time, you're, you know, doing your thing. You're like, let's go to breakfast. And we're gonna sit down and talk about some things, you know, because marriage is not this happy gaga land place. So, don't think that every moment is going to be y'all smiling and laughing and goo-goo gaga. Like that's not reality. Reality is there are some moments where you need to have some real conversations like you know what you said the other day kind of offended me. And why it offended me was because it really, I felt like belittled what I put into this family.

That's not a conversation you have after y'all just got into a heated argument about something else. That's a conversation you have when things are going pretty good already anyway. So, you need to also understand the importance of how you say what you want to say. Because when you come off accusatory or negative or beating down your spouse, they're going to shut down, like who doesn't shut down when somebody attacks them right? Or who's not going to get defensive when somebody attacks them, right? Like those are the two things are gonna happen, they're gonna shut down or they're going to attack back. So, find a way to communicate and work through those issues that you may have so that you can have an amazing marriage.

Nik:

Because it's possible. I want anyone out there listening right now. If you feel that it is not possible for you to have a happy, healthy marriage. I'm here to tell you that it is. I'm here to let you know that if you are willing to invest the time and make the changes within yourself because understand that neither one of you are perfect. Neither one of us are perfect. We are both flawed human beings. But we, we're both flawed human beings.

But we've chosen to have a marriage and not just be married, we've chosen to have a marriage so that we can continue this legacy of what we have with our children and through our children. We've chosen each other and we've chosen to not just make it work, but make it work for us.

Rich:

Because unfortunately, a lot of times, people get divorced, because they stop trying to have a marriage. It's not because the things that are going on are as bad as in their minds. They believe they are, because like Nik said earlier, most marriages have gone through the same things. So, I don't care what you're talking about. We've probably been through it and we have one point or another, may have been like, you know what this is for the birds. But in the end, we were determined to have a marriage.

And not just to be to people that are living in the house, don't speak to each other. I don't need a roommate. I don't need somebody to help me pay the bills, I don't need somebody that, you know, is writing the name on the food because this is her food, and this is my food like, but when you get to that point in a marriage, in a relationship, understand that it can get better, but you have to want it to get better. And, you know, something I realized is that it's not always both of you. Sometimes you just need one person is still willing to fight, willing to fight for your marriage. And eventually the other person can turn around and both of you can fight to move your marriage forward. But when both of you give up, there's no hope. There is no hope if both of you have thrown in the towel and you both are one person sleeping in the guest room and one person sleeping in the bedroom and it's been going on for months.

You're like, I'm just waiting for the judge to sign the paperwork. Like if you've truly given up, then you can't expect it to work. But if you are still willing to fight, if you're still willing to try, then no matter how bad it seems you can have an amazing marriage.

Nik:

Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to subscribe to Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on, and give us a five-star rating on iTunes. And we hope you enjoyed this episode.

Talk to y'all next week.

Rich:

Peace.

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