In order to prepare yourself for the unknown surprises in your future marriage, I am going to use an analogy from the Food Network’s popular cooking show “Chopped”.
On the show there are four contestants who have to compete for the final prize of “Chopped Champion.” They have fifteen minutes to make an appetizer and then they get judged. At the end of the first round, one person is “chopped off” the show and then the remaining three people have twenty minutes to make a main course. At the end of the second round another chef gets “chopped off” and then the final two contestants have to make a dessert to compete for “Chopped Champion”.
What is so unique about this show is that right before the contest begins, each contestant has to open a black box of very unusual ingredients that they must use in their dish. Some of them are chicken feet, snake meat, black squid ink or eye balls. Most chefs have never had to use these ingredients in their entire life and now they have a very short time to try to figure out how they are going to use these ingredients in their dishes.
This concept is similar in marriage. We all have our own unusual character traits whether we recognize them or not. Most likely some of your negative traits will be something your spouse is unfamiliar with. It can be as simple as laziness or being quick to anger, or it can be much worse such as lack of trust, dysfunction, or the inability to connect emotionally. In the end, we have to try to “make a dish” together, so to speak. We may not even be aware of our own issues, yet we have to try to handle someone else’s black box full of problems as well.
Sometimes we try our best for many years, but if it gets to be too hard, we get divorced. Everyone has their own box full of squid ink! There is no one in the world who is perfect, but there is someone perfect for you! Real love is when you focus on their virtues instead of their faults. When you are able to do that, then you’ll venture into a marriage with much better tools and have a much higher chance of making a beautiful delicious dish together!