I was afraid of having kids, when my spouse gets so stressed with kids that she stops being fun, and I start to look for ways and reasons to get out of the house.
4. The Cliff of Growing Apart (empty nesters)
I was afraid that after the kids all started going to school I would be left with a total stranger to call my spouse.
While I was single, married people would often encourage me to get married the same way they might have tried to persuade me to eat caviar: they would tell me it was an expensive, acquired taste and hint that they didn't want to be the only suckers who had tried it.
There was always a smack of, "Oh man, I miss the chocolate cake of being single. Live it up while you can..."
Conversations like these always left me unsure what to expect of marriage.
Should I choose to stay single and avoid the regret and bitterness or should I choose to get married and join the band of married men stealing from their rich past to give memories to their poor present?
Then I met my soon-to-be wife and the choice seemed obvious - neither.
After I met Annie, I started noticing a different perspective on marriage that I had missed before. You see, aside from the many who freely offered up dating advice emphasizing the nightmares of marriage, there are those who quietly lived out happy lives.
They have adventures with each other, they plan fun activities with their kids, they still laugh at each other's jokes, they truly enjoy spending time together, they disagree with respect ... they have what I realized is real love.
It is a choice to find the positive in marriage and not let the fears leave our relationship on the cliffhanger of a bright future.
And while we don't always make the right choices - the key is always knowing that it is our choice.
Our adopted grandma and dear friend gave us marriage advice when we got engaged,"You make a choice to marry someone and then choose every day to make it the right choice."
I'm grateful for the choice we have to avoid the "cliffs" of marriage and I hope and pray that we can each make those choices daily to stay positive about finding a spouse and/or stay grateful for having one.
Editor's note: This article was published on Zack Oates' website, Zack's Bowl of Oates. It has been republished here with permission.
Zack Oates is an entrepreneur, husband, father, hot tubber, and author (but not in that order, necessarily). He went on over 1,000 dates before he met his wife — and wrote a book to help people do it in less and enjoy it more, "Dating Never Works ... Until it Does." In addition to earning his MBA, he just started his 7th business, was voted Top 100 Entrepreneurs, rang the NASDAQ bell, and has been featured in numerous major news publications (Wall Street Journal, NYTimes, Wired Magazine, Mashable, etc.) for his ventures. He also was a management consultant for Fortune 100 companies and international nonprofits for 3 years. In addition, he started an international nonprofit working with victims of domestic violence. He has written hundreds of dating, relationship and inspirational posts at BowlofOates.com. He has been to 40 countries, but is more proud of going to over 100 hot tubs.