Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

What's the meaning of this quote?

Quote Meaning: This quote offers advice regarding the perspective one should adopt before and after entering into the commitment of marriage. It suggests that it is important to be vigilant, discerning, and fully aware of the realities and dynamics of a potential partner and the relationship before marriage. However, once married, it advises a more forgiving and accepting approach, characterized by partial closure of one's critical judgment.

The first part of the quote, "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage," underscores the importance of making informed choices and being attentive to the qualities, values, and compatibility of a potential spouse. It encourages individuals to exercise discernment and consider the long-term implications of entering into a marital partnership.

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The second part, "half shut afterwards," suggests that once the commitment of marriage is made, it is essential to cultivate acceptance, understanding, and patience. It implies that maintaining a constant critical lens or scrutinizing every aspect of one's partner can create unnecessary friction and strain within the relationship. Instead, it advises a more forgiving and compassionate mindset, recognizing that imperfections and differences are a natural part of any long-term commitment.

This quote does not imply that one should ignore or tolerate abusive or harmful behaviors in a marriage. Rather, it speaks to the need for balance and realistic expectations. It encourages couples to focus on the positive aspects of their relationship and embrace the journey of growth and compromise that marriage entails.

In summary, this quote advises individuals to approach marriage with open eyes, carefully assessing the compatibility and qualities of a potential partner. However, once married, it encourages a more forgiving and understanding attitude, recognizing that no relationship is perfect and that acceptance and compromise are vital for a fulfilling and lasting marriage.

Who said the quote?

The quote "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." was said by Benjamin Franklin (Bio / Quotes). Benjamin Franklin was an American statesman, writer, and inventor who played a key role in the founding of the United States.

Is there a historical example that illustrates the message of the quote?

The life of Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 and a prominent human rights advocate, provides a compelling example that aligns with the message of this quote.

Before her marriage to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor was an independent and socially conscious young woman. She was actively involved in social and political causes, including women's suffrage and working with the poor in New York City's Lower East Side. Her marriage to Franklin, a distant cousin, in 1905 marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life.

However, despite the societal expectations of the time that women should focus primarily on their roles as wives and mothers, Eleanor did not close her eyes to the world after marriage. In fact, her marriage to Franklin opened doors to a life of greater influence and activism.

During her time as First Lady, Eleanor continued to be deeply engaged in social and political issues. She held press conferences, wrote a syndicated newspaper column, and traveled extensively throughout the United States, advocating for civil rights, women's rights, and social justice. She used her position to shine a light on the pressing issues of her day, from poverty and racial inequality to labor rights and refugee assistance.

Eleanor's determination to keep her eyes wide open after marriage contributed significantly to her enduring legacy as one of the most influential First Ladies in American history. She used her position to bring about positive change and inspire others to do the same.

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Her example serves as a powerful reminder that marriage and personal commitments need not close one's eyes to the world's problems. Instead, they can serve as platforms for greater awareness, advocacy, and positive change. Eleanor Roosevelt's remarkable life illustrates the importance of staying engaged with the world and continuing to work toward one's values and ideals, even after making personal commitments.

How can the quote be applied in a real-life scenario?

This quote offers sage advice regarding the importance of careful consideration before entering into a lifelong commitment like marriage. It suggests that while it's crucial to be discerning and attentive to potential issues before marriage, it's equally important to show understanding and acceptance afterward. Let's explore how this idea can be applied in a real-life scenario.

Imagine a couple who are deeply in love and planning to get married. Before tying the knot, they carefully discuss their values, goals, and expectations for the future. They address potential challenges, such as financial management, career aspirations, and family dynamics. They keep their "eyes wide open" to ensure they are on the same page and have a strong foundation for their marriage.

However, even with thorough preparation, challenges inevitably arise in married life. They might face unexpected financial difficulties, differences in parenting styles, or other unforeseen issues. In these moments, the quote advises the couple to keep their "eyes half shut" — not in the sense of ignoring problems but in being more forgiving, empathetic, and understanding toward each other.

This principle extends beyond marriage to any long-term relationship or partnership. It emphasizes the importance of both careful pre-commitment consideration and post-commitment adaptability and compassion.

In essence, this quote reminds us that while it's crucial to be discerning and realistic about potential challenges before making a commitment, it's equally important to approach the challenges that arise afterward with patience and understanding. Marriage, like life itself, is a journey filled with both joys and difficulties, and maintaining open communication and empathy can strengthen the bond between partners.

So, whether you're in a committed relationship or contemplating one, remember the wisdom of this quote. It encourages you to approach your partnership with a balanced perspective, emphasizing both careful consideration and a willingness to adapt and support each other through life's twists and turns.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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