I'm just going to get up on my little soapbox here for a moment, so bear with me for a few moments.
Marriage is not easy. And anyone who thinks being married is easy is out to lunch.
Getting married, however, is a cakewalk. The dresses, the colours, the party favours -- that's all fun and games. Sure, making these little decisions are a part of The Big Day, but if you are getting married for the right reasons, the colour of your napkins or the car that you drive to the church in are not going to really matter 40 years down the road.
Some people get so involved in getting ready for The Big Day that they forget about getting ready for the Marriage. A wedding is a party, an event, a ceremony with family and friends. But marriage is not. It's not about the party. It's not about the event. It is not about the family and friends. It is about you and him and the promise you make to commit to each other for the rest of your lives. Let me repeat that -- for the rest of your lives.
A wedding is the cake, the dress, the tux, the fun, the dancing, the flowers, the pictures, and all of that fun stuff.
A marriage is the commitment, the decisions, the communication, the goals, the disagreements, the compromises, the finances, the compassion, and so very much more. There is a reason we commit, in marriage, to "in sickness and in health" and "for richer or for poorer". Vows say you will always stay together through the best and through the worst. And the best parts are easy -- it's the worst parts that challenge you to hold on to the commitment you make on your wedding day. So think long and hard before you plan the party.
Marriage is a choice. Each day after your wedding day, you wake up in the morning and choose marriage. You choose to love your spouse that day. Even if your spouse is crabby and you can't stand them. Even if your spouse hurts your feelings. Even if your spouse is being so stubborn that you can't stand it. Even if they drive you crazy.
I guess what I want to say is this: just because you have a wonderful wedding, doesn't mean you will have a wonderful marriage. Divorce lawyers are hard and fast proof of this.
Having a wonderful marriage means that you love each other so much that you talk and you listen, you compromise, you love unconditionally, and you try to seek out what your spouse needs before they need it. And if both of you are doing this, then you can't go wrong. If two people are willing to put their whole selves into marriage, completely unselfishly, then those have found their soulmates and life partners.
It is not about the wedding. It is about the relationship. And who you marry is one of the most critical decisions of your whole life.
Just one more disclaimer, for those who may be suddenly worried about me: DH and I are heading for our 10th anniversary this summer, and it has been wonderful. We've had stretches of rocky road and we are not perfect, but there is no doubt in my mind that we are meant to be together. Forever. Our marriage is solid -- more than I could have ever imagined. I am blessed to have my DH. I just posted this little rant because some of the things I have seen and heard in the last little while have caused me some concern. I am hoping and praying, for all those I know who are married or are about to be married, that they be blessed too.