Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Til Death Do Us Part

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.


Angie said...

Thank you for sharing that!!! It is so true, and I completely agree with you...

Julie said...

Mat 19:5 and Eph 5:31 and Gen 2:24 - I guess God really means it when He says 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh'?
One flesh! That's not something that God ever intended to be broken and even the most difficult marraiges with lots of bad history can be wonderful. They can be one flesh! Two working as one, inseparable. Perfect? never! But wonderful when marraige is treated as God intended it to be.
Thanks for the reminder Amanda. Marriage is wonderful and so much better than the wedding (should have eloped). We are in our 29th year and it just gets better.

Maria said...

totally agree with you :-)

Isabelle said...

thanks i needed this grain of reality right now, your post couldn't have come at a better time. i totally agree with what you said... thank you.

Jules said...

"Marriage is not easy. And anyone who thinks being married is easy is out to lunch."

Well said!Hubby and I got married almost 1 year ago (May)and it hasn't been easy at all. We were given so many horrible rocks to climb (parents death, buying our first home, loved animals deaths) it hasn't been easy but I know it will only get better!

Lori said...

Great Post Amanda...this is eerily familiar to who I felt 17 years ago when I got married and certain people wondered why I wasnt' picking out wedding cakes that were 12 tiers!?!?

You hit the nail right on the head - the big day is over way to soon and the next moring you wake up to the two of you and everyone else is on to the next wedding...alot of brides need to think about that...many want to be a bride - but not a wife!!