That’s What It’s All About – Chapter 16 of It’s Not About the Wedding

So, if it’s not about the wedding or the cake or the honeymoon, or any of the things we’ve eliminated thus far, what is it all about?

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It’s about the relationship, pure and simple.  Nurture the relationship and create something you want to be a part of forever.  Instead of focusing on “what life will be like” or “what might happen when”, develop a way of life and loving a certain person until you find yourself saying, “This, this is what I want, who I want to be with, and how I want to live my life.”  When you look at this person, do you think “I could see myself spending the rest of my life with this person” or do you think “I can’t imagine my life without this person?” There is a big difference.

It’s also about trust.  Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions before you get engaged, or at least while you’re engaged.  That doesn’t mean you need a prenuptial agreement.  You simply need to get to know someone deeply.  A husband and wife should be best friends.  They should be able to say or ask anything of each other.  There must be no secrets.  This sounds simple, but it’s not.  Remove the filter.  Go on a date where you pretend you will never see the other person again after that night.  When I first met my wife, we went out to dinner under the agreement that it wasn’t a date (because I had stated that I wasn’t ready to date anyone).  Because of the laid back nature of this “faux date”, we talked about things we would never have discussed had we been under the typical first date spell of trying to impress the other person with only our best attributes.  I think we knew more about each others’ true selves after that one evening than most people do after a year of dating.

Along these same lines, you can not afford to focus only on the good in your relationship.  As awkward as it may be, you must have a conversation about (or write down and share notes about) what you see as flaws or annoyances or potential areas of concern with your partner.  You must address this before you are married.  Once you’ve made such a list, ask yourself if these same things/issues can be found within yourself.  Sometimes, you don’t recognize your own flaws until you see them in someone else.  Yes, this could lead to some uncomfortable moments, but they won’t be nearly as uncomfortable now as they will be if they fester until after the wedding.  You really want to try to avoid having “make up sex” on your honeymoon.

Now that we mention it, life is not a honeymoon.  You will likely face some unimaginably difficult times together.  Do you really simply want the prettiest girl or the most handsome guy by your side, or do you want someone who knows you inside and out and who you know will stand by you through thick and thin.  The reality is that most young newlyweds don’t have a clue.  It’s unpleasant to think about the cruelties of life.  You will probably face financial hardships and/or job-related issues at some point.  There will most likely be the loss of a parent.  For some, there is the loss of a child.  You could struggle to become pregnant and start the family you’ve dreamed of.  One of you could even become ill or face a life-threatening disease.  I realize that these are not the happy thoughts that surround a wedding, but they should be included among the thoughts and discussions of those who are considering getting married.  Is this the person you want by your side for these scenarios?  Are you the one who will hold up this person when they are too weak to stand on their own?

A wedding is not the goal.  It is not a destination.  It is not the answer to a question.  It will not change a person.  It will not solve a problem.  A wedding should be the result of something bigger – a celebration not only of what is to come, but of what has already been achieved and discovered through hard work, introspection, and the building of a strong relationship.

Think of a wedding as the sendoff party for the maiden voyage of a great ship.  It doesn’t matter how big the party is, how many people come, how much confetti falls, what great words are spoken, or how many wealthy or famous people climb on board.  If the ship is not equipped to handle the rough seas, icebergs, and other unknown obstacles that lie ahead, it will not get far.  It’s not about the party.  It’s about the ship.  Make sure yours is seaworthy before you set sail.

So, as you pursue your own fairy tale wedding, keep one foot grounded in the real world.  Don’t ignore the red flags and warning signs.  Realize that just because you can plan a wedding doesn’t mean you are ready to be married.  Most important of all, remember that any wedding that doesn’t focus on what is real is just that – a fairy tale.

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~ by suitenectar on September 30, 2010.

3 Responses to “That’s What It’s All About – Chapter 16 of It’s Not About the Wedding”

  1. I love the way you write and the way you think.
    If you have a moment
    http://www.sandyphoebe.wordpress.com
    🙂

  2. Very eloquent. And so freaking true.

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