Over the weekend, my husband and I attended a family wedding.
My husband comes from a large family with a ton of cousins, the majority fairly close in age. So there for a while after we were married (the first of his cousins to get married), it felt like we were going to weddings every other weekend!
Since then, with most of the cousins married, the weddings have tapered off, so this was a bit of an occasion. It was really nice to see everyone, and the bride and groom were absolutely adorable. The festivities were so happy and relaxed that you just couldn’t NOT have a great time.
But as we sat in the church watching the marriage ceremony, it got me to thinking about what marriage is. As we arrived at the reception, they had a table set with pens, paper slips and a jar to give the newly “Mr. and Mrs.” advice for a happy marriage.
I was stumped. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Now if asked, I am confident that we have a happy marriage. But I also realize that every relationship is different. And no matter who else is in your life, there are only two people in a relationship. And it’s those two people that need to determine what works for them.
Relationship “experts” will give the usual platitudes about “never going to bed angry” and “learning to communicate is the key to any relationship,” and to some extent, they are right. But HOW you do that has to be a very personal thing between the two people involved.
The “experts” will also tell you that there are certain hot buttons that every relationship has to address: money, religion, raising of the kids. But when I look at my own relationship, none of those are an issue. It’s possible that we both saw in each other those qualities and perspectives that were similar, but that seems like too simplistic of an answer.
And lord knows we have had our fights. And we have gone to bed not just angry, but furious with each other. But in the end, I honestly can’t picture my life – before and after this moment – without him. I’ve never asked but I hope he would say the same thing.
Yes, I dropped some platitude in the jar…something like “just enjoy each other’s love…” I feel a little guilty that I took the easy way out, but the bar was open. What I really believe is that there is no silver bullet. No “one-size-fixes-all” rule. Marriage can be the most fun you’ve ever had or it can be the dirty job no one would want. It can raise you to the height of joy or plummet you to the depths of hell. And most of the time, it’s just making sure the mortgage gets paid on time and watching reruns of other “perfect” marriages on TV. In marriage, you have to play to long game. Give and take at different times. Slow and steady wins the race.
Maybe that’s why they call it the “Wedding March.”