When someone tells us they are getting married, we may find ourselves asking questions like: where will you be holding the ceremony; will it be traditional; how many bridesmaids; and so on. And so the wedding preparations begin. Sadly, the preparations for the wedding day often override the efforts put in to preparing for the actual marriage, the life together. The wedding can be a simple ceremony with few people, or something more lavish with no expense spared. The future bride may be intent on creating her fairy tale, and the future groom on just getting through the day. Whichever way you look at it, the focus can easily slip into it being all about ‘self’.
We are hearing a lot lately about ‘love is love’, as a statement that ‘love’ is all that is required for a solid marriage. Marriage is about commitment to each other, and about building the relationship together to be about the interests of the other, and not just about feelings. It’s not just placing rings on each other’s fingers, or signing a piece of paper. It is far more and requires consistent attention to detail, and to each other.
When children are born into a marriage, we often find they become the entire focus. The parents, or one parent, will put everything in to trying to make their children ‘happy’. While this is important, raising children is more about helping them to become responsible, emotionally intelligent adults, and not just ‘happy children’. A barrier can easily be created between a healthy marriage and simply focusing on raising the children. Eventually, there will be an empty nest and an empty marriage, or the nest never empties, and the marriage still does.
Commit to your relationship. Create a marriage with the person you really want to spend the rest of your life with, the person you will live through hard times and good times. Spend quality time together and your relationship will deepen over time and not become shallow. Turn from your ‘screens’, so they don’t become the only way you communicate. Talk with each other; smile, laugh and, find real joy in each other’s company. Generate a marriage for life, and not a wedding for just a day.