The reporter congratulated the couple and asked: “How much did it all cost?” He answered, “Well, my part was more than $30,000, but her parents helped with the rest.” He then added: “Was it worth it?” His answer said it all: “It was her dream, so from that point of view it’s important.” Thank goodness the bride didn’t hear. She was on the other side of the room greeting guests.
Let me make myself clear: I’m not against couples spending whatever they want on their wedding day. Everyone does whatever they wish with their money. I’ve spoken about that before. Today I want to speak about the myth of marriage versus the reality.
The myth is illustrated by the very wedding day. All that investment on one day, to immortalize the moment, get great pictures and a good video, just to illustrate the myth “they lived happily ever after,” picturesquely. The groom has this fantasy, though it’s usually the bride, (sorry ladies,) that marriage is actually all the things they write on the inside of wedding cards that come with the gift. “You were made for each other.” “May all your days be full of love, peace and harmony.” That’s all very romantic, but reality can strike as soon as the morning of the honeymoon.
What intrigues me most is how they don’t talk about the rough days of marriage out there. Marriage is hard work and there will be days – weeks, months, or years – of difficulty. You have to know this beforehand because those who enter marriage thinking of Disney movies will wake up next to a frog one day.
Ask any mature couple, who is now happy and well-adjusted, if they didn’t have their years in the desert. Cristiane and I finally adjusted 12 years after getting married! I think about the couples who give up the first five, seven, ten years of marriage – or who are still married but contemplate divorce. They abandon ship at the sight of the first storm because they expected breezes and sunny days always.
“He doesn’t love me anymore.” She’s not the same.” I love him but I don’t feel anything for him anymore.” (It’s hard to explain this last one, but we hear it a lot.)
Women, when you exchanged vows on the altar and said “For better or for worst,” what did you think “worst” meant?
Men, what’s the point of emptying your bank account to please her on your wedding day and then invest zero time and effort the following years?
Get out of the myth. Enter reality. Happy marriages exist, yes – for those who work on building them.
Keep posted to our Bulletproof Marriage page.