Today in lieu of being at work (which typically is the case on weekends), I had the chance to watch several episodes of Fix My Life on OWN. I was intrigued by the work that Iyanla does with couples. On a particular episode she addressed a couple who had been married 20 years but weren’t sure if they wanted to stay married. Iyanla brought up the point that wedding vows typically say “until death do us part” but they aren’t specific on what type of death warrants parting ways. Is it a physical death? The death of one’s commitment? Or is it the death of one’s individuality or emotional stability and wellbeing? What exactly does it mean? I think that these questions are up to each couple to define. However, I wonder how many couples actually have this type of conversation? It’s easy to promise something when you’re happy and naive but it’s a different story when you’re in the midst of a relational crisis. This is another reason why I think pre-marital counseling can be so important. It can bring up questions that you hadn’t considered before and help you lay a solid foundation for a successful relationship.
Recently I got checked by someone for being too pro-marriage. I have to admit that the hopeless romantic in me loves the idea of forever commitment and love. Today millennials are getting married at older ages and are waiting longer to start families. There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand the idea of commitment. Starter marriages abound and are typically thought of as a stepping stone to finding “the one.” Other than the vows and a few tax breaks, one’s state of mind is really the deciding factor for marriage. There are couples without a “title” who are more committed than others who vowed before hundreds of their friends that they would protect and love each other forever. As much as I like the idea of legally being bound to someone, I think that so much depends on the choice of both individuals to choose to be in a relationship every day. Commitment is great but it doesn’t always require a marriage. There are people who are perfectly content and happy without getting married and it works for them.
I was chatting with an old friend the other day and we were remarking on the practice of fundraising through websites to raise money for weddings. I recognize that weddings aren’t cheap and I’ve met numerous couples who have told me that they aren’t in a financial position to pay for a wedding because of the costs. I’m not knocking creativity by any means but it seems to be in poor taste to ask people to come to your wedding while asking them to pay for it as well. Almost as tactless as telling people to give you cold hard cash instead of gifts. I remember hearing someone say that people don’t care about cost and will go above and beyond their budget when it has to do with a wedding of a funeral. I have a small theory that it’s because both events evoke many types of emotions and rational decisions aren’t always popular. There’s nothing wrong with a request, however it’s important to remember that people aren’t obligated to fulfill your wishes. Let’s be honest, a monetary gift just makes more sense than a blender sometimes. Having a nice wedding is something that many women have dreamed about since being little girls. They already know their color scheme, who will make the cut to be a bridesmaid, and the season and location. Then finally their wish comes true and they finally have a legitimate reason to plan a wedding. I’m not going to lie, I love weddings. People are always so optimistic about life and love and it’s a happy occasion where families and guests have fun together and celebrate the couple’s decisions to (hopefully) spend their lives together. However, it seems that weddings are more for the guests than anything else. The truth of the matter is that a wedding isn’t necessary for a marriage. There are plenty other better investments of time and money that could be made instead of using it on wedding. Yes, it’s sentimental and beautiful but it’s not always practical. And that’s a truth a lot of people won’t admit.