Rather Listen to this blog post?
I was stunned. Blinded by love
Four months earlier I’d officiated for a really awesome, gentle and (here’s a somewhat old-fashioned word) lovely couple. They were all aglow on their wedding day, rosy-cheeked and grinning. They looked elegant and certain.
A few days ago an email from the groom laid out that after 2 months of marriage these two got into one hell of an argument. Nastiness ensued. Immediately she pulled away, and reportedly, didn’t want to go for counseling. I don’t know how the request for help was presented (I only know one side of the story). But what happened next — he caught her with another man.
He filed for divorce. Their eight-year relationship crumbled.
The Dr. Phil in my head shouted, “You haven’t earned the RIGHT to get divorced yet!”
Maybe I’m making this up. BUT what engaged, in love, swamped-by-the-emotional-relief of finding the “right person” couples tell themselves may not be real. They’re in the throws of these emotions that convince them, “We’re different from everyone else who’s gotten married. We’ll be able to handle any problem that comes along. We love each other too much to have big obstacles get in our way.”
With the lovely couple, I’m pretty sure that’s what they’d told themselves, especially after eight years together.
What Could I Have Done?
Still, the stunned officiant in me wondered if there might have been something I could’ve done to prevent their demise from happening. Nipped something in the bud perhaps? Helped point out the red flags their good intentions avoided looking at?
After all, I look for fun-loving couples!
Fortunately life has taught me that there’s no making choices for anyone else but myself. Yes, it’s seductive to think we’re responsible for the way someone else feels. After all, didn’t Mom or Dad make us feel our grades made them happy or mad? Not cleaning our rooms meant nothing or caused lingering angry exchanges between us?
We Can’t Make Anyone Do Anything
We’ve learned that sometimes we can persuade someone one way or the other. But in the end, we really can’t make anyone do anything, anymore than someone else can hand that credit card over to purchase something we don’t really need.
We do that all on our own.
The only way I really know to circumvent disaster is to make myself STOP and get quiet. Be brave enough to know NOT NOW is not the same as NEVER.
Being in the throws of engaged love usually is NOT quiet. It’s exciting. Blinding. Fun. Assuring. Take note of the word “blinding”. It often wants to consummate itself NOW. (Do I see any cyber nodding of heads and see dreamy smiles on faces????)
Since I use the old-fashioned word “lovely” I’m going to suggest another old-fashioned word or two: “premarital counseling.” It’s code for “prepared for the hard parts and more appreciative of the good parts of marriage.”
In my officiant business I have an extensive program for premarital coaching. And it’s not cheap because it’s an investment of time and thought, it’s meaningfully interactive and original. Every couple (except for an elopement) has access to at least one conversation-starting, issue identifying pre-marital prep topic of their choice. The option is included in their ceremony package.
It’s NOT required because if it were, I’d rarely get to officiate for anyone.
However, 95% of couples do not take me up on the offer even though it’s free. After years of gently warning couples they might want to make sure they aren’t making assumptions about each other’s beliefs, values and histories, coaching is mostly a no go.
Could I have helped my toppled lovely couple by requiring they get coaching before marriage? Then they wouldn’t have to confront the choices that led them into a short-lived marriage. I don’t know. But maybe I can help your marriage avoid heart-breaking bumpy roads (not that we can ever avoid ALL of those bumps – some are good for us!) ahead should you choose me for your wedding officiant.
For a look at the topics you can choose from, here’s the link to download the Directory.
Being in Phoenix with a Map of Detroit
Truly I wish I could say this program isn’t necessary. I love believing love can overcome everything. But the truth is, we have a very eschewed definition of love. If you think you’re in Phoenix but you’re looking at a map of Detroit, you’re going to get lost.
Marriage is the great teacher of the shallows and depths of love according to the map we’re following. The question is, who’s brave enough to explore their perceptions of awesomeness and darkness before their blind spots demand we open our love-struck eyes?
One of the best books I ever read on identifying some of those misalignments is Harville Hendrix’s “Keeping the Love You Find.” (There’s a link below to purchase the book and will give me an affiliate bonus). Oprah used to have Dr. Hendrix on her show and he was / is a fabulous teacher.
Love is Even More Awesome When …
Here’s to the very best for you, dear reader. You are fun-loving. Even so, love takes time to mature and grow. Your commitment to love will carry you through whatever life hands you, if you let it. The Universe, God, the Lord, (UGL) however you name that energy, is trying to get your attention. Watch what comes in your path. Listen. Ask. Get quiet. And most of all – be brave.
The Universe has your back. And so do I.
Contact me for a quick chat or consultation. I’d love to find out how I can help you have the ceremony you want AND the marriage you believe in.
Here’s the link to Harville’s fabulous, lovely book. I am an Amazon Affiliate.