Oh dear. Someone actually said that, and people are actually arguing about the veracity of the statement. Check out this Yahoo! Shine story for the full details.
What saddens me, beyond the (truly pathetic) context in which this statement was uttered, is the fact even if you and I don’t believe what she said, we probably have some other unfortunate misconceptions about marriage (and weddings). Here are four of the ones I believed:
1. There is a “one” and I have to find him: Newsflash, there’s no “one”. That perfect soulmate, the one that completes you, the one that makes your world make sense… (are you even listening to yourself right now?!) There is no perfect mate. It’s fine to have your list, and you should have some non-negotiable attributes you want in a mate, but here’s the real deal: Whoever you choose to marry becomes “the one”. They are all you get anyway, so make it work. You didn’t pick the “non-one” just because the person you married has shed their dating skin and is now fully un-camouflaged. It just means you’re finally seeing the real person you married– warts and all. You have annoying/disturbing/selfish tendencies, too, you know? Learn to laugh at your expectations of the perfect spouse, then roll up your sleeves and get to work making your marriage thrive.
2. If we date long enough, I can be sure they’ll be no surprises in marriage: You can think that if you want, but dating is all about putting your best foot forward. Think about it, when you went on a date and the guy picked his nose at the dinner table, or the girl talked endlessly about her collection of shoes, you walked away and never called them back. The person you saw again had at least the basic tenets of common decency mastered, and you seemed to jive on so many topics. I’m not saying everyone in the dating pool is out to pull a fast one, but we tend to be on our best behavior when we’re dating– even after we’ve been together for a long time. We minimize the time our significant others spend with our crazy family, we don’t introduce them to our obnoxious friends until we have absolutely no choice, and we never go number 2 at their place. Marriage and the familiarity that it forces puts you in new situations and brings out unexpected reactions from you and your spouse. It’s going to happen; accept it.
3. The purpose of marriage is romance/fulfillment/security/sex/having children: Sadly, if you make your marriage about any of these things you will be sorely disappointed. No one is having as much romance/fulfillment/ security or sex as they thought they would before they got married… And I hate to break it to you but children eventually grow up and leave you. I believe in the Biblical mandate for marriage which is companionship. That’s it! It was not good for man to be alone, so God made him a helper and companion to walk this earth with. How much companionship and friendship is there is your marriage? I’ve found that if I put being a buddy to my hubby first, the other things kinda fall into place. It’s hard to totally ignore the feelings and desires of your best friend, right?
4. Marriage counseling is for people with weird issues: Reality check! We ALL have issues. And putting two people who grew up in different homes, with different parents, and who went through different situations together under one roof is going to bring lots of issues to light. While I strongly believe that you have to work at making your marriage work, I do not believe you have to do it alone, or feel ashamed that you have problems that are bigger than the two of you. GET HELP! It’s out there for a reason. There are people smarter than you, who have been married longer, who have studied and worked with many couples, who have wisdom they can share with you and light that they can shine into the dark places of your marriage. (While we’re on the subject— get pre-marriage counseling, too! I did pre-marriage counseling twice, before I married my husband… yes, we had plenty of issues to work out, but we’re still reaping the benefits today!) If you are dealing with thorny problems, not communicating properly, having a recurring sin issue in your marriage, etc.– please reach out. I personally support New Life Ministries because I believe in the healing work that they do for singles and married people.
and here’s a freebie– Weddings are not to make money for your future. They are to solemnize the covenant you are making to your spouse, and to celebrate your new life with family and friends. If you need money for your future, go get a job.
Do you agree with me? What other misconceptions and myths are out there? What other truths do you think should be discussed?