COUPLES OFTEN SPEND MORE TIME PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING, WHICH ONLY LASTS A FEW HOURS, THAN FOR THEIR MARRIAGE, WHICH, THEORETICALLY, SHOULD LAST A LIFETIME.
I’m not married, but I surely know many things about keeping marriage for a lifetime. As the owner and designer of Ellebay Bridal, there are few times bride-to-be’s and groom-to-be’s came in just to talk to me REGARDING their doubts and stress preparing for their wedding. I am not just designing and making dresses for bride-to-bes, nor just selling dresses, but also sit down with them for hours giving insight to those who approach me for advice.
Consider for a moment, Romeo and Juliet, the famous couple who fell passionately in love and vowed eternal commitment . Theirs is a classic-tale of romance and courtship; but would their marriage have been so idyllic? Did these young lovers ever discuss where they would live, money,children, sex, religion, or their in-law’s problem?
We are left to speculate on these questions because the marriage of Romeo and Juliet ends briefly and tragically. Sadly, so do many modern marriages where couples have neglected to discuss such vital issues beforehand.
“The one problem most common to premarital couples is that their idealistic”, says Dr. David Olson, If there are problems, they don’t see them; if they do, they try to deny their existence, or assume they will go away once they are married.
To combat this distorting idealism and bring important questions to the attention of couples planning to marry, PREPARE.
PREPARE is administered through counsellor, priest, rabbis, and ministers. Under the counsellor’s direction, couples who take PREPARE must individually complete a questionnaire to asses his or her attitudes in eleven areas such as; communication, sexual relationships, conflict resolution, financial management,realistic expectations, religious orientation, equalitarian roles, family and friends, children and marriage, personal issues, and leisure activities. The counsellor then seek out potential problem areas by reviewing on the questionnaire where the couple’s answers do not jibe. For example; even if both partners agree that they have a problem with financial management, the counsellor does not dwell on this issue. He knows that the couple recognizes the difficulty and is working to resolve it. In contrast, when one partner believes that their financial management is good, and the other rates as poor, a true problem exists.
Some couples are defensive , finding it difficult to admit their differences. According to Dr. Olson, they will claim that they misread the question or change their mind. All Prepare does is summarize what they’ve said about their relationship. After a while they say, I guess that’s right, I just afraid to admit it. It’s hard to tell your partner that there are things about him or her you don’t like. It’s like opening a can of worms. But once that has been said, they have to talk about it and deal with it.
Idealism, is only one part of a problem that premarital couples face. A common results of overly ideal expectations is that couples simply do not spend enough time day-to-day working to improve their relationship. Simple because they’re busy on their own individual activities. In fact, they often spend more time preparing for the wedding, which only lasts a few hours, than they do for their marriage, which, theoretically, should last for a lifetime.
PREPARE cannot guarantee to suit all couples, nor predict whether your marriage will be successful, nor it should be used as the sole criteria in determining whether or nor you should marry.
Next issue, I will write about YOUR WEDDING TRAUMA OR TRIUMPH?
Whether you call it premarital tension, wedding jitters, or engagement stress, nuptial phobia__fear of the wedding___can be as much as part of getting married as having a blood test. STAY TUNE!!! Merly Bayona