Wednesday, April 6, 2011
It's supposed to be the happiest time of your life.
So what happens when it isn't?
One of the biggest things I struggled with during my wedding planning process was the deterioration of my parents' marriage. It's certainly not inspiring to watch your parents' marriage fall by the wayside as you're preparing for your own.
One of my readers sent me an email about this very topic. She's planning her wedding and is watching her parents' marriage crumble. She asked me how I dealt with this. It's a good question. My parents' situation definitely robbed me of alot of joy during the wedding planning process. I found it difficult to be joyful and happy when they were so sad. It was a daily struggle for me. I wish there were an easier answer, but the only one I can give is to lean on your husband/wife and focus on preparing for your marriage. Because the truth is, your marriage will not necessarily end up like your parents' did.
It's always in the back of your mind. Am I going to end up like Mom and Dad? Have they somehow transferred the divorce gene to me? Many of those thoughts crossed my mind as I prepared to get married. Was I afraid? Absolutely. More so because of what I had seen with my parents? Heck, yes!
But I will say this: I think I will benefit from my parents' divorce. That may sound like a weird thing to say. Some of you may be asking, How will you benefit from your parents separating forever? You're right...there are many ways in which I won't benefit. But one area in which I will benefit is my own marriage. Unlike many people my age, I've seen firsthand what happens when you stop communicating and allow unresolved issues to remain in your marriage. I've watched it happen and I know the warning signs. Does that mean my husband & I are going to have the most amazing marriage ever and never have problems? Ha. If only! But we definitely have a head start at a better marriage because of it.
Like anything else in life, you have to fight for joy during your wedding. You have to keep yourself focused on you and your fiance. Because this process is about you. For so long my parents' problems were all about them. Everything related back to how they were feeling, managing, etc. But I made the mistake of forgetting that my wedding was not about them. So I let their issues seep into the planning. It does happen and it's not easy to avoid, but the more you can focus on you, the better.
It's also important to remember not to place alot of emphasis on the wedding day. Yes, it's important, but your marriage is so much more important. Even if the planning process and the wedding day isn't what you expect (and who expects your parents to be getting a divorce right when you're planning for your wedding), remember that the rest of your life lies ahead of you. Remember that the key to making a marriage work isn't how much fun your wedding day was or how beautiful you both looked. The key is communication.
The difficulty planning my wedding because of my parents is something I still struggle with and quite frankly, need to get over. Yes, some of my joy was taken from me. But I have so many more things to look forward to with my husband. Our life should not revolve around the past. I must look forward to the future. And embrace it.