I’m not a psychologist, nor am I a therapist, but I do talk to countless couples getting married and I always ask them: Why are you getting married?
Sometimes couples are surprised by this question. Before I agree to marry someone it is important I have an good idea of where they are coming from, and where they are going. I don’t offer advice. I listen and hope to capture their vision in the ceremony I will create. Most of the answers I get are thoughtful and heartfelt.
I’ve been asked if there have been any people I wouldn’t marry. The answer is: yes. It has only happened a few times in the hundreds of couples I’ve married, and it had to do with controlling or abusive behaviors. But other than that, it is fascinating and uplifting to hear the variety of experiences that are different on the surface but similar at their core. It renews my faith in human beings each time I hear how much two people respect and admire one another.
Of course there are no guarantees. People may say the right things, but there is never any way to know what goes on in private. So I have to trust and take people at the word, and most often I feel nothing but the best from these couples!
The predominant recurring themes I hear speak to being partners; they are two people who make each other better and compliment one another. Whether the couple feels they are exactly the same or completely different, there is something between them that works very well. Yin and yang, the missing piece of the puzzle.
Couples who have been together for a while may have already been through some of life’s ups and down. Rarely have I met a couple that I felt were rushing into things. And the few who have been together a short time seemed to have such strong chemistry and I hope that will carry them through the many years ahead. Some people just know from the start!
My simple question provides an opportunity for couples to think about their decision. What will marriage provide for you? Are you ready to do the work that is required in marriage to make it through the tough times? What is it about your partner that makes you realize you have found your ‘other half’ or the right one?
Reasons NOT to get married are: everyone expects you to, your family is pressuring you, you don’t know how to say ‘no,’ or you always wanted to be a bride.
Marry the person who is good to you and good for you. If you have to make excuses for your partner now, it will not change once you are married.
There is an old saying that ‘marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.’ My twist on that is ‘marriage is not about finding the person you can fix or change into who you want them to be, but finding the person you love and accept for who they are and who loves and accepts you for who you are!
Thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the wonderful photos!