Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Weddings, and Marriage.

I suppose because Spring is soon upon us, and the wedding season will begin in earnest, I woke up thinking about the subject of weddings today.

I have considerable experience of the process of course, having been married three times, with two divorces behind me. But those failures also imply I may not know what I am talking about.

I get that.

So the following is just a personal opinion, and as always, just ‘thinking aloud’.

Things to think about.

Just because you get on really well now, don’t expect that marriage will just make that even better. In many cases, it changes relationships beyond all comprehension. You can wake up the day after the wedding, and wonder who that person next to you really is.

Just because you might have been cohabiting happily for a long time, perhaps even already have children together, don’t expect marriage to seal that deal, and add a certain something to what you already enjoy. There is a very good chance that it will have the opposite effect entirely.

Don’t spend a fortune on your big day. People can spend thousands, as much as Β£40,000, even more, on a wedding these days. That one day is just not worth it, believe me. That money could have been put to so many better uses. And within a few months, you will probably never watch that expensive video again, or even look at the photographs. (This advice is undoubtedly too late, as by now you will have almost certainly booked everything)

Seriously consider not getting married at all. There are so many different reasons why people get married. Commitment, security, tradition, excitement, stability, and more. But if you already have all of that, then that one day in a church, registry office, or a nice hotel won’t make any difference at all. Whatever you think now.

But you are going to ignore my advice, I know that. You will get married anyway, because it will be different for you. You won’t make the same mistakes others did. You have a fresh approach to marriage, and you will make it work. Yours will never end in divorce. You will have 2 point 4 children, be happy and fulfilled, and you will celebrate your Diamond wedding anniversary surrounded by your family and friends. I hope that’s true, and I wish you luck with that.

Some tips.

If you are determined to carry on with the plans to marry, take it seriously. It’s not a game, and will change your life in ways you never anticipated.

Don’t just think about compromise, be sure to compromise. If you don’t, it will end badly.

Remember that you don’t exist just as a couple. You are two people, very different people. Never forget that.

If you are going to bother to get married, don’t put your family before the person you marry. By marrying him or her, you have made them the most important part of your family, even if you didn’t realise that was going to happen.

I wish you all well. Bride and Groom, Groom and Groom, Bride and Bride. Whichever combination works for you.

Just don’t expect miracles. Because they don’t exist.

73 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. I have been married for 7 1/2 years. Sometimes it is wonderful, sometimes it is terrible. Ha ha! Honestly though having a child with someone bonds you to their life way more than marriage ever could. Being married is a sort of formality that can be dissolved but a child is a whole other level of commitment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have no intention to get married Pete! The only problems arise when buying cards (I’m too old to have a boyfriend, partner sounds like we run a business together) and if one of us dies then the other will be presumably left with nothing or involved in some protracted legal dispute. Apart from that, it’s well worth having saved around Β£20k and we both enjoy knowing that we’re both free to leave the relationship at any time – we choose to be together rather than being stuck with one another ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This got me thinking of my girlfriend who has been married 5 times – and the last one was not her top choice. But she hung in and they are good (over 20 years). But it was convenience and money as a motive. (Right now they are in Mexico where they go every year) (he’s had a yacht then a jet now a motorcoach)
    As for expensive weddings, what fools people can be.
    Herb and I were married by a lady justice of the peace on a beautiful cove with eagles; my friend made my regalia dress which was perfect, and we bought dinner for my three women friends who attended, one as a photog and the other as witness. It cost maybe $200 all total.
    This is our 15th year, still crazy in love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wasn’t at all sure how to comment on this post yesterday. I am still not sure. I too have have two failed marriages and am 20+ years into a third. I suppose it is way to early to ask if it will last, but then no one has asked. Thinking about the alternatives to marriage, I can not see any that would not have drawbacks or problems, so the issue becomes not what is wrong with the (a?) marriage, but what is it that is causing me or my spouse to view our marriage as having problems? But, if a person’s current situation is causing them to have issues, then you are spot on, marriage will not resolve those issues. A year or so, my friend, Ed, told me one morning at breakfast that he and Tom after a 35 year long co-habitation, were getting married that afternoon. It may well be, it was just something to mark the 35th Anniversary of their getting together. I suspect it was because the laws finally caught up to them and permitted it. So, after all that writing, I still do not know how to respond.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

        1. In the modern world, it is no longer so important to get married just because you are having children together. But if you decide that you want to, you have to do it for lots of reasons, not just children. I am pleased to hear that you are thinking carefully about the subject. πŸ™‚
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Pete πŸ™‚ Sadly, it seems that people are naive enough to believe that their marriage will be like their pre-maritial relationship. This is not how things work. I love your advice and I have taken your advice of “not getting married” long before you wrote this blog post. Relationships are fine, but marriage is just a whole different ballgame. It is best to just avoid marriage altogether. Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with all of your advice here, especially about not spending all the money on the wedding. As you know, we married for religious reasons. Here also legal marriage entitles one to insurance and social security benefits which are certainly helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know many people marry for religious reasons, including a lot of Catholics. I had my first wedding in a United Reformed Church. That was because her father was a religious man. We told the minister that neither of us believed in a God, but she agreed to marry us, “In the spirit of community”. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is quite amazing how many people still want to get married ‘properly’ even with a house bought together and four children they have a white wedding! I think the main reason for getting married is a plan or hope to have children – for the simple reason of all having the same name! Other reasons could be to get married quarters. I agree heartily, don’t spend BIG money and my mother’s words of wisdom for the ladies – Never marry a man expecting to change him! I wanted children, have never regretted it, but don’t be afraid to say to the world We Don’t Want Kids. It is the big unknown and it could go horribly wrong. If the expected child wonder turns out to be seriously handicapped or has a syndrome impossible to cope with it will probably destroy your marriage and perhaps your life. On that cheerful note we have been married 42 years, 1 son and daughter married with children while son no 2 shares a pyrotechnic business with his girlfriend! There’s no secret to ours – just a total lack of career ambition and enjoying being at home. Don’t WORK at marriage, just have fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great to hear how well your own experience turned out, Janet. I am all for ‘success stories’ about marriage. πŸ™‚
      I never wanted children, so didn’t have any. Then I got married to someone with four, and ended up with four step-children! Funny how life turns out…
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. My first marriage went tits up a year after I had my son, amazing how you think you know someone and then you don’t! Phil and I lived together for a few years and marriage was more a safety thing for me so if he snuffs it first I get the house! 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  9. As I told a friend once: “marriage is something you’ll only do 5 or 6 times in life, so get it right!” Seriously, here in the US we see celebrities get engaged and married within weeks of knowing each other – it’s no more serious than a new hotspot that you frequent for a few months until its time to find another one…good advice Pete

    Liked by 4 people

      1. It certainly worked out for Mary and me. This coming week, on March 5th, we’ll have the 21st anniversary of “meeting” each other – at that time on the Internet in a mailing-list for teachers.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. My thoughts:
    (1) Compromise results in two unhappy campers. Better to alternate decisions. She-2/He-1/She-2/He-1.
    (2) Couples with 2.4 children have discovered that only two of their children have a great self-image.
    (3) Marital bliss comes to those who have a drive-thru wedding in Vegas. You can bet on that!
    (4) “Bride and Groom, Groom and Groom, Bride and Bride.” Why limit your choices to just those three?
    (5) “You are two people.” Yes, but being bipolar is only okay for the “better half.”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Maggie said it best. “If you do marry, cling tight to who you are going in or else be at risk for losing yourself. I agree strongly with your words about there being no couple, only two people. Maintaining individual interests and time for yourself is critical.”

    Jim and I are approaching our one year anniversary after my 26 years of being divorced from my children’s father. We will be celebrating our honeymoon, finally, in Kauai.

    To add to it all, friendship and respect will see a couple through. Oh, and low expectations. I don’t rely on Jim to make me happy, if I did, I would be regularly disappointed. I make myself happy and his companionship is a warm glow. Good enough!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Cindy. Happy to hear that it is working out for you and Jim.
      I am very envious of Hawaii as a honeymoon destination, though we did have a wonderful week in Marrakesh. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Enjoy Hawaii for your honeymoon, Cindy! We had been considering Hawaii or Alaska for our upcoming tenth anniversary, and finally decided on Alaska. Hawaii will have to wait – maybe till or 15th?

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Ahhh, I, too, am coasting in on number three. This one has worked for almost 23 years, but we knew going in we were going to make it work, or else why bother. None of mine were lavish ceremonies as that kind of money just did not exist for me.

    To your advice, I would add, examine your motives for getting married. If you think a ring will stop a wandering eye or worse, it will not. If you think you can change someone, you cannot, and if you think love conquers all, well, it does not. And biggest of all β€” spare the children. Don’t have them out of the gate. Children, as much as you may love them, demand and change everything.

    If you do marry, cling tight to who you are going in or else be at risk for losing yourself. I agree strongly with your words about there being no couple, only two people. Maintaining individual interests and time for yourself is critical.

    All that being said, I am quite happily married having put in the work. It does not happen any other way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to hear that things are working out for you on the third try, Maggie. Julie and I have been together for almost 19 years, and married for close to 10 of those. I always think of it as a ‘work in progress’. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Marriage is hard work. But, you are right in saying no one will listen to your warnings about the wedding and the committment required to make things work after the ‘big day’. Everyone has to make their own mistakes.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Very good advice! In my case not recognizing him for who I believed he was happened 10 days after, the marriage ended in 5 years, 2 months, 2 days. 37 years ago, yesterday. You are right, too, that miracles do not make a marriage work, people do. And only one cannot do for both. Not easy to find a person who understands that, or that happiness can exist together and apart.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Wise words Pete, thankfully as a Yorkshireman I never spent a penny on either of mine, in fact its quite possible we made a profit on the second one. The tradition in Poland is not for gifts but envelopes. Given we had the wedding at the house, as we were still building it, we saved a bob or two on a venue. One of our neighbours killed a pig for us and the great weather was free of charge πŸ™‚
    Mind you we didn’t get married in church, so to many of the guests we aren’t married, so I guess we have the best of both worlds πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

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