One of the saddest, most prevalent things I see in pre-marital counseling, in couples that are dating and considering marriage, is that they many times, plan a BIG wedding, with a considerable investment, but will invest almost nothing in comparison, in a BIG marriage.
The romantic aspect of a wedding and its memories, albums, videos, and more, in many instances overshadow the hard work it takes to build a solid relationship. That’s why a lot of couples at best, opt for the obligatory “pre-marital” counseling at their church, which is usually nothing more than a compatibility exercise. And after all, we believe that he/she is the ONE. The planets converged, and we found each other. Then… DESTINATION: WEDDING. A destination, and then… we live happily ever after, that’s how the story goes.
Unfortunately the 50% or so divorce rate doesn’t support that fantasy. Marriage is not a destination, the wedding is merely the beginning of a life long journey that in many many cases ends in a few years. I wonder who would buy the “Destination Marriage” package, in contrast?
In his article; “My Marriage Wasn’t Meant to Be” by Matt Walsh, he exposes the erroneous foundation of this phenomenon.
“We think that our task is to find this preordained partner and marry them because, after all, they’re “The One.” They were designed for us, for us and only us. It’s “written in the stars, prescribed in the cosmos, commanded by God or Mother Earth”. There are six or seven billion people in the world, but only one of them is the right one, we think, and we’ll stay single until we happen to stumble into them one day.
And when that day happens, when The One — our soul mate, our match, our spirit-twin — comes barreling into our lives to whisk us off our feet and take us on canoe rides and deliver impassioned romantic monologues on a beach in the rain or in a bus station or whatever, then we’ll finally be “happy”, (DESTINATION). Happy until the end of time. We can get married and have a perfect union; a Facebook Photo Marriage, where every day is like an Instagram of you and your spouse wearing comfortable socks and sitting next to the fireplace drinking Starbucks lattes.
Yeah. About that. It’s bull crap, sorry. Not just silly, frivolous bull crap, but bull crap that will destroy you and eat your marriage alive from the inside. It’s a lie. A vicious, cynical lie that leads only to disappointment and confusion. The Marriage of Destiny is a facade, but the good news is that Real Marriage is something so much more loving, joyful, and true.
We’ve got it all backwards, you see. I didn’t marry my wife because she’s The One, she’s The One because I married her. Until we were married, she was one, I was one, and we were both one of many. I didn’t marry The One, I married this one, and the two of us became one. I didn’t marry her because I was “meant to be with her,” I married her because that was my choice, and it was her choice, and the Sacrament of marriage is that choice. I married her because I love her — I chose to love her — and I chose to live the rest of my life in service to her.
We were not following a script, we chose to write our own, and it’s a story that contains more love and happiness than any romantic fable ever conjured up by Hollywood.
Indeed, marriage is a decision, not the inevitable result of unseen forces outside of our control. When we got married, the pastor asked us if we had “come here freely.” If I had said, “well, not really, you see destiny drew us together,” that would have brought the evening to an abrupt and unpleasant end. Marriage has to be a free choice or it is not a marriage. That’s a beautiful thing, really.”
The “Destination”, is committing myself to another person for a lifetime, for better or worse. I have personally witnessed weddings, (marriage ceremonies), that were upwards of $100,000 and the marriages ended in 2 years. Should we not have a destination wedding?… not the point. The point is, will you invest whatever it takes in a relationship to ensure that your marriage will last that lifetime?
To read a real life story of a couple who did this click here: https://bill-hoffman.com/2020/01/09/single-dating-marriage-and-beyond/