The other day, I ran into a groom whose wedding I had planned 8-9 years ago. Once it registered who I was, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Christin and I are still married!" After nearly choking on my gum, I said, "Good! You two were one of the good ones!" He thanked me and then asked, "You must wonder about that a lot... Like, if couples you've worked with are still married?" Another jaw dropping moment for me... But, yes, I do... ALL THE TIME! So, following a few pleasantries, chatting about our kids, etc. we parted ways, but I couldn't shake what he said to me. I mean... It's a perfectly valid question considering the shitty wedding statistics, right? Bridey, as you embark on the biggest day of your life leading up to your future, let's talk about how to over come the dismal marriage statistics, shall we?
Bridey, the truth is that one out of every TWO marriages fail. Um, that's 50%! Holy shit, right? Pretty grim stats! I mean... We spend all of this time and energy dating, obsessing and finally committing, thinking we finally found the right one, and then BOOM! A few years after the wedding (that I worked my ass off planning), divorce. WHY? What changes after the wedding that didn't present itself before you said "I do"? Or better yet... Maybe nothing changed, and the little red flags were there the whole time.
Here are a few well known reasons why couples divorce and my ideas on how to overcome them before you walk down the aisle:
1. Lack of communication. This one always baffles me. Do you communicate now? Yes? Good! Well, then keep communicating. Not communicating so well? Then fight it out if you have to! Yell it out! Scream it out! But, no matter what, bridey, get it out! If something is on your mind, then do something about it! Shockingly, this tends to come easily for me, as I am a bit of a loud mouth, and the people in my life always know where they stand, but you don't have to be a loud mouth to communicate. Just do it, bridey. In your own way. Sometimes it's as simple as an email outlining how you feel. Hide behind the screen if it helps you tell your partner how you feel. Who cares how you do it, but just get it out there! Because if you're starting your marriage with shattered lines of communication, then ultimately? You'll be communicating via attorney after the wedding.
2. Cheating. Why? I know I sound naïve when I say this, but WHY cheat? Seriously, besides the fact that cheating is the most cowardly, selfish and insensitive thing a person can do to somebody that they supposedly love, it's breaking the ultimate bond; the sanctity of marriage. A bond which both parties are about to knowingly enter into. So, keep your junk in your pants, and get in touch with why the urge to cheat is present in the first place. Bridey, if cheating is something that you're currently dealing with, then I highly suggest adjusting your focus from choosing your linen colors to reexamining your choice in partner.
3. Money. There's a shocker. Right? People fighting about money? I think it's so sad how money has the power to make things weird and cause friction between people. And yet, it totally does! Throw in the differences in your spending (or saving) habits, then the whole money thing can definitely contribute to the great divide. Why people aren't up front with their expectations, money wise, astounds me. Bridey, you're about to spend a shitload of cash on your wedding, but, when it comes to the everyday stuff like bills, and groceries, etc., you argue. For the love of God, start having REAL conversations about money before you get married! If one of you likes to shop, and one of you likes to penny pinch, this could be a real problem, so figure it out now or allocate a portion of your salary to your divorce attorney.
4. The "we" is killing you. There's no "I" in "we". Bridey, you've lost your sense of self, and you're feeling the ramifications. It's really hard not to lose a piece of yourself when deeply ensconced with another person, but... TRY. Don't let go of your friends simply because you found "the one". Don't forget about the hobbies you enjoyed prior to getting into a relationship. Don't forget who you were before the rock! You're a big girl... You don't always need to do couple things. So, loosen your grip on "we", and focus on "me" every now and again.
5. Sex. Or, lackthereof. Do I really need to say more? Just do something about it. This is the easiest fix on the list.
6. Lack of effort. Um, you have to work at maintaining a healthy relationship. And, sometimes? It's fucking hard. We all fall into ruts, but it's how we dig ourselves out of the rut that counts. Bridey, put you're heart into your relationship in the same way you're putting your heart into your wedding plans. You gotta work at it... Period.
7. Wrong partner. I'm about to tell you something you already know, bridey. He/she isn't "the one", and you know it. So, quit fucking around... It's not going to get better, so get out before you waste time and money getting married.
Sadly, I could go on and on, but why bother? Bottom line, if it doesn't feel right, then quit while your ahead... OF THE WEDDING!
Image via GCSE Religious Studies