Marriage

Your Friends are Your Foundation… Love Them for Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and Health,’Til Parted by Death

My foundation (minus a few key players)...

My foundation (minus a few key players)...

I never had a bachelorette party. Perhaps it’s because I eloped and the party was a casualty of that decision, or maybe it’s because I didn’t want one. Either way, I’m on my back from Nashville, fifteen years after our engagement, fourteen years after we tied the knot, and about eight years after having our first child. Totally left my husband and kids to fend for themselves... Good thing my hus is perfectly capable of parenting without me. But, this wasn’t my bachelorette party, it was a weekend away with a few close friends; all of whom needed a fucking break from their current reality. All of whom have been married over ten years, lived a whole lot of life and wanted some time to play and rejuvenate.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a bachelorette party is “a party for a woman who is going to get married, to which only her female friends are invited.” Honestly? That’s bullshit. Because, these parties should be for any and all who have dared to live and love even a little bit, married, engaged or single. You don’t have to be getting married to celebrate friendship and have some much needed time with your close girlfriends (and guy-friends too). Because with living and loving, there comes a price; a tax; a toll simply for having the balls to show up and participate, IF you actually dare to give your life everything you've got, and more. And for that kind of hustle, we should celebrate! Right? Fuck yeah! But, this trip? What I think we were really celebrating? Our friendship. Our foundation. Our fearlessness. Because when you allow somebody into your fucked up little world, and they don’t run away screaming, that’s totally grounds for celebration.

We’re celebrating the girls that get us through the day; the girls who understand our ups and downs. These are the girls who get us without strings attached and without judgement, even on our worst day (and trust me, once you get through your wedding and onto the next stage of your relationship with your sig other, you definitely don’t want anybody in your life who judges you!!). Now, ask yourself, bridey, as you prepare for your bachelorette, wedding, etc.… Are these your friends? Are these the girls (guys) you have in your life right now? Because if not, call bullshit and get rid of them. Because they will not enhance your life or your party, instead, they will suck the life out of you and your party.

I’ve touched on this previously, but it's worth mentioning again... These friends are the girls (or guys) standing with you on your wedding day. These are the girls (or guys) who have probably held your hair when you've had too much to drink. These are the girls who are wholeheartedly happy for you, and want the true you. They are happy when you are happy. They are sad when you’re sad. But, no matter what, they are there for you, and that alone is the real treat. Your wedding is only the beginning. It’s not just about you and hus, it’s about shoring up the foundations of the people who support you so that you can love in sickness and health, for better or worse... Celebrate your foundation. Don’t take it for granted and don’t stop celebrating. 

Bridey, if your marriage falls apart, your foundation will be there for you. Don’t lose it, nurture it as hard as you nurture you marriage. Got it? Good! Now, where’s that penis straw?

Image via the woman sitting in front of us at the CMA's!!

***FLASHBACK*** Later to Launch? Why Couples Should Get Married Later...

So, the other day, I felt like a total adult. Like, so adulty, that it made me feel uncomfortable. Why? Well, my hus and I took a long overdue trip to the attorney's office to sign our wills, health care proxies, and other important documents so that we could protect our kids from any additional anguish should the worst case scenario become a reality. Wouldn't you say that I am officially an adult? I know! Right? Ugh. It was a tough day, but necessary!

The reason I'm writing about this? Well, Mr. Attorney said something to me that I couldn't shake in regards to when my kids should have access to their trusts (when we actually have $$ to give them!). He said that age 35 is the new 25. What does that mean? Well, depending on how my kids develop (and who they develop into), giving them access to a decent sum of money without a chaperone (the executor), could be a mistake. I mean... Who's to say that my future, 25 year-old daughter wouldn't blow it on shoes or, gulp, drugs, instead of a wedding or down payment??? Right? When I went to fight him on this point, he said that "kids these days are later to launch..." That phrase totally stopped me (and my argument) dead in my tracks. Why? Because he's right!

I'm in my late 30s, and my parents and most of my friends' parents got married and had kids by 25(ish). Seems totally insane, right? Seriously, I couldn't even imagine having a kid in my 20s, let alone being responsible for his/her well-being! And, when you look at the trend as far as age in relation to weddings these days, people are getting married later in their lives because, they are later to launch! They are leaving their parents homes later, they are settling into their careers later, they are finding love later. So, it makes sense that they are getting married later. And later is better for a lot of reasons. Why?

1. You're done weeding. Huh? You're done weeding out the bullshit. You've dated and dated, and now you know what you want. Gone are the days of sowing oats... Now, you're aged to perfection, and you only want one oat to sow.

2. In the same way you know what you want in a partner, you have a better understanding of what your wedding will look like. More of what you want, less of what other people want, and most likely, more of your own money. You begin to think practically and take responsibility for that practicality.

3. Perspective. Yup! My favorite word. You care more about the person you're going to marry, and your life after the wedding, than the wedding itself. I mean, you're excited about your wedding day, but it's not the only day you will look back on fondly... Especially when you have your whole lives to look forward to!

4. It's not your parent's wedding, it's yours, and the people on the "A" list are on the only list. Not to mention, they actually want to be there. An added bonus? You know everybody who's coming. 

5. You're used to yourself, and you like who you've become. No more "faking it until you make it". Or settling. You'd rather be alone than settle for the wrong dude (or lady).

So, later to launch...? Okay Mr. Attorney, I understand what you're saying, and now that I've had time to let it marinate, I'm going to rest my case.

Image via marie claire

**Flashback ** ~ 7 Reasons Why Couples Divorce and How to Overcome Them...

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