Sooo...Do You Want A Marriage? Or Just A Wedding?

Marriage

This. Right. Here. Whenever I even think about tackling this kind of topic, the first thing that I think about are all of the porn addicts I've encountered. What does porn have to do with weddings or marriage? Well, contrary to popular assumption, porn isn't just sexual. Porn is about being caught up in anything to the point where you basically obsess over it. And chile, I have definitely met my fair share of wedding and I-want-a-husband-although-I-don't-have-a-clue-why marriage porn addicts.


Just as with any kind of excessive desire, if you're more interested in preparing for one day (a wedding) than your entire life (a marriage), after the festivities are over and your big white dress is put away, you could wake up one day and wonder what the heck you signed up for (I'm not exaggerating either; I know some married couples who wanted to call it quits right after their honeymoon).

How can you know if this is the path that you're on? If you are totally into having a wedding, but you haven't given actually being married much thought? Read on.

A Wedding Planner Is in the Budget. A Marriage Counselor Is Not.

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It's no secret that I'm a marriage life coach. To tell you the truth, a part of the reason why I'm still single is because of that. It's not that working with troubled couples has jaded me; what it has done is made me so much more realistic about what a marital union requires.

You know what else being a marriage life coach has done? Made me very firm in the fact that if two people want to have a leg up on a successful marriage, they need to get into some serious—meaning more than three one-hour sessions—premarital counseling. Don't just take my word for it. There are countless studies to support that couples who went to premarital counseling had a 30 percent higher success rate than those who didn't.

I can't tell you how many married couples I've dealt with who somehow found the money for a top-notch wedding planner but claimed they didn't have the resources or the time for premarital counseling. Take heed, y'all. If you're more interested in one day of your life going off without a hitch than getting the tools that you need so that your marriage won't crash and burn, your priorities are out of order. Totally so.

You’ve Read More Fairy Tales than Relationship Books

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Living for the fairy tale. There aren't too many phrases that irk me more. By definition, fairy tales are stories told to children. They are also tales that are totally misleading (look the definition up sometime).

Why should any grown woman be living for a childish lie?

A whole lot of ladies are PISSED in their marriage because they spent more time fantasizing that they were Cinderella and their husband was going to be Prince Charming. One problem with that is the story is make-believe. Another is you have absolutely no idea what happened after "…and they lived happily ever after."

You'd do your marriage a far better service if you kept your head out of fairy tales (and rom-coms) and got into some relationship books instead. Off the top of my head, His Needs, Her Needs (Willard F. Harley, Jr.), Sacred Sex: A Spiritual Celebration of Oneness in Marriage (Tim Alan Gardner), Boundaries in Marriage (Cloud/Townsend), The Ten Conversations You Must Have Before You Get Married (Dr. Guy Grenier), Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married (Dr. Gary Chapman) and Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? (Gary Thomas) are some good reality check ones.

Your Dream Wedding Plans Have NOTHING to Do with the Groom

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Even if you don't want to admit it to your friends, I'm pretty sure you've seen at least one episode of WE tv's Bridezillas before. If there's a signature liner that comes from almost every bride-to-be on theirs mouth is "It's MY day!" Unfortunately, there's an epidemic of women who feel like even though a wedding ceremony is about two people joining their lives together, the wedding décor and festivities should only get their vote. That's simply not true.

Here's the exception to what I just said—If you happen to end up with a man who says out of his own mouth that he couldn't care less about the color scheme, food and music, then do you, girl. But if when you think about your dream wedding, the only role that the groom plays is "insert man here", that's not only a flag that you're probably more into your wedding than you're marriage, but you have a high propensity for thinking he shouldn't have much of a voice following your nuptials too.

This brings me to my next point.

You Know What Makes You a Great Bride, Not What Makes You a Good Wife

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If someone were to ask me about one of the biggest mistakes that I see women make in their marriage, it's not accepting the fact that they are a bride for a day. After that, they are a wife. Ask any wife who takes her marriage seriously and she'll tell you that being a good wife (just like being a good husband) requires a lot of dedication, faith and consistency. In fact, one of my running statements is "Marriage requires so much that women deserve an entire day-long party!"

If when you think about getting married, all that really comes to mind is how beautiful you want to be on your wedding day, how everyone should be at your beck and call and nothing more…yeah, do some pondering about that. A bride and a virgin have a lot in common in the sense that it only takes a few moments for that "status" to change over into something else.

After a day of being a bride…then what?

You’re More Interested in Having a Perfect Day than a Healthy Relationship

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I like wedding videos just as much as the next gal (one of my favorites continues to be the young man who planned his wife's entire wedding without her knowledge; watch it here). At the same time, while checking out a clip of Steve Harvey interviewing some married couples recently, there are two things that stood out to me.

One husband said, "A lot of people say, 'I do' but what they really mean is 'I'll try'." (Indeed. Just think of how many people would not get married if getting a divorce was against the law. So many say "I do" with an escape clause in mind.) Another husband said, "The truth of the matter is, everyone you're attracted to, you're not compatible with. You might be attracted to the way that they look, but that doesn't mean you can live with them." Right again. Far too many people don't give their spouse too much thought beyond who would be a great sex partner and will look awesome in their wedding photos. Not good. Not good at all.

This Entire Article Totally Offended You

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Have you ever visited a church for the first time, heard a sermon and then got offended because you felt like the pastor was totally calling you out, even though he didn't even know you? Along those same lines, if you read all of this and you're low key pissed, remember that I can't see who's on the other side of my computer screen. So, if it bothered you, maybe there's some merit to it.

At the end of the day, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong about dreaming about having a perfect wedding. All I'm saying is there's a ton of folks who had a beautiful wedding day but, because they didn't give life after their honeymoon much thought, they are now divorced.

It would be a shame to have a flawless wedding followed by a doomed marriage, so please make it a point to invest in both. I'd say about 70/30 split (in favor of your marriage) would be wise.

If you're tempted to give me push back on this, read the article all over again, please.

Featured image by Getty Images

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Michael Ealy On Why You Should Live With Your Partner Before Marriage

I Do's And Dont's: A Wedding Planner Emailed Outrageous Guest Demands

Anthony & Sopha Rush Talk Celibacy, Courtship, And Marriage In Our First Year

Taraji P. Henson Won't Be Wearing White In Her Wedding

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