“And they lived happily ever after”. That’s usually at the end of the story I know, but I’m different. Actually, that’s really what I want to address …
I know I’ve walked down this road before, but it looks like there are some things that bear repeating.
Why is it that so many of my sisters are hung up on the fairy tale aspects of a wedding and have not given any real and substantial thought to the marriage that commenced the minute that they said ‘I do’?
That was my question two years ago and it’s still the question now. The thing that I have learnt through observation is that many of the couples that are making that step into matrimony are not really doing so with an eye towards lifetime commitment, but as something they ‘commit’ to until such a time when they invoke the escape clause.
The irony is that they put so much thought into the preparation and execution of the ‘perfect’ wedding. They oversee every last detail – from the colour scheme to the food, the dresses, the notions – EVERYTHING! All must be made perfect for one day. As it happens, when the balloons come down and the chair tie backs are returned, it seems to all be a mystery.
And they lived happily after. Those words have been both blessing and curse since the first time that they were uttered. I’m not saying that we don’t all yearn for that wonderful storybook ending, but what we seem to have forgotten is that none of us can say from the onset that ‘happily ever after’ is carded for us.
As long as we are breathing, viable entities, there will be times of distress, illness, sadness … there will be times of anger and fed-up-ness. What is integral is that as someone in a MARRIAGE, one has to remember that all of these feelings and moments are now shared with someone else.
There are definitely going to be times when you’re going to look at each other and wonder why in the hell you decided to spend the rest of your life with this person. Still, that is not a reason to walk away.
Is it that many of the people today have lost sight of the reasons why they got together in the first place? How is it that the same actions or words that a would-be wife/husband found endearing in their soon to be partner can after a couple of years, and in some cases, after a couple of months, bring their blood to a rapid boil when simmered in the pot of annoyance and disgust?
The other thing that I end up wondering is whether some of the people who seem to have no staying power had actually SETTLED in the first place. Is it that they wanted a wedding so much that they hitched their wagon to a star that wasn’t really supposed to be theirs?
Honestly – whatever the means or reasons for these connections, they are SUPPOSED to LAST. The words that some people recite when they make their vows to each other are actually supposed to be PRAYED. It’s a prayer people, not just some random words strung together to entertain your guests. People see vows as something that you get through … words you parrot after the officiant … words said before they get to the ring and the kiss. Not so …
A vow is a promise; and this particular vow is one made before God and men. It’s a sacred vow … but at times it has been obvious to me that the parties involved have no idea what they are saying … nor do they take the time to understand the significance of the words being prayed. You are effectively promising God, in the presence of witnesses, that you are going to love, cherish and respect each other for the rest of your lives – no matter what. That is a difficult prospect, but had you taken the time to grow to know and REALLY love the person that you are standing with before God, then you will make it.
Where is all of this coming from? I have no idea. Maybe it’s born out of the observation that people are more willing to walk away form their partners and marriages easily because they have forgotten what had gotten them to marriage in the first place.
I’m not married. I still hope to be one day and soon, but I have sung at enough weddings to know what I speak of. I take the time to mention this because there are people I’m sure who would love to tell me a thing or two about what I have written. Lemme just say that I am not bashing anyone. I’m just trying to remind the Married of their vows, the Engaged of the marriage that comes after the wedding and the Single to take the time to make wise and informed choices.
And they lived happily after. The other aspect of this is that some of us have conveniently chosen to forget that there was stress, intrigue and drama in every fairy tale that had a happy ending. The prince didn’t just get the princess. There was work to be done … witches to vanquish and dragons to be slain.
The lesson therefore is that the work must be done and the mountains must be breached before the happily ever after can be attained…
Go find your beautiful princess and your prince charming by all means, but take the time to pull a page or two out their stories so that in the end, others can look at the two of you and confidently proclaim …
“And they lived happily ever after … The Beginning!”