Lately I have been thinking a lot about being married. Many of my facebook friends are getting married and I meet customers everyday who are getting married and it just gets me thinking about my past and my present and the future too (while I am at it, I might as well cover it all...).
There is a big part of me that wants to give these people advice. Strangers and FB friends don't need my advice....but on the other hand - I have advice and I believe it's helpful advice. So, I am going to post it here, it's my blog. I can do what I want. I am not really sure where to start, so this is just a hodge-podge list.
1. There are 2 kinds of marriage. Marriages that are hard and marriages that are easy. Both kinds of marriage can work if the husband and wife work together. Obviously the easy marriage is the EASY one, hence the name. Easy marriages don't have arguments or struggles. Easy marriages make the best of every situation and love a lot. Hard marriages have struggles. They are still worth it, don't worry, but they are hard. There are fights and hard times and disappointments. But, there's still a lot of love -- you just have to look harder to find it and work harder to create it.
2. TALK. Communicate. Text message. Email. Hold hands. Spend time together. Enjoy each other. Be together when you are together AND when you are apart. You are a unit. Remember that whole two become one bit when you said your vows? Yeah? Well how about you live that out. Remember those vows. Ask questions. Say thank you. Tell your spouse your feelings and show them your feelings too. Just because you are married doesn't meant they can read your mind.
3. Never ever let someone else into your marriage. Your marriage is between you, your spouse, and God. God is the only outside help you need. If you go to counseling, seek a Godly guide. Don't bring your girlfriends (or worse the opposite sex) into your marriage. Their opinions do not matter. You matter and your spouse matters. That's it.
4. Make babies. In my opinion - the sooner the better. It is said that "a baby changes everything", so why not let that baby change things before you and your husband are too set in your ways? Now, now, don't think I am telling you to have children to try to save a marriage....I am not. I am telling you to have a baby if you both want a baby and you are ready...just don't wait too long, because there is never a right time to have a baby -- they will always wreak havoc on your life, but they are so so worth it.
5. OR don't make babies. Know the person you are marrying. Do they want children? Do they want to retire young? Are they spenders or savers? Messy or tidy? Do they have a high or low sex drive? Seem like simple questions, sure -- but how many married couples run into these issues within the first few months? Many, many.
6. You never know someone until you live with them.
7. DON'T marry *too* young. Live your life. Build a career. Meet people. Sew oats. I mean it.
8. If you have cold feet or regrets before the wedding bells....maybe you SHOULD back out.
9. This is going to sound contrary to number 1 BUT there are some marriages that can't be fixed. There are situations where people just aren't happy once the vows are said. Don't become too cynical before you admit that nothing can fix it. Find the medium between giving up and getting out before you lose yourself. There are some things that just aren't meant to be. Your happiness and theirs is important. We only get one ride here on earth, don't waste it fighting for a marriage that isn't worth fighting for. Lately I have also been thinking about that phrasing "fighting for" things. Is a marriage something to "fight for" or should it be something that doesn't need to be "fought for"? (ug, I told you there may be some contradictions).
10. Marriage is a gift. If your dating relationship and your engagement doesn't feel like a gift, maybe it's not meant to be. Every moment with "The One" feels like floating. You'd rather be with them than anyone else. Your time with them is precious. They are your gift straight from God. And he doesn't make mistakes.
11. Marry. It's a lot like Merry. So shouldn't you be Merry when you are married?
Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting Mary and Josh's wedding in Nicholasville. There are a few favorite things I want to share.
Number One: Mary Johns married Josh Johnson. When I first met Josh I thought it was funny that she would only be adding ON to her name. They played this up at the reception with fans. The fans stated something along the lines of "Marriage is all about adding ON. Adding ON to family, adding ON to happiness" etc. It was a brilliant idea.
Number Two: While shooting a few photos of Josh, he told me he is a bit of a jokester. He said that he was planning to give Mary just a peck when he got the ability to kiss the bride. It was cute. Everyone laughed.
Number Three: Chocolate Pie. Holy Angels in Heaven. I have never had something so wonderful.