If you want to stay married I have some tips that might be of help. A marriage is a partnership. The honeymoon phase will not last but will be replaced (hopefully) by a deeper feeling, something safe, permanent and genuine. In order to stay married, you need to accept the good with the bad and nobody is perfect. Your partner may be a great provider but struggled to show love in other ways. Conversely, your spouse may be terrible with money, but brings you coffee each morning and makes you laugh every day. Don’t marry for temporal reasons, such as a purely physical relationship or because he drives a nice car. Marry the person that makes you feel like a better person.
I worked in a wedding venue and as a wedding makeup artist for a time, and saw a lot of weddings. I could pretty much tell which marriages would be happy and which would be disastrous, and the signs are all there on the wedding day. Families get excited about weddings and everyone wants to attend. Sometimes the family takes over and the wedding is more about showing the rest of their wedding attendees how wealthy and successful the family is. I’ve seen weddings over $200K and the bride looked miserable and scare in quite a few. My former stepmother wanted a part of my wedding. She could
Don’t be a perfectionist – Let some details go through to the keeper.
My former stepmother wanted a part of my wedding. She couldn’t have children of her own, and since she was divorced from my father, I’d tried to make a point to include her in my life and the festivities. To her credit, she spent a lot of money on the wedding and there was no way to thank her enough for that. Her personality is such that she took over, and it got to the point that I just let go of a lot of the details as it was easier. I didn’t want conflict and in the end, it really doesn’t matter as long as the bride and groom say vows and have a party to celebrate. Years later I discovered she throw wine at a dear friend and lost her temper with some special guests. She felt left out I think because my mum was there, but my ex-step mum was just that, “ex”. Her frantic activity around my wedding I believe was over compensating. She wanted to make sure she had a place. Unfortunately her melt down at the end of the day was the thing people remembered. Family means well, but they can lose sight of the important things. Flowers, cake, footwear, veils all that is peripheral.
Get Married Somewhere Meaningful
Mike was adamant about getting married on Shark Island, Sydney harbour, and it was a wonderful venue and has huge significance as he is a sailor and sails around the island every week. It was true to us and where we wanted to celebrate. The logistics were a little bit of a nightmare, but we got around it all with a ferry for guests and a vintage wooden speed boat that we arrived together. We walked each other up the aisle. Remember, it’s not about the show, it’s about showing how your feel, to each other.
I cannot imagine having my reception at a reception centre. They are so fake. Even those massive cakes are fake (full of polystyrene). But, if you like the showiness of a big reception centre, with the dry ice mist first dance, a wedding table, and cookie cutter designer weddings, then that’s OK. Just ensure that you are enjoying the process.
It’s not about the wedding, it’s about your relationship
Don’t spend all you have (or all your parents have – I have heard of a father putting a second mortgage on a home) and more to create the perfect day. There is no such thing as the perfect day. Life isn’t perfect. Keep it authentic, expect problems and go with the flow. Make it important to the two of you. As a designer for Doltone House, a successful group of function centres, I saw the most extravagant weddings ever that costs $100K and believe me the brides were no happier or more beautiful. As a makeup artist I saw all kinds of brides.
Your wedding makeup won’t make or break your marriage
As a makeup artist, I saw all kinds of brides. Brides who hated makeup and wore it begrudgingly. Brides who refused to wear certain types of makeup, such as lip gloss, mascara or even foundation. I had brides who had a very successful and happy “trial” (where I did the makeup in advance to make sure it was what they wanted before the big day). They then got talked out of that makeup, and ended up goijng to a department store to buy all their own makeup, which I found, on the day, to be completely the wrong colours for her, and yet she insisted wearing it, because she’d spent a fortune.
Other brides were laid back and loved the experience. One bride got so stressed that she washed her makeup off 5 minutes before the car arrived. I have to reapply the makeup the same way in 10 minutes.
The makeup is an extra, it doesn’t make you have a happy marriage.
Don’t shop together
I’m going to make a broad generalisation. Men don’t love shopping. Mike hates it to the point of being phobic. If we shop, I have to plan the trip so he doesn’t have any browsing time.
I have couple friends who shop together and they ALWAYS argue. I like to shop. I love the packaging, cleaning products, and other items in Woolies or Coles, and I love dawdling in department stores, smelling the entire perfect section or playing with the makeup. Department stores and malls are fun for me. I work in marketing so that’s probably related.
BUT… I never, ever, take MK with me. he’s a “get in and out as fast as possible, preferably without taking a breath. He’d rather poke himself in the eye with a stick. He gets cross, irritable, and bored witless. We end up fighting, I end up in tears.
We discovered that the solution lay in simply never shopping together. We even argued in our bridal registry at DJ’s.
Avoid being at malls together, under any circumstances.
Don’t expect perfection
No one is perfect, but Mike is perfect for me. He isn’t wealthy, but he is successful; as a sailor and a photographer. He has an interesting life and hobbies and he makes me brave. Mike brings me coffee every morning in bed, and generally makes me laugh. I like the life we are building. We are doing as much as we can on the little with have. After about 6 months of marriage, the cracks began to show and there were horrible fights. The common denominator was alcohol and family-in-law. I can’t change the family-in-law but I did stop drinking.
Marry Someone Who Can Cook, and likes it
I don’t get into food prep. I like eating nice food but cooking bores the willies out of me. I used to, years of asking “what should we have for dinner”, is not how I get my jollies.
Mike on the other hand, loves cooking: fresh pasta, gnocchi, bread, brownies. He’s a blokey Martha Stewart. I buy pre-cut veggies and noodles and tofu, and that’s all I can be bothered with.
Make sure you can cope with his family
We’ve had our fair share of battles and 99.9% of then have involved his family or mine. Both families come with more baggage than Heathrow Airport and negotiating those relationships can be hard work. Accept you don’t have to love them, you just have to get along for an afternoon.
Don’t go camping, shopping, move house, clean house, or anything other than eat food with in laws is pretty self explanatory. More than 3/4 of a day and it’s over for me.
Find a man who has already been trained
Don’t rush into a marriage with an untrained partner: e.g cheating, messy, drinking too much, leaving toilet seat up,etc. So here’s a big thank you to all MK’s previous girlfriends for house training him. I hope those ladies found a well-trained man – and thanks for all your hard work.
No, his skills in housework are not to a professional cleaner’s standards, but he’s trying and I’m trying to stop my OCD (I was a cleaner while in college – so am pretty bad). He does however know how to fold a fitted sheet.
Make each other laugh
Fortunately, MK can make me laugh more than anyone else. We both love Wayne’s World, Blades of Glory, Dumb And Dumber. His laugh is infectious. I enjoy time with him even after 17 years. I wake up laughing some days.
Don’t sweat about the sex part
Like everything sex has its up and down. One or both of you may not be feeling it, but it’s OK to take breaks. It’s not the be all and end all. Just figure out what’s really happening and talk about it. I don’t feel that up for it when I’m a bit tubby and he is the same. Just start taking better care of yourself and you’ll feel different. Be patient, it is natural to have slow spells, and it’s often one not the other. As long as you are connecting on other levels the physical part can take a back seat from time to time.
Get rid of expectations and learning to appreciate one another. Always kiss good night and in the morning. Connect emotionally, even for a second.