Weddings always turn me into a big ball of mush.
The kind that leaves me:
Weak in the knees.
Completely and utterly in awe.
And bursting with ginormous emotions that no words could ever describe.
A bit over a week ago that was exactly how I was feeling as I witnessed my bestie and her best friend tie the knot. Needless to say, the beauty of the wedding and everything leading up to the main event brought up a crazy rollercoaster of emotions and it’s taken me this long to process every last drop of it to be able to share with you something that this beautiful union has brought up inside me.
Something that has brought up shame and guilt.
Something that I’d never ever dared to admit before.
Standing at the alter with the rest of the wedding party, witnessing my best friend and her hubby openly share and promise their never-ending commitment to one another, I couldn’t help but think how incredibly blessed they are to have found their perfect match.
They didn’t just “settle” out of convenience or fear of being alone, but found someone who complements them wholly and made vows to love and grow together no matter what life throws at them.
They are the epitome of a couple with a rock solid foundation that can weather any storm. Big or small. Hand-in-hand. Together in full partnership.
They have a real relationship that is by no means perfect, but has its fair share of ups and downs. One that requires a ton of work and an incredible amount of effort……contrary to what Nicholas-Sparks-inspired-fairytale-rom-com-love-stories have you believe.
From them I’ve learned essential foundations for a successful marriage. Fundamentals that ALL strong relationships have in common:
It’s no secret that having good communication helps couples stay close and keep the fires of passion burning. But good communication takes effort, it’s hard, and it doesn’t always go smoothly.
Couples start growing apart when they stop speaking their own truth or when they start saying what the other person wants to hear out of fear that doing otherwise will upset the relationship. In order to have a lasting relationship, you need to authentically speak your mind so your partner understands where you are coming from…even if it means you both have to agree to disagree sometimes.
I was at a workshop a couple months ago, and the presenter started off by asking, “ Did you ever think of the many things that we try to preserve in our everyday life?” We use refrigeration to preserve food. Lamination and hard drives to preserve documents/files. Vaccinations and nutrition to preserve immunity. Embalming to preserve corpses. Photos/memorabilia to preserve memories with loved ones. But yet isn’t it ironic that we put such little effort in preserving and preventing our relationships from crumbling into a shattering tragedy of breakups and divorce.
Commitment means “we’re in this together no matter what”. As a couple, you work on finding a solution, not walking away when the going gets tough. It won’t always be smooth sailing and you will need to endure uncomfortable times as a couple in order to grow together.
L-O-V-E. The four letter word that each and everyone of us seeks and desires. Often times our society has conditioned us to think that once we find our prince charming he will complete us and we will live happily ever after. Unfortunately this is as far from the truth as we can get. If you want a happy, lasting relationship don’t look for someone to fill in your voids. Look for love within yourself instead.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde
As for love with your partner, know that you will inevitably fall out of love. And when that happens, it’s not a sign that your relationship is over, but instead, it’s a reminder that you need to invest more time and energy into nurturing the relationship so that the 2 of you can fall in love all over again.
With that said, here’s a success formula for cultivating lasting romantic relationships:
The recipe for success is fairly simple but definitely not easy.
As I was reflecting on the wedding and all the meaning behind it, I realized something I’m not very proud to admit. It’s made me realize:
How much learning and growing I still needed to do in order to have a successful thriving relationship just like theirs.
How wrong I was to believe that the perfect man and the perfect relationship existed and I just hadn’t found “the one” yet after being engaged not once…but TWICE.
How much shame, guilt and regret I feel for not knowing the importance of these core components.
And how I had failed at working on these key fundamentals in each and every one of my previous relationships.
I am truly grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to share in such a special occasion. One that has helped me move forward in my journey of healing. And one that will guide me to be a
perfect “good enough” wife to someone someday.
In the comments below, I would love to hear your advice for having lasting romantic relationships. What things do you do to make your relationships work? How do you nurture them to last the test of time?