We asked one of our very favorite officiants (and retired pastor) what type of advice he gives to engaged couples as he sits down with them to discuss their vows and the many happy years of marriage they have in front of them. Here is what he gave us.
Contributed by: Rick Comstock of AVow Ceremonies
Getting Married? (Here’s Some Advice)
As a husband (someone who is married) and as an Wedding Officiant (someone who performs marriages), let me say ‘Congratulations’ on your engagement and upcoming nuptials.
Marriage is, among other things, AWESOME. It is also challenging, invigorating, hard, fun, educational, enriching and stressful. Sometimes all at once.
It’s been said that the ‘Three rings of marriage are the: engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffering.” Hmm, let’s substitute the word enduring for suffering and add the word triumphing to the list.
Rings of marriage:
Engagement Ring – Wedding Ring – EndurRing – TriumphRing
Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. And marathons can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But who better than to run them with than the person you love most. That’s why you marry.
There are lots of tips I could offer couples getting married, let me share five:
1: Talk, and keep talking.
Lack of communication is the number one reason couples end up getting divorced. You can’t address issues in the marriage or solve problems unless you are willing to dialogue about them. So in spite of your hectic schedules, occasional physical exhaustion, grumpy in-laws, sick kids, lack of sleep, need for time for yourself, etc.; take time out weekly to check in with one another on the important things. Hint: What’s for dinner?, is not an important thing.
2: Know each other’s expectations.
You can’t meet one another’s needs unless you know what they are. The roles of husbands and wives have changed and expanded over the years, and that’s a good thing. Sometimes the wife is the breadwinner and the husband is the stay at home parent. But in either case your spouse has physical, emotional, material, mental and spiritual needs (desires). Find out what they are and do your best to meet them.
3: Manage your money.
You may never seem to have enough of it, especially early in your marriage, but you will probably still fight about it unless you have a plan to manage it. Create a budget. Know how much you need to live. Save, when you can. Avoid credit card debt like the plague . (The average household in America has more than $16,000 in credit card debt!) Put something (anything) away for retirement every month. You will be surprised how fast retirement (age) gets here and how fast your money grows.
4: Learn to affirm.
We (people) need twelve ‘hugs’ a day to help maintain emotional health. Those hugs can be: hugs, kisses, a comforting touch, or words of encouragement and affirmation. Remember the kinds of loving things you said and did to your spouse when you were dating them? Keep saying and doing them, or begin to.
5: Have fun.
You may not always have the time or money to do extravagant things: a trip to Hawaii, a Caribbean Cruise, a European Vacation, etc. But you can do the simple things: a movie night at home, a day at the beach, a bbq with friends, etc. And the simple things, while not costing lots of money or taking lots of time allow you to spend time together and nurture the various aspects your relationship.
Get in contact with Rick:
phone: (805) 550-1371