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Has Marriage Become ANOTHER Hallmark Event?

Has Marriage Become  ANOTHER Hallmark holiday?

Do we agree that Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas are known for their Hallmark promotions? We rush to the store in search of the perfect card that tells how we feel to the loved one that receives it. I love you. Hope you have a HOPPING good time! I hope SANTA brought you everything off your wish list! … We spend these holidays buying gifts, cards and pretty outfits. Has marriage become another affair we can tag as a Hallmark holiday?

This past Friday, Daniel and I, met up with our Youth Group at church. Father Elio spoke excitedly about the book, “The Theology of the Body” by our former Pope, John Paul II. He discusses the importance of understanding the purpose of our bodies.

We began with reading out loud from the book and after each brief passage we went around the room sharing what we thought the words we were hearing meant. Can we agree that when we hear different passages of the Bible, the words can mean different things to each of us? Life experiences shape us. Memories come flooding back as the words we interpret evoke emotion. A passage I read may mean something completely different for you when you read it. Or maybe we hear the words the same.

Genesis 2; 18-24

Daniel and I continued the group’s discussion on Saturday. Daniel pointed out that the act of getting married seems to have shifted focus from two people becoming one to the details of the actual wedding day. I agreed. So much time is spent looking for the perfect dress, visiting different venues and creating a guest list. A couple falls in love, decides to spend the rest of their lives with each other, but does that focus shift. Daniel and I talk about our parenting styles and mention how we’ll spend our money. We know we’ll have a space in our future home for devotion to our Lord and our Lady. This is before we even begin to think of what our wedding day will look like.

If a couple does not discuss what their life will look like down the road how do they know they’re on the same page?

When I was little I knew what the logical progression of my life was supposed to be. School, find a guy, get married, and have kids. I didn’t put much thought into what my wedding day would look like. I know that’s weird right? Little girls are supposed to dream about their wedding day but that’s not where my mind was. I did think of the details of the “big” day as I got older. Now that I’ve found the One my mind is more on our future than the actual day. It’s more about how we connect with each other.

This is not to say that when the time comes to discuss details of our wedding day, it won’t be taken lightly. However, the focus will remain on becoming ONE before God. We’ll be a team. We’ll be … one.

Some people spend over a year planning out the details of their wedding day. This is not a bad thing. If you’ve planned your own wedding or helped a friend with theirs, you know there are a lot of details to a wedding celebration. However, I wonder if we, society as a whole, spent as much time planning our marriage as we do with planning the actual festivities, would we have such a high divorce rate? If we shifted the focus on the couple melting into each other until death parted them, would that make a difference? Are we properly prepared for marriage?

What are YOUR thoughts? Do you think marriages in general, have become another Hallmark Holiday?

Until then,

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18 replies on “Has Marriage Become ANOTHER Hallmark Event?”

I think, as the same words can mean different things to different people, marriage means different things to different people. That’s not to say any one way is right or wrong–just that my particular viewpoint should not define it for someone else. I feel the idea of “forever” is incredibly difficult to understand–it’s so abstract, and if you get married when you’re young, you haven’t even lived as many years as you’re expected to be with this person–and then some–and it’s likely unimaginable what that truly means. I married at 23. We had been together for almost 7 years at that point. It was not entered lightly, yet the road has had many twists and turns since then, and my views on marriage now–12 years later–are very different than they were then. “Forever” is a very immense concept. And I’m not entirely sure people are meant to pair off with one person “forever.” People grow at different rates. And life expectancy is longer than it was even 100 years ago. “Forever” could have been only 20 years at one point. Now? 80 years is possible. While it’s important to meld, to become a unified front, to comingle your lives, wants, needs, desires, if you find 30, 40, 50 years down the road that the relationship is not working, is irreparable, that you’ve become different people, it’s more of a disservice to each other to force that “forever” alliance than to lovingly come to the agreement that, perhaps, your time has passed.

I know my opinion is not popular. But it’s something I have pondered quite a lot. With that said, my husband and I have been together for 18 years and he’s all I’ve known in my adult life. That’s my background, for whatever it’s worth.

Carrie I agree with you, marriage means different things to different people. Depending on where you are in your life, forever can also mean different things. Hundreds of years ago marriage could begin as early as age 14 but then the life span of a person is not as long as it is today. I almost married young but didn’t. I know that what I was like when I was 20 is COMPLETELY different than the person I am now at 33. And I’m sure it’ll evolve into something else when I’m actually married.

If I had known you Carrie when we were in high school I would have been thrilled that you married the only guy you knew. I’d have thought you to be lucky to have found THE ONE so early on. If I knew you then at the age I am now I’d say you need to have more experience of life before settling down. That is not to say that what you have now is still not amazing and that you are indeed lucky to have met your husband at a young age AND marry him.

On the other hand, I’d still say either way you’re lucky because all the guys I dated between the guy I was going to marry at 20 and the guy that I’ll marry now; led me to the same guy. We spent all that time apart, grew separately and at the end of today we find ourselves together. Had we gotten married when we were younger things might have been totally different. We might have still grown separately, we might not be together today but those are a lot of what ifs. I know I had been, at 20, so caught up on the forever part that I was missing the “now” part. If that makes any sense.

Marriage regardless of how long a couple has been together is work. Some days are easy and some days are really hard. Really. Really. Hard. …that’s all relationships I think.

I’m not married yet. Although I have been planning for when that day comes. In my experience as of late, it seems that most of the articles I ready for wedding planning are geared towards the details of the wedding day. What kind of flowers can I buy and not feel ripped off? What style dress will flatter my body? What I’d like to see more of is: how the marriage is supposed to work? What can I expect after 30 days? What topics do people not think about until after you’re married? Or like you mention, how will my idea of forever change? Even when we, as a society, not individually, find out someone is going to get married, we want to see the ring. Oh show me your ring. Or what’s your wedding colors? How many people will attend? I’m NOT saying that is a bad thing. These are questions I ask of my friends as well. And I WILL gladly stick my hand out once I have my ring … I think we all get excited when someone tells us they’re getting married because we’re happy for them. We love happy endings for our friends. Maybe we don’t talk about all the hard work until after people are married because then maybe they might not get married at all. But if couples were prepped more on marriage …just thinking out loud.

While I do talk above about melding together until death parts us in respect to marriage… I know there are many circumstances where marriage should end for the reasons you mention and for so many more. Everyone is different though. What is OK for me might not be OK for you.

Thanks so much Carrie for sharing your background with us and your thoughts on forever and marriage! I deeply appreciate you!

I think Carrie makes some very good points. And so do you — wedding planning can become a beast in a Biblical sense if people let it! I don’t know if you need to be “one” to be a good team, but it sounds like you and your husband to be have the right idea about things!

Hey Jessie! I agree Carrie made some great points and its points like that I think couples who are thinking about marriage should also read in addition to all the wedding day planning articles. I know of people who lose it because of the wedding day details. I’d like to stick to the basic concepts of us celebrating our union with family and friends. I’d be OK with a cook out 😉

Thanks for stopping by Jessie and sharing your thoughts!

On one of the talk shows I watch, the host said her and her husband decided to elope because they wanted their marriage to be more about their life together – than about the wedding. So true!

One of my favorite quotes is “I want my marriage to be more beautiful than my wedding,” and while I believe in beautiful weddings, I think that’s the spirit that should drive a marriage. I think weddings have become very commercial but just like Christmas, I think it’s possible to indulge in the commercial fun without losing your focus on the true meaning and spirit behind it.

I agree Chelle! I LOVE that quote and I’ll have to write that down while my planning continues. Like Christmas, our wedding can still have the “Commercial Fun” but I want our steps getting there to have a focus on our marriage and the next chapter in our lives. We can do it!

Thanks for stopping by Chelle and sharing your thoughts with us!

I think that your wedding day should all that you dream for it to be. My husband and I imagined it as an amazing day to spend in the presence of God, family and friends to watch us make a deeper commitment to one another, our family and our faith. We did the work though – planning for our future, pre marital counseling, etc. Was it a huge production a la Bravo TV? Nah, but it was a heck of a party that people were still talking about years later. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. Great discussion in the comments as well.

Taya I agree for dreams do come true! I hope that Daniel and I will have a celebration that will be talked about for years later as well! Isn’t that what we really want, to have fun and celebrate our union before God, Friends and Family? Some of the shows on Bravo, WeTv and TLC scare me lol

Yes there is a great discussion going on about thoughts on the actually wedding day. Love it!

Thanks so much for stopping by Taya and sharing your experience with us!

Hmm…this was a toughie. I had so many thoughts and emotions running through me as I read this. My husband and I just entered year 7 marriage and many of my girlfriends are just getting started or preparing for their “big day”. I have noticed a trend and a focus on the wedding plans themselves and less of a focus on the marriage that comes afterwards. Faith plays a huge role in my family’s life and while I try not to force my thoughts and views on my friends, I will let them know that “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” It’s great to put time and energy into the celebration of the beginning of your life together as man and wife. It’s, also, great to put even more time and energy into preparing yourselves for that life together and having the conversations necessary to ensure that you continue to grow with one another throughout the lifetime you’ve vowed to spend together.

Yes! Michelle! I wasn’t always big on my Faith. But as I have gotten older, I realize that Faith was what my life was missing. I take that Faith with me into my future marriage. Since I’ve been researching on marriage in general and not so much the wedding day, I find more information on the wedding day and not for how to prepare for the marriage itself. I know that when the time comes we’ll have premarital counseling/classes but since I’m a planner I like to know more than what I’ll be taught in those classes. I like hearing the real truth about marriage, the good the bad and the hard work that goes into it. I am one of the last to get married amongst friends and family. I appreciate the words of wisdom that they share with me but I know of couples that have since split since saying I do.

Everyone has their own thresholds when it comes to relationships, but I wonder if we did more prep work before the big day would we find out if there are thresholds that we can’t cross? We focus so much on the happy, positive journey … to get down the aisle. What about after?

Thanks so much for joining in the conversation Michelle! Your thoughts are appreciated!

Weddings can turn into another Hallmark event if you let it. In our case, we were very intentional at the beginning about what our wedding was going to be…and what it wasn’t going to be. We weren’t willing to go broke, or stress out, or argue about it. We decided that if we were focusing too much on a wedding detail, we’d let it go altogether because the most important thing is the marriage. You and Danny are doing the right thing by talking about the future and focusing on the marriage.

Yes Brandi! If we start out with the intention at the beginning … we’ll be in a good place later. I don’t want to stress out or ague either. Weddings can be so expensive … I honestly prefer to have a bbQ at the park. I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting married if all we talked about was the wedding day… I’d end up getting FROZEN feet 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by Brandi and sharing your experience!

I agree – I think marriage is big business and there’s far too much emphasis on the “event” rather than on the relationship that the event is all about. Couples often spend a fortune on a huge “do”, maybe money they’d be better off putting towards the down-payment on a house, only to get divorced a year or two later. It’s all about getting your priorities right.

Thank you Sue! It’s too early to look at a budget for me … although its in the back of my mind, but I honestly would prefer to put that money towards a home. In my boyfriend’s culture, the wedding gifts are supposed to help you put that money back into savings, but still it can be a lot of money. Rest assured if I can find some shortcuts or ideas to cut back on some of the “overpriced” details of weddings I will implement them. Its like the minute you mention wedding the prices QUADRUPLE!

Thanks so much for stopping by Sue and sharing your thoughts with us!

I can go along with this… people have seemed to end up in situationships…because we haven’t taken the time to get know each other. I agree that people should take more time to date and get to know each other … if people actually dated then they’d realize that the person they’re spending time with is really who they want to be with.

I think you hit it on the head Spinks … if people took more time to date and get to know each other…but to continue to get to know each other. I know a few couples that got married after knowing each other for a very short period of time, less than a year … and got married and a few years later they’re ready to call it quits. I don’t think that they took marriage lightly, but sometimes i wonder if people are in love with the idea of getting married and having a family that they overlook a lot in the relationship. If you don’t have a strong foundation on your home and a storm comes or a natural disaster, the home will be damaged…sometimes knocked down completely. Relationships are the same way!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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