Along with the onset of summer and fun in the sun, June also is the busiest month for weddings.

In honor of several friends about to embark on this journey, and numerous others who just did, I am sharing the Facebook post below from a friend. As someone who lost my husband unexpectedly after 23 years of marriage, this struck me as being both truthful and well stated.

 

“Ladonna Eddington Kee  · Dallas ·

Today I am reminded of the Lord's Faithfulness..... 14 years ago I said "I do" to a man I barely knew. Yes, you heard me right...barely knew...Just listen for a moment and let me explain. When you first say those words that join you together, you really don't ‘know’ each other. You may think you do. I mean Jeramie thought I was a woman who liked to iron and cook now he "knows" better. I thought he loved keeping a clean truck and picking up his dirty laundry. Now I "know" better. When you’re in the midst of all that ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey....Everything seems Just Perfect - BUT NOT real. It takes years to get to" know" each other. It takes time, commitment, loyalty. It takes selflessness and arguments and late nights. It takes energy and sometimes all you have to hang on! It takes work! But of all the things in this world that is worth all the blood, sweat and tears, it is looking at your husband and saying, "I am so glad we have hung on!" Jeramie "knows" me....He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly. He knows what makes me laugh till I could puke, he knows that my favorite time of day is when everyone is home together! He knows my insecurities and fears. He knows I am very, very competitive! See....all these things and much more, he did not know June 8, 2002. He knew nothing. I knew nothing. It takes TIME...and the Lord's faithfulness. My friends, Take the time. Don't GIVE up. Get to ‘know’ each other! And to my single friends...waiting for the right one to get to "know" is worth it too! To my Man...I look forward to many more years of getting to know you. You are a blessing to me! My Love. My Husband. My Best Friend. I LOVE YOU JERAMIE KEE!!!! WE ARE OFF TO SANDALS JAMAICA.... See ya'll on the flip side!” ‘

 

While weddings abound and people often put a great deal of planning into this one special day to kick off their marriages, divorce rates continue to soar. Wisdom would dictate planning for the reality of the challenging, rollercoaster ride that ensues as well. Who you marry carries more power to  impact your future life than almost any other life decision.

Consider pre-marital counseling which can help couples evaluate their personality differences, conflicting needs, and strengthen communication techniques crucial for all successful relationships. If you don’t have access to pre-marital counseling, find a church or counselor that offers this service.Sometimes this is a free service too.  Numerous helpful books exist too, so brush up on the dying art of reading while you’re at it.  “The Five Love Languages – The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman is one good choice.

I’d also recommend spending some time in prayer to help determine if this is the right potential person. Keep in mind, there is no perfect person or perfect mate. We ALL have issues and no one is perfect, although it is a common mistake to go into marriage thinking you can change someone or expecting them to change. The only person we can change is ourselves.

Date for a long enough period of time to see past the facades or “putting on of the good fronts” as this cannot be maintained indefinitely. Give yourselves time to experience firsthand the other person’s reactions through all kinds of circumstances; discover how you two handle situations together when one partner is sick, depressed or going through a conflict or life crisis, because I can assure you, along with the ruts of the daily grind, life will hand you a few of those surprises somewhere down the road.

This may sound trivial, yet maintaining a sense of humor can prove to be an invaluable tool! I am sure my husband waylaid many potential fights with his humor and he had an excellent one. (If I was seriously mad; however, this sometimes backfired and sometimes felt more like an attempt to avoid communicating about the issue at hand!)

Remember to savor the small things because these actually are the big things. (It really is the little day to day things I often think of and miss about my husband; even some of the ones that annoyed me at the time.)

Relationships require both partners having a willingness to work as a team; striving to put the other before themselves, while at the same time, not losing oneself.

Just sharing some of the tips I've picked up on through the years either through my own experience or that of others.   Sound complicated? It can be. You know the old saying “nothing good comes easy?”  Best wishes to each couple learning to do life together; hopefully for better or for worse;  ideally for life.