I just got back from a week-long
trip to attend a
family wedding. Our niece Francesca got
married to wonderful Mr. Josh and the entire week was just beyond joyful! The wedding itself was beautiful, as it was
held at an old Chicago Catholic church which was just simply breathtaking. The reception was held later that evening and
everyone had a great time. Chicago
There is one question that, I think, echoes after wedding ceremonies (or any rite of passage, for that matter)….Now what?
Now what? After a period of falling in love, dating, being friends, getting to know each other more intimately, preparing for the wedding, all the stress and craziness and fun and celebration, what now? It’s natural for couples to get all wrapped up in the wedding preparations, but after all the dancing and music stop (literally, that is), honeymoon week over and it’s time to go back to ‘reality’, then what? There are three ways to go when confronted by this question. You can (a) change directions; (b) keep on the same path; or (c) a combination of the above depending on what you want to keep and change.
Confronting the ‘now what’ could be a scary thing. It suggests a certain degree of being at a loss somehow. If anything, it suggests the need to pause and take stock of the situation, and these, I believe, are important in a marriage. To pause and truly see where the two of you have been, are, and where you want to be are important questions that you constantly need to deal with. It’s not a single step to be done with but an ongoing process both of you need to engage in. And this is also why confronting your ‘now what’ could be a potentially exciting and empowering thing. It’s up to you now. This rite of passage affords you even greater independence. Being (more) on your own can cause anxiety, yes. But the increased sense of responsibility could just be as exhilarating and positively challenging.
How has your relationship been so far? Is this how you want to keep it or are there things you desire to change? What rules do you feel you need to be clear about? What are your non-negotiables? Are there things you have not been honest about up to this point with regard to your preferences, habits or character? How will you handle your finances? How will you divide your time between your families of orientation? Are you planning on children, how many and how soon? Are there family traditions you want to start now, even as a couple? What are your rules with regard to in-laws?
The list goes on and every list will be unique to each couple but my point is this. It doesn’t hurt to start as early as possible. The most valuable lesson that was shared to me by a very good friend of mine when I was about to marry is this: Start as you mean to go on. And as cliché as this sounds, no one will dispute that if you truly love and mutually respect each other, your ‘Now what?’ will never conjure dark skies. If you are certain about love and your commitment, then you will find it quite seamless to transition from your ‘Now what’ to ‘Now comes forever’.
***Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net