For better or worse
The wedding is over. The honeymoon long gone and reality sets in. Where has all the romance gone? This is as much a figurative description of things as they are actual events. People meet. Fall passionately in love. Everything seems dreamy and idealistic. They get married. They have a fabulous honeymoon. Then back to work and the washing and doing the dishes. Normality in other words. The thing is, it is now when people start to look at where they are and what they’ve done. They also start to notice things that before they chose to ignore. His paunchy stomach. Her plain complexion. His snoring. Her snoring. “What is happening?” I hear you cry. “This wasn’t part of the deal.” Oh but it was. “For better or worse” you both said. “Yes but…..” No buts. Life is very much like this. Highs and lows which is ok as long as we don’t get too attached to the highs or too entrenched in the lows. When two people start living together it can either be like two pieces of a jigsaw that fit snugly together or two bits of stone that grind away until they sit together. The first is fine but things can go very wrong if it is the second and the rocks banging away at each other become more than analogy and ends up with people banging away at each other. This is when counselling can be employed to help sort things out.
The thing about for better or worse is that it is unlikely to be the same for both. If it is then it is likely to be different things. A common reason is that they possibly aren’t trying as hard to tempt and woo each other as they were before the wedding. It can almost be like a Jekyll and Hyde scenario. Once up the aisle and the ring is on the finger that’s it. Off comes the false front and the real person comes out. Sometimes a monster. Why this should happen can be due to a host of reasons and would doubtless take a lot more space than is here to cover them.
What can be done to prevent such things happen? Well since it is “for better or worse” it would help to find out how bad things could be before the wedding or even before the engagement. However, this isn’t always easy. Although it is the 21st century not every couple can spend some time living together before the wedding. All sorts of events can prevent this. What would help is if the couple can spend a lot of time talking about things. Let’s look at a fairly extreme example. A young couple, early 20s suddenly find she is pregnant by him and they decide on a quick registry wedding to keep things “decent”. Some questions that might arise are do they really love each other? Do they really want to spend the rest of their lives together? Where will they live? Have they the income to support each other and the baby? The thing with getting married is that a lot of planning and preparation is put into making sure the wedding is successful but what about the marriage? This is supposed to be for life but how often are things just left to chance? Who will get up time after time to feed the baby? Will he or she be breastfed? Do you have the same political ideals? The trouble with leaving things to chance, or fate as it is sometimes called is that it can turn out very unexpected. How will you deal with things you disagree on?
So what can be done when things get too much and the brown smelly stuff hits the fan? The first thing I would suggest is time out. I’m not suggesting a separation or “going back to mother’s”. My suggestion is that you should each go and do something different separately. Go for a walk, but in different directions. It is important that you do do something. It is not good for one of you to go for a walk and the other to stay home moping. Activity creates the production of the hormone serotonin. This is the body’s natural antidepressant. If you stay at home sitting you are likely to remain grumpy and tense. When tense you will be less likely to think clearly and rationally. This works. What you should NOT do is have any alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and will make you feel worse. Then after half an hour or so come back together. Have a cup of tea. Don’t be afraid to be the first to say sorry as in doing so could win a lot of points. Saying sorry does not mean you are admitting you are in the wrong. It does show that you are adult enough to look at things responsibly. Now discuss what happened. Discuss. Not argue. Nor should you go pointing out blame even if the other was caught red handed. Things are not always as they seem even if it seems pretty clear what they are. However, suddenly finding your partner in the throws of making passionate love to the neighbour might be an exception but these could be few and should still be considered. Discussion never hurts. It may not solve the situation but it cannot hurt.
When it does not solve the situation I would not advise running off to tell your best mate or mother. These people are not necessarily going to give you an objective view of things. Now might be the time to consider seeing a counsellor. What good can this do? Well for a start they should be able to give an objective, unbiased view of things with possibly a different slant that had never occurred to you because you were so caught up in things. A counsellor is likely to have other ideas on how and why these things have happened and be able to offer more solutions for a compromise. When you are one of the “injured” parties, trying to decide on a compromise isn’t always easy as you will to some extent want it to be biased towards you.
I do not believe that there is any situation that cannot be resolved amicably. It may not be easy. On the contrary, for one of the parties it may be very hard. But I do believe answers can be reached, IF both parties involved want that. If not then the counsellor should be able to help another, agreeable solution be reached. One that is as best for all concerned as it can be.
Yes, you married for better or worse. Better that you make it for better.
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