One mother planning her daughter’s perfect August wedding commented to a friend, “This is practically a full-time job.” Another mom preparing for her daughter’s big day confided in a friend that she had mixed emotions about the wedding because her own marriage was falling apart.
The outcomes of these two scenarios were completely different. One couple followed up their child’s wedding with a week at the beach. The other filed for divorce.
It’s interesting how much time and money couples will invest in preparing for a wedding. The truth is, they may or may not keep investing in the marriage after vows are exchanged.
Every year in the United States, there are approximately 2.5 million weddings. Popular wedding planning site The Knot reported that the national average cost of a U.S. wedding in 2017 was $33,391—and that’s excluding the honeymoon.
In the past four years alone, we’ve spent more than $56 billion on weddings annually.
But then comes the marriage, and it turns out that less may end up being more. In 2014 two economics professors at Emory University revealed an interesting correlation they discovered. They found that couples spending upwards of $20,000 on a wedding were 3.5 times more likely to divorce compared to couples who had a more modest $5-10,000 event.
In fact, when looking at thousands of divorced couples, the Emory study showed that in general, across all income levels, the more money spent on the wedding, the shorter the marriage.
The data suggests that while we may need to pour time, energy, and money into the wedding day, we need to focus more attention on preparing for the ups and downs of everyday married life.
Is that something we really prepare for? Someone at a Marriage Dynamics event commented recently that people go to school and take classes in all kinds of subjects, but most couples never think about taking classes in how to be married.
There is a prevailing attitude in society that if you are right for each other, your marriage will just naturally work. That isn’t reality, though. Great marriages are the result of a deliberate, ongoing investment in the relationship.
If the honeymoon’s over for you, here are a few suggestions that could rekindle your marriage:
- Put the phones and remotes away and enjoy an hour of conversation with your spouse.
- Surprise your spouse with a card or note, or maybe a favorite food or drink.
- Get your calendars and start planning a weekend getaway for just the two of you.
- Take a walk and hold hands. Watch a sunset, or a sunrise, together.
- Plan a simple but special time to renew your wedding vows.
- Register for a Marriage Dynamics class like Dynamic Marriage or United to get closer to your spouse and stronger in your marriage.
You don’t have to leave the excitement behind just because you’ve been married for a few years (or decades).
It’s great to plan for the perfect August wedding. But it’s even better to plan for what comes in September and every month after you say, “I do.”
If you aren’t where you’d like to be in your relationship, a marriage course can help you get things back on track. More than 75,000 couples have been helped through our courses … will you be next? Take our free marriage quiz to see which course would be best for you and your spouse.
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