THE BLOG

To Have and to Hold?

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Clients often ask when's the right time to begin introducing this woman to my friends and family. My brother is so judgmental. My mother is a tough critic. My sister is a walking embarrassment - - she asks all the questions that I have avoided asking: his desire for marriage, children, career, and why he chose to live in an outer borough.

Where am I in this relationship?

Conceptually, these questions and insecurities are likely warranted. They are, however, somewhat peripheral to the relationship between the two of you. Perhaps a better barometer is the decision to bring her to a wedding.

Sure, you are celebrating another couple, but the two of you are now forced to independently reflect upon a lifetime together. Today, a lifetime does not necessarily mean marriage, but it does mean a commitment that transcends the initial bliss that likely led to you inviting him to the wedding. The groom looks handsome. His bride is radiant. You are surrounded by people, young and old, married, divorced, single who are all excited for the couple but also reflective as well.

Let's make this about the two of you, with respect to the happy couple. When you look into his eyes, is this the guy that forever represents? Is this the female personification of what growing old together really means?

I have amassed too many stories of the post-wedding break-up to not reflect and now write about this. Oftentimes the break-up occurs at the wedding itself (likely not ideal if you can help it). Sometimes, it's days later or even a month afterwards but the wedding is the catalyst.

It is not so much the other couple's wedding-day euphoria that contributes to the break-up. More often, it is one person in the couple not being near ready for those vows. Or it is the other person's desire for the vows to have happened before even having attended this 'celebration.'

Weddings are enjoyable for so many reasons. For attendees who inevitably reflect on their own relationship, weddings can be viewed as an instrument to save time. Maybe you have stayed too long in this relationship without a commitment. Maybe you have waited for someone else too long in the past and want to avoid the long wait for nothing. The wedding might allow you to avoid verbalizing where you both are in the relationship. The wedding might speak louder than any conversation ever could.

How much longer do you want to stay with the woman who does not envision this scenario with you? Time to move on. I am aware this might be overly simplistic, somewhat dismissive of the couple getting married, and an imperfect science. Of course relationships are themselves imperfect.

Here's the positive. The wedding can tell you and your better half that 'we should make this commitment.' We deserve this bliss, this celebration. But maybe we'll pass on the band and hire a DJ...

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts...