In four months, I am going to be Maid of Honour at my friends’ wedding – both of whom I love dearly. During my research for a suitable poem, quote or saying for my speech on the day, however, I couldn’t help but think about the latest events in Hollywood that made headlines in every paper across the globe (with the exception of North Korea, perhaps.). While I’m not a fan of celebs, gossip and tabloid papers (I am proud to say I’ve never had an OK! magazine in my possession), the – oh so! – eloquent and euphemistic phrase of “Conscious Uncoupling” really hit a nerve with me.
It made me think: how many couples in my social circles would have used the same phrase to describe their break ups, had they had the means to pay some brainy PR guru to come up with it in the first place? And just how many people did I actually know who said “We still love each other very much, but…”? The answer is: more than I could shake a stick at.
I had to digest this for quite a while to finally be able to pin point my irritation. It stirred anger and frustration within me – what greater gift is there to love and be loved? And why this need to strive for more than LOVE in a relationship? If love is the basis of everything – mutual respect, kindness, loyalty, adoration – why want for anything else if you have everything (financial means, self-fulfillment, a career and everything else included)?
What could I possibly say to my friends on their wedding day that wouldn’t sound a) cheesy, b) cynical, c) unworldly? A cynical pessimist might argue that, given the statistics of today’s divorce rates and the increasing amount of couple therapies on offer in the Western World, seemingly making marriage a fashion statement rather than a life-time decision, there is not much left to say at all.
Luckily, I am neither a cynic nor a pessimist – especially with regard to a topic this close to my heart as the bond between two people in love. I write these lines as a true positivist, yes, even a romantic, when I say to you, my friends: as long as you have love, you have everything. The truth is, there is no guarantee, no recipe, no potion, no universal instruction to marriage. It is so much more than picking a wedding dress, finding the right shaped wedding cake or the best colour scheme for the wedding day – it is, as I am sure you know – a life-long journey.
Always uphold the respect and adoration you both share for each other. Always invest, always care and nurture your marriage. If there is one thing I can be sure about, it’s that you have made the decision of becoming husband and wife with open eyes and open hearts, and I know that you will consciously couple to share the rest of your lives together. For any marriage that fails for various reasons, it is such a relief to know that there is couples like you in the world, who will enter this promise – not necessarily before God, but certainly towards each other – with utmost commitment and respect.