At 32, Rosemond Perdue Cranner felt more than prepared to say “I do” on her wedding day.
“My ex and I had lived together for seven years already so I smugly thought I had it all figured out — wrong,” the writer told HuffPost recently.
The couple separated in 2010 after 12 years of marriage. Below, Perdue Cranner — who blogs at Round and Round Rosie — shares what she wishes she had known about love before she tied the knot.
Dear younger me,
I’m offering a few words of advice for you on this special day. I hope you can pause long enough to consider them.
I don’t want to criticize you, but frankly you’ve got it all wrong. You are spending your time concentrating on things that don’t really matter. You need to stop worrying about today, the wedding, and start concentrating on what’s really important: the health of this impending marriage.
Today will be over in the blink of an eye. You won’t even remember most of it. And your guests really don’t care that much anyway about which font you used on your invitation or if the table linens were white or ecru. Engraved invitations, pretty dresses and twinkly lights are all nice but they are not really that important in the long run. And they certainly don’t make a successful marriage.
If you only knew what was facing you down the road, you’d rethink your priorities. Making today, this one single event, special should be way less important than making a marriage work.
There are already some major problems in this relationship that you’ve been avoiding. You know they’re there. Don’t ignore them a second longer. Don’t hide. These problems don’t magically go away once you have a ring on your finger. In fact, once you’re safely ensconced in the cocoon of marriage, these problems get worse.
How will you handle money? How will you handle conflicts? How will you resolve disagreements?
Argue. Scream. Shout. Don’t hide like you so often do. Don’t shrink from a fight. Don’t back down. If you care enough to get married, care enough to battle it out, to set some ground rules for yourself and for this relationship. If you can’t come to an agreement, then that should tell you something.
Instead of obsessing over the place settings, deal with how you communicate with your soon-to-be husband. Instead of worrying about the seating chart, discuss how you plan to solve conflicts.
There’s some major heartache heading your way.
Money issues. Miscarriages. Depression. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Aging and dying parents. Frankly your relationship, as it stands, isn’t strong enough to weather them.
If there’s anything that’s bugging you, anything hanging in the air, tell him. Talk about it. Risk being wrong.
Spend some of the money you’re blowing today on the wedding on a marriage counselor instead. You’re going to need it.
This evening will flash by in a blur. You’ll even forget to eat. Your budget is history.
Stop. Slow down.
Figure out how you’re going to handle the hard times while the living is easy. And remember: You don’t owe a bad marriage to anyone.
Your future (and smarter) self
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