The Key To A Happy Wedding? Spend It With Your Spouse

By

The Key To A Happy Wedding? Spend It With Your Spouse
Your wedding day is made of memories; be sure you're making them with your partner.

Most therapists are trained that they should not give advice. Instead, the goal is to help clients come to their own conclusions about how to have happier, healthier lives. For the most part, I follow this principle. However, when it comes to working with engaged couples, I do give one piece of direct, firm advice: Spend your wedding together!

I know this sounds obvious, but there is a surprising correlation between couples who are unhappily married and those that did not spend much of their wedding day together.

One newly divorced woman remembers, "I spent most of the evening asking guests if they had seen my husband. Where was he? It varied. He was outside smoking, or at the bar with his college buddies. But we surely were not together."

Similarly, a divorced and newly engaged client explains, "Maybe it's superstitious, but this time I want to make sure we hold hands with each other as much as possible during the reception. I remember that during my first wedding, different guests kept coming up and talking to us, probably with the best of intentions, but it was as if we spent the whole time having separate conversations. Our marriage was similar. We lived separate, parallel lives. I know it is just one day, but if we spend it together maybe that will be a good omen for our future."

On a psychological level, engagements are paradoxically about joining together with someone and, at least in part, about separating yourselves from your past lives; they are about making each other the most important person in your life. Sometimes, without realizing it, people closest to the engaged couple have some degree of resistance to this process. Marriage is a significant change, not just for the couple, but for their families too and it can take some getting used to. Planning a wedding helps families and friends adjust to this change and prepare for a couple's new level of commitment to each other.

During a wedding, excited friends and family will (often without realizing it) vie for the attention of the bride or the groom. With so many guests focused on two people, a couple can easily spend a great deal of their wedding reception on opposite sides of the dance floor.

As a therapist, I am all for independence and making sure that, even if you are a part of a couple, you can stand on your own two feet. In order to become a healthy "we" you must be able to exist as a healthy "me." However, weddings are intended to celebrate a couple and their union. On this special day, it bodes well for a pair's future if they can make a plan ahead of time to hold hands and stick together. Keep Reading...

More wedding advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte

Counselor/Therapist

Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Elisabeth LaMotte:

Is Your Teen Or Tween Struggling Because They Feel Different?

By

If you have tween or teen daughters, it is highly likely that you have already heard an earful about John Green's bestselling novel and subsequently recently released film, The Fault in our Stars.  Even if you do not have teens or tweens, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the hype about Hazel Grace, Augustus Waters, and their ... Read more

5 Things Movies Can Teach You About Breakups

By

A painful breakup is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy. Breakups are almost never easy and almost never mutual. Most people going through a breakup say they wish they could reverse their situation back into a relationship. However, as much as losing a relationship can hurt, breakups also carry the opportunity for important emotional ... Read more

Are You Ready to Unplug Your Love Life?

By

As a therapist working with adults in their twenties, thirties and forties, many of whom are single, I frequently discuss the way that technology affects dating and relationships with my clients.  I often wonder what the future will look like, and how much farther the internet revolution will infiltrate and impact the human experience of ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB