I Do, I Did, I Wish I Hadn’t

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:00
Posted in category Divorce
<div class=\"postavatar\">I Do, I Did, I Wish I Hadn’t</div>

Post written by Rick Doyle


I Do, I Did, I Wish I Hadn’t


We’re closing in on that time of year when all the newlyweds‑to‑be are finalizing plans and preparing for marital bliss. With all the excitement of getting married everything must be in place for that magical day. The cake, the caterer and the music must be picked out, flowers and decorations chosen, the honeymoon plans agreed on and reservations made. The tuxes, gowns and dresses must all be sized and reserved. The church and reception hall chosen and booked, blood tests and licenses completed and vows decided on.  There’s always so much to do and so little time for the spring bride‑to‑be.

In the excitement of it all, and in line with that old one liner, ‘I do’ it seems like nothing can go wrong. Then suddenly it strikes like a pimple on prom night.  You suddenly realize that in the whirlwind, you haven’t got a clue as to who this person you’re marrying really is.

Let me give you a few examples. You can’t comprehend why she persists in taking her make‑up off with the white towels instead of using cotton balls. You don’t say anything because it’s a small thing and you love her. Is he lazy or just dense, she wonders? Why can’t he put the dishes in the dishwasher 12 inches away from the sink? Why won’t he put his underwear in the laundry hamper instead of on the chair or hanging on the closet doorknob? Worse than that, he wants a stinky dog. She wants a stupid cat. I thought she WOULDN’T cook, not that she COULDN’T cook. No wonder his father left his mother. Cold doesn’t just refer to climate. I make all the money so I wear the pants in the family.

These little surprises tend to surface shortly after the honeymoon is over. Not to mention a million and one other questions that were never asked or answered prior to saying, “I do.”

In this day of disposable marriage, the commitment to love, honor, cherish and obey “til death do us part” frequently results in tragic, disruptive and sometimes even fatal consequences, because little or no investment was made spiritually, emotionally or psychologically before taking those vows. Having a therapist to discover and anticipate the ‘If only I had known’ syndrome, or to negotiate and resolve potential conflict and communication problems before you’re in a divorce court can be a most worthwhile investment of time and money.

The consequences of not communicating your feelings prior to the most major commitment of your life more often than not because you’re too busy pleasing your loved one or others at the time, will most definitely result in later pain.  This hurts not only your spouse, yourself and your children (if you have them) but all the related family members and friends who have an emotional investment as a result of your marriage as well. Most of the time we are so busy being in love and experiencing the euphoria that comes from the excitement of getting married that we overlook many of our own and/or our spouse’s faults. We also may not realize that we are simply ‘in lust’ rather than ‘in love’ which lasts about as long as the honeymoon.  We fail to address unresolved issues such as fear, jealousy and insecurity because outside influences often pressure us into saying “I do” when we should have said “I don’t.”

Enlisting a therapist to smooth out the wrinkles or just help you to look at some of the darker issues may prevent you from sticking yourself on the sharp thorns of divorce and “I wish I hadn’t”. An impartial, objective opinion is not seen through your own rose-colored glasses but clear, unobstructed lenses.
It is especially important to realize that if you have a poor track record such as abusive, codependent or multiple marriages, a competent therapist may keep you from making the same mistakes or even a bigger one. Most premarital counseling, provided the counselor doesn’t run into too many snags, is usually brief and worth the cost. You should figure for the minor investment, you can get a good start with a lifetime of interest.
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