Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It Takes a Village to Stay Married

Last Saturday night I attended my first wedding ceremony since my own marriage ended in 2007. Man, that was a doozy... I realized that I had never before in my adult life attended a wedding without being part of a couple.

There is a lot you can say about marriage as an institution, both pro and con. Speaking from my own experience, I think marriage is a dang good idea for the raising of kids, somewhat optional otherwise. But if you're going down that road, remember that marriage is a connection to a larger community, its standards and its expectations. That's a whole lot bigger than two people.

Wedding Day, Tess Gadwa and Blake Thomas
If you are invited to a wedding, as part of the ceremony you will probably be asked to pledge your support to the couple getting married. All I ask you to do is to take those vows seriously. If a friend seems to be struggling, take the time to listen. Don't feel like you need to give advice, immediately take sides, or rush to judgment. Just ask one simple question:

"What can I do to help?"

Not all marriages can be saved. But any marriage in trouble contains two people struggling through different degrees of hurt, fear, anger, guilt and confusion. They are probably feeling more alone than ever before in their lives. If you came to their wedding, if you danced and ate their cake, they deserve your compassion and support.

Two more weddings this summer. Wish me luck...