Marriage is a huge step, a massive commitment and should never be taken lightly. The days leading up to your wedding can be stressful as you grapple with the adjustment. If you, or your groom, are feeling nervous that is completely normal.
Unfortunately, divorce is on the increase in South Africa. Statistics SA’s Marriages and Divorces 2012 report revealed 21 998 divorces were completed and registered in 2012, up from 20 980 the year before. It is clear then that if you are heading down the aisle soon, you need to treat your marriage with respect, love and attention to keep it from failing.
Some advice from a newly divorced man took the internet by storm recently. Motivational speaker Gerald Rogers posted on Facebook there was much he could have done to save his marriage.
He advised readers to never take their spouse for granted and to never stop dating. “When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would own her heart and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. She chose you. Never forget that, and never get lazy in your love.”
We should all protect our own hearts, Rogers wrote. “Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.”
He emphasised the importance of repeatedly falling in love with your spouse, over and over. “You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today.”
Rogers said you should choose to re-choose your partner every day. “She doesn’t have to stay with you, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.”
Marriage is about so much more than a big party for all your friends. Love, hard work and commitment are needed to keep your marriage safe. It is more than a diamond encrusted ring for her and wedding bands for men. It is more than a registry filled with dinner sets you’ll never use and appliances which will never be removed from their boxes. Actor Ashton Kutcher had this in mind when he said: “As marriage goes, I think most people sort of set getting married as the goal as opposed to being married.”