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Marriage vs Wedding

As a young girl, I grew up believing that marriage was very sacred and it was the last stage you wanted to be at in a relationship. Being married meant you had finally found the one to share your life with. It was a dream which would enable you to build a foundation together, love one another, raise a family together, explore and travel together. By that point you could fulfill goals and achieve almost anything you set your heart and soul on, because you had found someone who would finally support your drive.

Clearly, I was too young to understand that you could still fulfill many things as a single person and there was no rush to settle down. There was no rush to find a man who wasn't worthy of your love. There was no rush to marry by the age of twenty five and there was definitely no rush to have children before you established your life.

As a child, after going to several weddings with my mother and making my first holy communion, I imagined myself on numerous occasions as this beautiful princess walking down a church isle holding a bouquet of flowers in the most stunning dress. In this visualisation, I was always surrounded by family and friends. I was happy, wealthy and owned everything I had ever dreamed of.

In my head, my special day was going to be the perfect white wedding every woman hoped for. I would be driven in the most luxurious vintage Bentley car and my reception would be held in a stately home somewhere in the countryside, where no other person could afford. I wanted a maid of honour, 6 bridesmaids, 6 groomsmen, a page boy and a flower girl. It was going to be the fairy-tale wedding I used to read about in story books and I wanted it to be amazing.

As I look back, at that point in my life, I never really understood marriage. It was the actual wedding that I focused my thoughts on. After all, I was still very young. What child would consider marriage and take the idea of it seriously?

Having been baptised a Catholic, I was influenced by the catholic church and its teachings. Going to an all-girls school run by nuns probably didn't help, because my curiosity about boys unexpectedly took a turn and it made me want to explore my sexuality even more, regardless of how strict my mother had been. Sometimes, I wonder how my life would have been now if I had taken her more seriously?

It had always been drilled in my head to marry before children. To indulge in sexual activity after marriage, but I guess when life’s temptations grab you from the all directions, you soon lose sight of everything and you become drawn into a world that forgets morals, the ideal man and waiting for the right moment.

I got caught up in numerous relationships where I became mesmerised by the idea of being someone’s girl, their link, their other half. When in fact I should have been considered their number one Queen.

Whilst, I may have not had the ideal relationships, I still at that point of my life hoped to be married. I still wanted to be someone’s wife. I knew how much of a strong woman I was, but I was lacking love for myself. I was allowing myself to be disrespected by men. In fact, I didn't love myself enough to recognise what I was worth. I didn't realise that, for any man to want to love and marry me, I needed to love the inner me. Not this fixed vision of myself that I had convinced myself I was. No marriage would ever work, if I was not happy within.

The man I hoped to marry would need to love, honour me and cherish me and treat me like his Queen. Not disrespect me, or physically and emotionally abuse me. I would be the woman he had by his side among friends, family and business acquaintances. I would be a mother figure to his children if he had any from previous relationships. I would support him throughout his business ventures and be an extra voice in his decision making.

I never wanted to be a wife who was kept in the background unaware of her husband’s doings. The housewife who does nothing but stays at home and watches the children. Not saying there is anything wrong with it. A mother should feel happy within her role doing want she wants to do. It's just that I have always been a proactive kind of woman, who prefers to be a go getter and chooses to take her capabilities to another level.

As I have grown into the woman I am today, the idea of marriage seems more fulfilling than that of a wedding. Marriage is what a couple should be aiming for. It's the partnership and union of two. Coming together to be amazing as one. Communicating, building a strong empire, not only for ourselves but for our children's children and our community. We are all brought here on earth to have a purpose in life and if we work together, each and every one of us can use that purpose to our advantage.

I have heard many friends complain about the relationships they have been in that have been unfulfilling, but refuse to leave. But why? If you are not happy, why sacrifice your happiness?

I have a friend who has met the man of her dreams but after two years he hasn't even introduced her to his friends, children or family. In fact, they are not even aware of her existence. Now, for me I feel this is a shame on her part, because if this man claims he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her? Why is it after all this time that he cannot commit to her? Why does he feel that she should except this type of treatment? He may feel that he is doing no wrong, but he must understand how his partner feels knowing that she wants to be a part of his family life. Why keep her a secret and hidden away? Is it because he doesn't feel their relationship will last? Will his family disapprove of her? Or is he waiting for his life to be established, where he feels like everything is coming in to order for him to take the next step? Either way, circumstances can play an important role in working together to make a situation better.

Many of you may be asking yourselves, what kind of woman would hang around and put up with this? Obviously, a woman who loves whole heartedly, forgives and wants things to improve. But, how can one expect her to move forward or even consider marriage? For starters, she is now becoming lost in trying to prove herself to him. She has forgotten her self-worth, is lacking self esteem and is clearly losing the love for herself, which now means she has given up on trying. She gave him the power to determine her importance and because he didn't make her feel important, it will now take more than just love to build back the relationship they had in the beginning.

Is this the trials and tribulations of working things out? Learning about each others wants and needs.

So, we can see that entering a marriage isn't just about two people coming together, it’s about feeling complete. How can anything be a unit if one party is stopping the bonding from occurring? This is a prime example of marriage not just being about a wedding. It involves understanding, patience, compassion, compromising, sacrifices, trust, giving, acceptance and tolerance.

Is it that important to have a perfect wedding when your priorities are not in place? Or is it better to make sure the marriage is solid in all aspects prior?

In my eyes, the focus should never be about the wedding day itself, because a wedding only lasts for one day and after that one day, the challenge begins. What then becomes important is the marriage.

I now feel that a wedding is just the first step to marriage and once the marriage is grounded, only then it becomes a winner.

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