ERP 058: Beyond the Wedding. What is Marriage Really Like?
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“112 Weddings” by Doug Block
After filming over 20 years of couples weddings, videographer and documentary film maker Doug Block, began to wonder what happened to these couples, “Are they still together? Is married life what they thought it would be? How have they navigated the inevitable ups and downs of marriage over the long haul? Are they happy?”
To answer these questions, Doug tracked down 9 couples to interview. In “112 Weddings,” Doug explores themes of love, commitment, and challenges, while giving us flashbacks of their wedding day. He asks all the couples: “After years of being married, what would be your advice be for a young couple soon to be married?”
(These are Show Notes: Be sure to listen to the episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.)
1. You are going to experience challenges together.
Every couple talked about some hardship or difficulty that they had to face together. These challenges ranged from financial stresses, parenting and decision-making conflicts, mental illness, having a child with a life threatening illness, and having a child with learning disability.
“I think there’s an amazing story behind every couple’s marriage. The common denominator is that they’re going to face really tough challenges over time.” ~ Doug Block
2. You have no idea what to expect within your marriage.
“Wedding is day one. It is easy to make happy. You just throw a ton of money and liquor at it. A wedding is easy to make happy and marriage it hard to make happy.” ~ Rabbi Jonathan Blake
Even against our better judgement, we hope our marriage will be easy or that “happily ever after” will happen to us. Yet, a marriage is a living, breathing relationship. A marriage does not survive on it own, it takes a level of intention, attention, and investment that most of us do not know how to do proactively. Couples talked about the mistakes of putting other priorities first and taking their partner for granted.
3. When things don’t go according to plan, it is easy to feel shame.
Generally, we don’t talk about our hardships with one another. Therefore, it is easy to think everyone else is doing well in their relationship, especially when you look at social media. We tend to privately play the comparison game. When our relationship is not going the way we want it to, it is easy to feel bad and alone. This is especially true, if we expected the relationship to be easy and blissful. We think some version of “Something is wrong with me, my partner, or us.”
4. Gather resources to get you through the challenging times.
As with any challenge you set-out to accomplish, you want to be as prepared as possible. If you were planning for a long, rigorous hike, you would want to wear good socks and boots, as well as prepare a pack with extra clothing layers, plenty of snacks and water, and supplies.
One couple talked about marriage being like waves. “Sometimes you love your partner, and sometimes you hate them. Your marriage will go through phases.” Couples talked what helped them get through the difficult times:
- Working together.
- Being able to laugh together.
- Remembering why I married this person.
- Having gratitude; Not taking my for granted.
Doug Block answers the question, “What do you hope people take away from this film?”:
“When people tend to think about marriage, their thoughts end at the wedding. The wedding is such a big deal that they conflate marriage with weddings. The whole point of the film is that the wedding is just day one. You’re going to have a long life together and the only thing that you can expect is that life will throw the unexpected at you. That’s your task as a couple — facing life together and the things you can’t possibly prepare for.“
Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 058 Beyond the wedding. What is marriage really like.
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