personal post

Let’s Get Personal: Little Actions Can Add Up to Big Things

Image: Amber Kay Photography

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I am hurting big time after my first wedding of 2017 (which was EPIC), finishing my first 8 mile run since pre-Evie days (and also spraining my ankle & not realizing it on mile 5), and staying up too late to watch the Falcons lose. I was a terrible blogger last week, so I am trying to get back on track and ignoring the 800 emails currently in my inbox – I promise I will respond to you all by end of day!

Last week I participated in my FIRST EVER bookclub meeting. It was inspiring, emotional, thought-provoking, and freakin’ FUN. About 10 of us met virtually from across the US via Google Hangout to discuss the Empathy Exams – a really interesting collection of essays on varying personal experiences the author has had, both personally and through other people. I haven’t exercised the analytical reading part of my brain like that, probably since High School.

The meeting couldn’t have come at a better time too, I was having a bad day (for no real reason), just super tired, moody & low and there was a big part of me that wanted to just veg on the couch and flake on the hangout. With this current political climate and everything going on in our country lately, I am just so emotionally drained & mentally exhausted. I’ve spent too much time pouring over social media, and donating half of my bank account to every charity & cause I can. I’ve fought internet Trolls, attended protests, and decked my body in head to toe Nasty Woman gear, but nothing has made me feel so re-energized and soothed like this one virtual book club meeting.

Which got me to thinking about how important small gestures & little interactions can be. Especially right now, for people like me that are driven by solutions. I am a problem-solver, a fixer, I innately see or hear about issues & conflicts and my first thought isn’t anything other than “Well what can we do to fix it?”. And right now, in our country, the problems are big, like huge, like immeasurable. Racial divide, inter-sectional feminism, banning immigrants & refugees, taking away people’s healthcare, and the list goes on. These are huge issues, on which people are REALLY divided, and quite frankly there doesn’t feel like much I can do to attempt to help solve these problems.

Or so I initially thought.

It wasn’t until last week’s bookclub meeting that I was able to take a step back and re-focus at a more micro-level, the things I could do on a small-scale, to make a difference. My sister & a friend both posted online about connections they had to refugee families and so instead of sending all my money to Red Cross and other large Refugee Support organizations (which don’t get me wrong, I still plan to do), I was able to donate baby bottles & boys’ pants, directly two two refugee families that needed these items. That felt really good.

I am also currently a member of at least 3,000 “action” Facebook groups post-Inauguration (I kid, it’s not exactly 3,000), and again, it’s starting to get overwhelming to me to try and be apart of SO many of these groups and try and tackle a ton of big issues. So instead I am going to mute a good amount of them and refocus on the 1-2, where I can actually take small actions, without getting overwhelmed. It might take some time to see the bigger result at the end, but I am confident that the smaller actions I am now taking, will end up doing more in the end.

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Let’s Get Personal: A Reminder of the Importance of Selflessness & Reflection

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

I‘ve found a lot more inspiration lately for writing more personal posts, so I hope you guys don’t mind it too much. Maybe all the post-election insanity has caused me to be more introspective, or maybe I’ve been reading so many op-eds and think pieces lately, craving explanation for what the heck is happening in our country (and world) that it’s opened up more introspective thoughts & thus, posts. Whatever the reason, they’re always therapeutic for me, and so I’ll continue to write them until someone tells me to stop ;-p.

Today’s post came by way of Facebook – a friend of mine from High School posted a status update after the new year about her life as a military wife & mom of two, dealing with being only halfway through her husband’s current deployment. I asked Kelsey if I could share her words here, and she thankfully agreed to let me. Here were her words:

We are a little over half way finished with Andy’s current deployment. I’m sitting in my warm and quiet house reflecting on the past few months. When Andy first deployed a few months ago I had so many emotions; sadness, loneliness and anger. I would look at families in restaurants and stores and be jealous of their togetherness and happiness. I would quickly scroll past family photos on Facebook and wished I could post pictures of my family together also. I would tear up when I received beautiful family Christmas cards in the mail. As time passed I’ve let those emotions go as I have learned so much about myself and my capabilities as a mother and a woman. I’ve learned that I can and will handle all situations that come up. Military wives learn to expect the strangest things to come up while their husbands are gone. Things in the house break at the most inconvenient time, there seems to be less sleep and long nights, kids get sick more than ever before with more ER visits and so on.

Daily routines and traditions need to be consistent even though Dad is away. I have no choice but to take on the rolls of husband and father. Kids need “rough housing,” they need their Christmas toys that take 6 hours to be put together; they need discipline and so forth. The cars need to have the oil changed and bills need to be paid, and lawns need to be mowed and raked, driveways need to be shoveled and garbage needs to be taken out. Before I did all of this with resentment and always felt a little sorry for myself. I’m over that. I’ve realized the time apart from Andy has allowed me to mature and has made me be thankful for our health and love that our family has for each other and for those who have supported us along the way. I’ve learned to let the small things go and to focus on the things that really matter.

In reading this post again, I am once more moved to tears and in awe of her strength, self-reflection, and honesty. I must also admit that her post could not have come at a better time for me. Andy has been traveling a lot more for work lately than he ever has, and I’ll admit that I don’t ever take the news well when he tells me he has to jet off somewhere new. Yes I understand it’s for his job, and yes I know that he doesn’t want to leave me hanging to take care of Evie alone, but that didn’t seem to help my mood.

I almost always get sulky and grumpy, building up how tough and exhausting it’s going to be (or is) when he’s gone and the child care routine is on me, as I still try to keep the CapRo lights on and functioning at my day job. It’s stressful for sure, but it wasn’t until Kelsey’s post (and our quick chat after she wrote it) that made me realize two things. 1 – there are so many parents that bear this burden of single-parenting (military deployments, or other circumstances) for so much longer than the few days a month Andy travels, and 2- I was making this situation entirely about me.

Every time Andy told me had to travel, I immediately thought of myself and how hard it would be for ME only. I didn’t think about how he might feel being away and I didn’t think about Evie missing Andy/wondering where he might be. Andy’s work trips pale in comparison to Kelsey’s situation (and others’ like her) where her partner is gone for MONTHS. Surely if Kelsey can see the good in this situation, I can find a way to react better and think of others more, and of myself & own pity, less.

So let this post serve as a reminder to you, especially as we set out on a new year, that there may be times where you could think of your self a little less, and of others a little more. I know I am certainly going to try much harder to do this, starting today.

Let’s Get Personal: 2016 Reflection & Year in Review

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Images: Mathy Shoots People

Well Romancers, we survived the holidays, a long 8+ hour drive back from Vermont, and the roller coaster year that was 2016. Next week I plan to break down my business goals for 2017, but for today, my first post in the new year, I thought I would reflect on the insanity that was last year.

I’ll try to stay away from the political things (I think I’ve posted enough about that) and instead focus on my business – what went right, what went wrong, and what we could have done better. It was a year of change for my business – I said goodbye to my workshops, started new recurring posts (hello Mompreneur series), worked on growing my social media presence (woo hoo hitting 2K+ followers on Instagram!), and tried my hand at a little thing called eCommerce.

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The CapRoShop was (and continues to be) my biggest challenge and growth point from 2016. It was a completely new arm of my business and is something I knew very little about going in, but consequently that means I learned SO MUCH this past year about launching an online ecommerce business. How to stand-up the online instance (SSLs, WooCommerce, Printful, Designs, Penning Product Descriptions, and more), and how to attempt to market the shop (giveaways, collaborations, and OH THE MARKETING) were challenging, stressful, and still very much both of those things. I could have never done with without the help of so many and honestly by the end of 2016 I was mostly just glad I finally was able to launch the damn thing. I have a LOT MORE on my plate with the shop for this year (more in next week’s post on 2017 business goals), but for now I’ll just say that it was one of the biggest things that came out of 2016 for Capitol Romance.

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But really the thing that started it all with regards to CapRo going eCommerce would be that we launched our first ever PRODUCT in 2016, the infamous Capitol Romance Wedding Planner! Born out of an idea that came to me during the Blogcademy, it took a long time to write out all the content and work tirelessly with the insanely talented & amazing Typecase Industries to bring the planner to life. We’ve sold out 3 printings of the planner & released new cover color options. Our “All We Do is Plan Plan Plan” cover is by far our most popular & we look forward to continued sales in 2017!

On the wedding coordination side of the house, we officially welcomed Kara to the CapRo team for 2016 weddings and are excited to share that we hope to have ANOTHER kickass rockstar coordinator on board the team for 2017! We collectively worked 26 weddings last year (up 9 from 2015) and I know we’ll top that in 2017. We continually have the BEST clients in the DC area and I can’t wait to see what our clients cook up for us this year.

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On the personal side of things, I tried to take a step back from the business in 2016. I said goodbye to the DIY workshops (which still live on, thankfully with District Bliss!), and took only a handful of coordination clients. I cut back on blogging too, which will likely continue in 2017 as those with blogs know – blogging is time consuming with a capital T. I hope to continue to have guest bloggers to help (please! submit posts!), but will spend the time instead with that cute ole family you see in this post today.

As always, I have to thank YOU, my readers & supporters for keeping this business alive. It’s the only way this business has survived since 2011 and it’s the only reason it’s still forging on for another year. So thank you guys and I look forward to a new year of learning, challenges, and growth.

stay nasty,

Bree

Let’s Get Personal: Coming to Terms With Privilege

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

Ever since the election, I’ve found myself reading more think pieces, reflection posts, and opinion articles than my brain & emotional state can handle. Pieces that attempt to explain what the hell happened, why rural Americans voted how they did (and how we should or shouldn’t feel about that), how women & immigrants could vote for him, and what the heck we should do, feel, think, say …. yes it’s exhausting, but it seems to be all I can do these days as I STILL wake up wondering when I will no longer feel like I am in a bad dream. Because honestly, most of my days, I still cannot believe we elected this man to be our President.

But of the countless articles I’ve read, there is a topic that has caused me to do the most soul searching and questioning: the topic of privilege.

Privilege is a layered topic and one that is not always easy to discuss. I acknowledge that being a women puts me at an immediate disadvantage in some realms, but on the whole, being upper middle class and white, puts me at a certain level of privilege that many are not afforded. And while I can say that I empathize with those that are less fortunate than me, or aren’t afforded the same luxuries as me, I can’t truly know what it’s like to not have a certain level of privilege.

And I’ll admit that this is challenging for me. Sometimes I feel like apologizing to the world (“I never asked for this privilege”), sometimes I feel the need to get super defensive (“But I am also disadvantaged in other ways”), and sometimes I just sit at my laptop, reading, and not at all knowing what to do or so. If you know me you know that having nothing to do or say isn’t exactly in my nature.

So here I am, admitting that I am a privileged individual, that is conflicted and unsure of how to deal with that privilege. The think pieces and opinion articles written by those that are less privileged than myself have opened my eyes to the experiences of others that I hadn’t considered before. I am now potentially more aware, but still completely unsure of how to rectify or come to terms with my privilege. Do I read more articles? Do I try to have hard discussions? Do I ask questions?

I am worried of looking insincere, or offensive, or worse, ignorant. And if I don’t know how to deal with this, how the heck am I going to properly teach my daughter about the topic?

At this point I think the thing I’ve come back to the most, is the power of listening. Not always trying to defend myself or needing to say something in response – just listening to other points of view, trying to understand what it’s like from another, less-privileged perspective, and learning all I can from the varying pieces. I won’t ever be able to erase the privilege that my race, my upbringing, or my gender has given me – but I can continue to try and understand how that privilege might affected the way I react, the things I do, or the things I might say. I can challenge myself to listen more, understand further, and challenge others to do the same. Because what’s really the point of being granted something like privilege if I don’t try to use it for the betterment of others?

Let’s Get Personal: I Won’t Give Up, I Won’t Give In

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Any time something major happens in our country or our world, I always struggle to get back to the standard “wedding blogging” routine. These events feel huge and they consume me. This election somehow feels like one of the strongest.

Maybe it’s because the election outcome seems to be one of the most personal. Hurricane Sandy affected my parents and their neighborhood, mass shootings always gut me & leave me feeling hopeless (and then angry), other tragedies take place daily, but none of these have affected me personally (and I thank goodness for that). But this election feels different. I tried to find a way yesterday to compare the feelings I am feeling. I have yet to find an appropriate comparison. This one is new. This one is incomparable. I think it has something to do with the shock.

I think I experienced all stages of grief at the same time yesterday. And I think a good part of me is still in disbelief. I am still trying to sort out my feelings, my thoughts, my plan for action. Because if anything good comes of this, it needs to be the action. We have so much work to do. As women, as white people, as a divided nation, as anger & fear seem to be crushing kindness and community.

I’ve read more articles, tweets, Facebook posts and text messages these last 24+ hours than I care to admit. The three themes that have stuck with me the most are these:

  • It’s absolutely OK to grieve
  • Every woman I know is just SO tired
  • It’s time to get to work

So let’s start with the first: grieving. I can’t remember the last time I cried this much. And no, I am not speaking in hyperbole here (as I so often love to do). I am sure the 3 hours of sleep isn’t helping, but it’s been a nonstop tearfest over here since 11:30pm on election night when shit started to get dire. Almost everything sets me off into another fit. Loving texts from my amazing sisters. Seeing my husband for the first time since the results were confirmed. My boss showing me his muslim-american brother’s facebook post. Thinking of all my LGBT friends and clients. Writing this post.

I am grieving. I am sad. I am not (currently) OK. And that is OK. I don’t have to be strong today, I don’t have to be strong tomorrow. It is 150% OK to be sad right now. There will be plenty of time to fight after the grieving process is over.

Second: I’m exhausted. Leading up to the election I wasn’t my best self. I was moody, I was low energy, I wasn’t being a great partner to my husband – and any time he asked what was wrong, I couldn’t explain other than saying, I am just SO tired. I am tired of proving myself as a female in a male-dominated tech project at my day job. I am tired of fighting the men who tell me sexism wasn’t at play in this election. I am tired of trying to understand how women could vote for a man that wants to take away their rights, and has no plan to ensure we are paid fairly. I am tired of fighting all the damn time, to only continue to see the rich, smug, privileged, white guy win.

So that leads to the third. It’s time to get to work. After I cry (and get some sleep) until I literally can’t anymore. Action. Doing. Leading. It’s what we as women have always done, and as a woman, what I will try to continue to do. More donating (Planned Parenthood & Human Rights Campaign come to mind), more supporting of women-owned businesses (Stitch & Rivet, Handmade Habitat, Denada Design, Rachel Pfeffer Jewelry … I’m coming for you), more kindness, more supporting couples & clients of any race, religion, or sexual orientation, more love.

So after I stop crying, find time to rest & catch up from the exhaustion, I plan to get to work. Love will always trump hate, we are indeed stronger together, and I plan on being the nastiest woman possible for as long as I can. Expect more donations, more proceeds from the shop going to good causes, more posts here that spread love, and more volunteering.

I see you racism, sexism & bigotry and I won’t give up or give in.

Let’s Get Personal: In the Company Of Women Recap & So Much Damn Inspiration

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending Design Sponge‘s In the Company of Women book tour at Dock5 at Union Market. The evening consisted of a room FULL of women, listening to 5 women business owners answer a Q&A by Design Sponge CEO & In the Company of Women author, Grace Bonney.

It was, to say the least, downright inspiring. We heard from 5 different women (which included DC locals, the 2 owners of Gordy’s Pickle Jar & the founder of Salt & Sundry) from different backgrounds, all hustling as the owners of their own businesses. They talked about the meaning of success (and how none of them actually felt wholly successful), the trials and tribulations of being not only a business owner – but a WOMAN business owner (yes it’s different), and how they find time for themselves. It’s always refreshing to witness women at different levels of businesses (either by size of business or years in business) mention feeling the same way I do – that there’s ALWAYS work to be done, that you never feel like you’re fully on top of things, that you struggle to be SO MANY things all at once …. and the list goes on.

There were two parts of the night that REALLY stuck with me (well, other than thinking that panelist & author, Ashley Ford deserves her own TV show). The first came when the panelists were talking about the barriers they face purely because they are women business owners – and Grace explained that it often results from the fact that women are expected to be SO MANY THINGS at the same damn time. We need to be nice, but commanding, we have to direct but not be bossy, we need to smile (always) but not too much, and so on and so forth. At my day job recently I was on a call with my team and things were not going well. The men on my team were not listening to me, and after 40 minutes of back and forth, we ended up finally agreeing on the direction I put forth within the first 5 minutes of the call. Besides the fact that I was irritated that no one seemed to listen to me and the 40 minutes seemed wasted because had they just listened at first, we could have had that time back … a male colleague in my workspace commented, “wow, I’ve never heard you yell at your team before”.

I was slightly taken back – I am a loud person by nature, but nothing I thought I was doing on the phone call constituted “yelling”. I was firm (because I believed my direction was the right one) and I was persistent (because the others on the call kept pushing back) and yes I was loud (because I always am), but it sort of bothered me that that equated to “yelling”. I’ve heard men in my office use commanding voices before and no one tells them they are yelling at their team ….

So yeah, the never ending cycle of contradictions that women are expected to be as leaders and business owners, is very real to me and it was comforting to hear the panelists last night that us talking about it, is what will help effect the change.

The second part of the evening that continues to swim in my head, was when Grace shared that she is not actually a creative person – though her blog features the work of talented creatives & makers – she is not one of them. And because of that, she sometimes feels less than, when she is in a room or in the company of creatives & makers.

This is how I feel – ALL THE TIME. I’ve had the privilege of meeting SO MANY amazing business owners in DC (men & women) that are creating and making the things they sell in their businesses. I am in awe of their talent and I wish I had the skills some of them do, to be able to MAKE or CREATE products. I am not a coder, a graphic designer, a leather maker, or really a creator AT ALL and that often leaves me feeling somewhat inferior to the DC makers I meet.

When I got my book signed, I told Grace that her quote really resonated with me, and she told me straight up that though we might not be makers or creators, we have skills (like bringing people together) that are just as awesome and we are all still better together as a community with the different skills we bring to the group.

What an evening, I won’t be forgetting any time soon and I cannot wait to dive into the book. Happy Wednesday Romancers.

Let’s Get Personal: My Husband is My Equal, My Partner

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Image: Maggie Gaudean Winters Photography

Something I’ve seen lately in the wedding vendor space, are vendors posting about their spouses in a certain way. What’s wrong with that you might ask (as I often do it too)? Well, it’s the way they talk about their husbands and the words they use that has come to bother me enough to write my thoughts down about it.

I find that vendors seem to be putting their husbands up on pedestals, saying they are so “lucky” to have gotten the chance to marry them. The language they use seems to insinuate that they are less than their husbands; that their husbands are such higher beings that it’s almost incredulous that they chose their wives to marry.

This language makes me feel strange. It feels off and wrong and I just only realized why it made me feel that way – because it makes it feel like the individual members of the couple are not equals; that the male is greater than the female. That the wife is not worthy of her husband.

A long time ago I wrote about my husband on this blog and I used the word partner more than once in the post. Andy is very much my partner and my equal in life and in our relationship. We are both flawed individuals that work hard to be better people for ourselves, for each other, for our families & now for our daughter. This isn’t a matter of deserving each other – it’s a matter of working hard because we want to be together in a committed relationship that lasts.

Putting your husband on a pedestal seems a bit dangerous to me. It sets unrealistic expectations and though I am not a doctor or psychologist, I can’t imagine it’s healthy to imagine your husband as someone who is better than yourself; or who is someone you don’t deserve. I also am not sure it’s so great to constantly build your husband up into this space of perfection, where he might feel like he can’t ever actually live up to the expectation you have put out there.

I’d also say I can’t help but feel that there’s a social media lens being put over these posts. When women posts images with captions like “OMG this guy! What did I do to deserve him?!” – they get likes & comments. I want to respond, um – you’re a hardworking, beautiful, successful business owner … let’s start there.

I doubt this post will change many minds or stop those posts I see from happening, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing my opinions on this and wondering if others felt the same way. Personally for me, recognizing that Andy and I were equals in our relationship, not only helped my self-esteem but helped me to not put him in some unattainable atmosphere of husbandry. Andy “chose” me to spend his life with because I was worthy of being chosen. We are partners, equals, and perfect compliments to each other and we both deserve each other because we are both willing to put in the work it requires to stay together.

 

[editor’s note: I wrote this post using heterosexual examples and terms because the examples I referenced were all women speaking about their husbands. As you know I’ve always tried to make this blog an inclusive space for ALL couples, so I just wanted to share why I used the more hetero speech/example here.]

Let’s Get Personal: A Letter to My Daughter

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Today is Evie’s first birthday (happy birthday nugget!). And I’ve had this post brewing in my mind for quite some time. Little pieces here and there, but never found the time to actually sit down and write the whole thing out. So as we got closer to the big mile marker, I figured I would wait until her actual birthday to blog it. So here it goes:

For some reason I cannot at all remember now, Andy & I both agreed (secretly and not so secretly) that we wanted a boy. I have doodles from college that show mine & Andy’s family with 2 boys and our youngest being a girl (we even had names – wow we were young and in love!). Boy, boy, girl. That was the order I thought would be perfect for our family. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The second you were born, before the midwife could even tell me your sex, I knew you were a girl. That might sound unbelievable but it’s true. Instead of asking “what is it?”, I asked “girl?”, confirming what I already knew. And from that point on, the thought of so vehemently wanting a boy for our first child was gone forever.

When I try to think back on the reasons why I wanted a boy, I think it was mostly fear. Fear that I couldn’t handle a girl’s emotional being. Fear that I couldn’t handle the way other girls might treat mine (girls can be so mean!). Fear that my daughter might get the same insecurities I possess. Fear that I couldn’t properly raise a strong, independent woman.

But instead of the fear I once felt initially, I am instead filled these days with so much determination instead. I am determined to raise a woman that can absolutely handle female emotions (even if her mother can not). That can absolutely handle other girls and the way they might treat her. That can absolutely rise above the insecurities that so many women possess. And that will be as strong and independent as she wants or needs to be.

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(Evie at 9 months)

As I reflect back on this past year with you, I can’t help but realize how much you’ve changed me and caused me to grow as a person and as a woman. I’ll admit that I expected motherhood to change me (how could it not?) but I thought it might give me more patience or help me to cut back on my sarcasm. It hasn’t, (sorry Andy!) but instead it’s given me something I did not expect to gain: confidence.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have the time anymore to get lost down the social media comparison clickhole or maybe it’s because when you have a whole other human to worry about, worrying about competition or not being as good as someone else, seems trivial, or perhaps it’s that my energy these days is completely maxed out between caring for you, my marriage, my day job, and this side hustle business of mine. There is no energy left for feeling sorry for myself or less than others.

You’ve already taught me so much in this first year I am excited (and ok, a tad apprehensive) at what year 2 will bring. But between your spunky, yet laid-back nature, and my newfound determination & confidence, I have a feeling that the exciting times will far outweigh the apprehensive ones.

Happy Birthday Evie. Love you so much!

Let’s Get Personal: Marriage is Not a Solution to Your Relationship Problems

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Image: Maggie with Pop! Wed Co.

This post has been forming in my mind for a week now. But really it started back in college when I took a sociology class (man I LOVED soc classes) about relationships and families. One of the things we covered in class one day, stuck with me all this time, the differing views that men and women tend to have on what marriage means. Now let me preface by saying that I am paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact details of the article/study we read and talked about (I was in college/this class like 10 years ago guys …), and the study focused only on heterosexual couples. So pardon the potential gross generalities here.

The gist was that one of the issues of couples cohabitating before marriage was that they each had different expectations and views on what would happen once they got married. In general, most men expected nothing to change – that the relationship would stay the same, and they would “just be married now”. But on the other hand, most women expected A LOT would change once they got married.

Now I am not exactly sure why women would think that getting married is like some sort of wizardry. That the act of getting married means their partner would suddenly become neater, more attentive, less grumpy, etc. But I see this happening first hand (not with my clients!) but with friends of friends and hearing of relationship qualms post-marriage.

So let me put this out there for any engaged, soon to be engaged, or maybe someday engaged in the distant future, couples out there: marriage is NOT a solution to your relationship problems. When you get married, it’s not magic, it’s not easy, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that your problems go away. I might argue that getting married might even bring you MORE challenges because there is no longer an easy out, as you have vowed and promised to be in this together, but that is probably a separate blog post in itself.

Now don’t mistake my words here, I LOVE being married. I love having a life partner in my husband, who is really my partner in all senses of the word, but we did not go into marriage lightly, nor did we go into it blindly. We went in with the understanding that it was going to be hard, it was going to be trying, and it was going to be something we would have to work at, often.

I have a hard time understanding how others don’t see this. Like when you hear that people divorce because one didn’t want kids – isn’t that something you talk about BEFORE you get married? I think some people think “oh once we get married, so and so will change their mind about kids”. They might, or they might not. But in either case, marriage won’t be the reason that that person will or will not change their mind.

So I invite you, engaged, soon to be engaged, and possibly engaged in the distant future, couples, to think about your relationship and the challenges you face (and might face) now. I invite you to talk about these challenges and find out where you might disagree with your partner on certain big ticket items, before you get married. Because while being married is truly a wonderful thing, it most certainly will not be a solution to your relationship problems.

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