09/09/09 newlyweds need more than luck to make it through marriage

A huge number of couples from all over the world chose to get married on Wednesday. Yes that’s right, smack dab in the middle of the week. There were tens of thousands just in China alone! I first heard this was happening when a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was heading to a wedding. Turns out, these weddings were partly in celebration of the calendar’s numerical alignment of 09/09/09. Some couples claimed they chose that day because it would be so easy to remember. Others thought that it would bring them luck. Whatever the reason for choosing the day, I congratulate them. I hope with all my heart that they won’t rely on luck to help them make it through their first year of marriage and beyond.

I’m reading a book titled, “Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life, The/The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life” and if I had the money to send each of these newlyweds a copy, I would do it. Most couples do more to prepare for the wedding than they do to prepare for their marriage. At under $20, the wisdom shared in this book could make a priceless impact on their marriage. According to the book “as many as 90% of brides surveyed reported experiencing some level of depression during their first year of marriage.” Often so much excitement, planning, and preparation for the wedding itself ends up leaving a newly wedded wife feeling deflated. She may have been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. Countless hours spent getting the details just right. All of that anticipation, not to mention expense, and then the wedding is over so quickly!

According to the authors, “the demise or the success of a marriage can almost always be traced to the first year together . . . The early investment in building an exceptional marriage costs a fraction of what it will take to keep a lousy one on life support.” During that first year, patterns are being formed. You are establishing how you will communicate with each other. You are living into or moving away from expectations that you had for your spouse. Many expectations that you didn’t even know you had! It is well worth it to invest your time and money to set your marriage up for success. Talk about situations that could occur before you are facing them. Have a plan. Have rules established for how you will argue. Reading this his and hers book is a great way to get the conversation going. I’ve also created a resource called Great Expectations to help women avoid getting stuck in the expectations trap. The important thing is that couples, especially during their first year of marriage, establish a strong foundation for a lasting marriage. My hope is that whether you got married on 09/09/09 or if you’ve been married 50 years, you will not entrust your most important relationship on earth to luck but instead will rely on God’s help and invest in resources that will strengthen your marriage.

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