When we think of weddings, the thoughts that come to mind are “beautiful”, “romantic”, “everlasting”, “togetherness”. What you wouldn’t associate weddings with are “heartbroken”, “disastrous”, “rejected”, or “let down”.

That’s what happened during our trip to Cancun. Bernard and I were sitting by the beautiful sandy beach, watching the staff at the resort setting up for a wedding by the ocean. We looked at each other and beamed, remembering our 20th anniversary dinner in Jamaica paid by our daughter and her husband as a special gift. We were so full of love and gratitude for one another. A very special moment in our lives. We imagined this new couple starting a new life together, wishing them years of happiness and togetherness. We smiled.

Then a few hours later, we noticed the staffs were taking down the decorations and putting all the wedding accouterments away. What just happened? As my husband and I took a walk, he asked the personnel what had happened. It appeared the bride changed her mind and didn’t show up.

I was sad that the nuptials had been cancelled in this manner as I would have enjoyed seeing the wedding from afar. Yet I’m also glad to know that if this bride-to-be was so unsure of her commitment with her would-be husband, she was better off canceling her “I Do” than to go through the pain and agony of “The Divorce.”

We all enjoy love stories and happy endings, but the reality is there are no perfect lives or relationships. Bernard and I are enjoying close to 30 years of sharing our lives together. Not all of those years were great. Some of them were the most challenging of my life. What kept us together was the certainty of our commitment to one another and our desire to do whatever it took to make our relationship work.

Is this the secret to long and fulfilled relationships?

Maybe. For us, it is and we continually work on our relationship, keeping our communication open, investing time in each other and ourselves, as well as planning for our future together. A marriage may start with a wedding day, but that is only the beginning.

I’m sure the family and friends of this now split up couple are heart-broken, angry and upset, but probably not as much as they would have been had they divorced later, when they might have had children and/or a home to divide. It is always better to say no before the ceremony than to go through a wedding that is not meant to be. 

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