The marry month of June

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Michelle: This marry month of June, I congratulate all June brides. And of course, the grooms too! But for those who have not yet decided to tie the knot for some reason or another, there’s an interesting read, “How Not To Marry the Wrong Guy: A Guide For Avoiding the Biggest Mistake of Your Life” written by Anne Milford and therapist Jennifer Gauvian.

More than 20 years ago, Milford called off her engagement to the wrong guy before she was due to head down the aisle. In the months after her breakup, women began confiding in her with their stories—from those who’d broken off their engagement and from those who hadn’t and regretted it. Milford was inspired to write the book, eager to find a definitive answer to the question: “Why do women marry the wrong guy?”

DJ: Guys marry the wrong women too. I know someone who went through hell to win his lady’s heart. They’re now married and he’s still going through hell. There really is no ready or blanket answer to this question which is common to both men and women. Marrying the right one is just as possible as marrying the wrong person. What increases or decreases the probability largely depends on one’s discernment, maturity level, and readiness and this does not just pertain to finances. Inasmuch as I do not want to “spiritualize” things, I’d have to say a life-changing decision such as getting married should be rooted and founded on faith and love.


M: There are red flags to indicate that someone is marrying the wrong person. Also, not everyone is meant for marriage but many insist on getting married anyway even if they already know it’s a mistake. Author Milford writes about red flags in relationships that include problematic actions, attitudes and behaviors exhibited by one’s partner. However, some red flags aren’t always so obvious because they are not “bad” behaviors. She writes that vastly differing beliefs or likes and dislikes (example: religion, jobs, parenting style, lifestyle, finances, etc.) are another kind of red flag but whatever kind it is, it should make one stop and think.

DJ: Going through marriage thinking that it’s the only way is definitely a red flag. It’s unfortunate that most of us grow up thinking that marriage is our default future state, or that something or someone is not right if one ends up unmarried. This is false. Just like a religious vocation or the decision to stay single, marriage is not for everyone.

There are those who are happily single just as there those who are miserably married. Before we even start planning for that dream wedding (and I even know some people who already have the names of their future babies before they even got into a dating relationship), it’s best that we first ask ourselves if we are the right person. Let’s discern which path brings out the best in us, the path which also makes us more willing and able to bring out the best in others. This keeps us from marrying for the wrong reasons and consequently, marrying the wrong person.

M: It is important that we feel complete and not rely on our partners to complete us. The line “you complete me” is sorry to say, utter BS. Neediness is a red flag and we should listen to our gut feelings when there is something lacking in us that we want our partners to fill.

Red flags are different for everyone. People should be able to identify what a red flag is for them individually apart from the checklist of possible red flags like having lots of debt, difficulty staying faithful, unhealthy habits or unhealthy relationships. If something feels off or doesn’t sit right with you, it is a warning sign. Heed it. Stop. Look. Listen. In case of doubt, don’t.

DJ: There was a story of a wife who said to her husband, “I was a fool when I married you.” Her husband replied, “Yes dear, but I was in love and I didn’t notice.” Some friends tell me that if love is like a dream, marriage is the alarm clock. I disagree.

The wise often say, keep your eyes wide open before making a decision. Then keep it half-shut afterwards. I believe we ultimately have the power to make a choice—to marry or not to marry. And with it comes the responsibility to take its consequences. Discern. Decide. And once you’ve decided, just do it!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 22, 2014.


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