The way marriages crash these days, it seems like couples meet, date and agree to marry without adequately preparing for the life after the wedding. Most young women seem to be more interested in the glitz and glamour of the wedding day so they can take to social media to flaunt the ring, the hen night, the dress and glamorous wedding reception, unabashedly competing with their peers to outdo each other on Instagram, Facebook and snapchat.

So much emphasis is placed on the planning of these weddings, from the invitation cards to the dresses, the suits, the Food and wine, the exotic setting of the destination weddings, everything costs so much and honestly it all comes together very nicely. People are willing to borrow or sell properties for a grand wedding. Women are ready to say yes to anyone who can offer them a dream wedding and more men are in the market for glamour girls and slay queens who will complete the perfect picture of a truly glorious wedding ceremony.

The wedding has become so important and in so doing it has demeaned the importance of the marriage itself. Wedding and marriage are two totally different things, while the former which is a one time event is the process of signing the agreement which will bind you together for ever, the later is ongoing and it is the act of staying bound together for life. If half the amount of time, energy and resources spent in ensuring that the wedding ceremony goes well is spent on preparing a couple for the life ahead, we probably won’t have the worrisome number of failed marriages today. More should be done in the area of counselling, and more time should be spent in studying your fiancé to ensure you don’t say I do just for the grand wedding.

A wedding shouldn’t be as a result of peer pressure or pressure from parents, you should only get married because you are ready and most importantly, you have found the right person. More time and energy should be spent teaching those already in it that patience, tolerance and compromise are needed to remain happy and unless there is threat to life, they should be patient and keep working on their relationship because there is no guarantee the next man or woman will be better, in fact it is very possible to end up with someone far worse than the person you are trying to get away from.

I learnt the hard way that there is more to weddings than the glitz and glamour of the day. The most difficult thing in marriage I discovered is living with someone with the same state of mind you had before the wedding. Successfully living together entails a complete change in attitude and mindset. Habits bad or good is something everyone has, our ability to tolerate each other’s bad habits is key to a successful union. We may be tempted to believe that our own small bad habits are not as bad as our spouses, that is totally false, it may be a huge burden on them to keep tolerating those little habits, so give them some credit.

Just like names, our habits are peculiar to us, while it may be possible to change some of them, others may have become part of our character. Bad habits they say, die hard. It therefore becomes imperative that we choose our spouse being fully aware of their habits and choosing what we can or cannot tolerate. The assumption they will change is a very dangerous gamble, especially considering the length of the journey ahead. Work with what you see and not what you wish will be, it is usually safer.

My wife and I didn’t have a long courtship, we learnt a few hard lessons as a result of this, but thankfully, as a result of our love and affection for each other, coupled with our deep rooted desire to make each other happy and our resolve to stick together no matter what, we were willing to change some of our unsavoury habits to ensure our lasting happiness on our life long journey. Marriage is a long journey, it is up to you to make it as comfortable as possible for lasting comfort and happiness. Just like physical journeys, your choice of seats sometimes is influenced by the length of the journey, while it may not be important to make a fuss about where you sit in a car or plane on short trips.

However, on long road journeys or long haul flights we make it a priority to choose very comfortable seats to ensure we are comfortable on the ride, even when it involves paying more. Same goes for marriage, you must try to take decisions, compromise where necessary to ensure you have a comfortable journey. How comfortable you are on your marital journey depends on you, it depends on the amendments you are willing to make, the huge sacrifices you are expected to make and how much you are willing to compromise.

In conclusion, it maybe wise to focus more on your fiancé, his or her habits as it effects your life together. Rather than concentrating so much on the wedding, think about the long journey ahead and your life together, it’s better not to go ahead with the wedding than to separate or divorce after a few months – Sir Stanley Ekezie