Sue believes that everything we ever needed to know about the success or failure of our marriage was apparent before we got married and highlighted during the honeymoon. Honeymoon expectations are such that almost nobody will ever “confess” that actual honeymoon experience. There are unrealistic expectations around honeymoons being filled with romance and a celebration of a new beginning as “US”. Any situation subjected to that level of pressure is almost bound to disappoint. Spare us the details of the honeymoon suite, the lingerie and champagne. Spare yourself the romantic trappings and tell us (or yourself) what REALLY happened on your honeymoon and if you can, you will see that the grain of truth was with you as he “carried you over the threshold”. Own up to the ugly truth. He stumbled or you refused to allow it for fear that he would know how much you weighed.
Here are some honeymoon stories.
“Our hotel was under renovation and the place was a complete mess. The morning after the wedding I sat at the breakfast table staring longingly at the mountains. My deepest and clearest desire was to walk into those mountains and never come back. Every part of me was searching for the escape hatch and that was how the marriage was for me. Everything was always a shambles and I fought my impulse to escape for as long as I could.”
“I woke up in the early hours of the morning and he wasn’t there. It was so shocking and painful and I knew it was important even as I lay there trying to tell myself that surely he had just gone out for air or to walk. Just before sunrise he returned having gambled away most of the money we had not had a chance to deposit before we left for our honeymoon. During the marriage he was “missing” most of the time. Missing when the children were born, missing when I was ill and all the time we were arguing about his appetite for risk that is hugely different from my own”.
“We didn’t go on honeymoon. Once the last guest had left I went in searching for him. He was in a drunken sleep. I watched him snoring for a while and then went about the business of getting the house back in order. Our marriage was defined and destroyed by his substance abuse and I spent the marriage trying unsuccessfully to get our house back in order. Had I been honest with myself I would have seen that the failure of the marriage was already in the room”.
“At the end of the marriage ceremony one of his friends who was incredibly drunk threw up on me. I was incredibly upset, humiliated and disgusted. My husband was so irritated with me that I was suffering from such a sense of humour failure. Needless to say my feelings were a constant irritation to him throughout the marriage”.
One of my clients has been successfully married for sixteen years and I asked her about her honeymoon. “Oh Sue, I loved it”. I believe her because her marriage supports that.
My guess is that were one to ask men the same question, they too would have honeymoon memories about our failings. I imagine that in a strong and successful marriage those memories would have been discussed and worked out. If not, why not ask him what they were and what the grain of truth still is?