This year's wedding season isn't over for me yet, but I want to thank each and every couple that's chosen me to help them tell their love story and join them together. It's been humbling and a continued reminder for me of what love really looks like. I've listened as you've poured your hearts out to each other in your personal vows, for all your family and friends to hear as well as your partner. I wish I had copies of all of your words as they moved me almost as much as they did your sweetheart. Please do keep them and read them often to remind you of the "WHY" you're married to this amazing person who stood in front of you and vowed to love you forever, no matter what.
In your vows, many of you talked about how love is raw - messy - hard. Yes. True love means that regardless of what's happening, the two of you are committed to working past the hurt, the egos clashing and to find a solution that works for both of you. In the alternative, love means agreeing to disagree this time and work through any emotions that keep the two of you from moving forward.
I see young couples who have the wisdom to know that neither of them is perfect or has all the answers. These couples have had wonderful examples in their lives: usually older couples who have learned that true commitment makes finding those creative solutions easier, because they don't hold back to protect themselves out of fear that the other will leave them.
But given that commitment - emotions are still real and not debatable, meaning they still hurt whether you agree with them or not. The pain is raw and undeniable. How we express ourselves can make the difference between working through something quickly, loosening the bricks of your very foundation or a million shades of grey in between. You get to choose.
When you disagree, fight the urge to lash out. Hurting the other will only hurt you in the end. Your partner IS you now. Talk with your partner (and thus yourself!) the way you'd like them to talk with you - out of kindness and respect. Avoid confrontational language. Replace it with statements about how you feel rather than accusations about what they may have done.
And above all, tell your partner why you appreciate them, love them, and feel blessed they've chosen to be with you. That will deepen your relationship in the years to come.
Blessings to all of you,
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.