Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River

By Katie East

It seems like love is getting a black eye lately. Popular celebrity couples are splitting up left and right: Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Gwen Stafani and Gavin Rossdale, Reba McEntire and whatever her husband’s name is. If these seemingly happy couple’s are calling it quits, it’s enough to make you question who can even make a marriage work in this day in age.

gavin gwenAs someone who is tying the knot in a couple weeks, I probably shouldn’t be wondering aloud about the practicality of marriage. These celebrity couples dropping like flies does really make me think though.

I’m not one who usually cares about what celebrities do in their personal lives. In fact, I think it’s kind of creepy. Look, they bought toilet paper: “Just like us!” It’s weird. But I am intrigued when a celebrity files for divorce. I’m always hoping there’s some great couple that is the exception to the rule and will avoid the curse of fame.

I’m just starting to get over the Ben and Jennifer split that happened last month; that one hit me pretty hard. They just seemed like such a loving couple, great partners, and parents. Then again, you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. You don’t know what people are struggling with in their private lives.

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of unsolicited advice on the institution of marriage—some of it helpful, most of it obvious, and a surprising amount of it sad and bitter. You would think the divorcees would hold their tongues until after I said my “I do’s,” but you would be incorrect. Unfortunately, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

With my own upcoming nuptials, I’m still jazzed about the idea of marriage. I had come to terms with the fact that marriage might not be a necessary part of my future when I suddenly met my fiancé. I always assumed I would be married, but at some point I quit looking for it. I finally became OK being alone. I didn’t really give up, I just was happy with myself and realized marriage wasn’t a priority for me.

Well, you know what they say. The second you stop looking for it, you find it. And I must say that was true with me. When I was single it was beyond infuriating when people would remind me of that, but I guess sometimes the cliché sayings are true.

You can’t hurry love, and the people that do seem to be the ones who are the most bitter when it ends. I know people who got married because it made sense. The other person checked off enough of their boxes, and they said, “That’ll do.”

These people are confused when it doesn’t end well. In their minds, they did everything right. They picked a good enough partner and did the work. What went wrong?

Though I’ve yet to be in a marriage, I know one important thing to keep them going: compromise is crucial. But, there’s a difference between compromising within your marriage and settling from the start. Luckily, I can whole-heartedly say I’m not settling.

I can definitely understand how annoying my honeymoon phase can be for onlookers, but I can’t apologize for it. Honestly, I never really knew if this day was coming and I think I deserve to be excited for it. Call me naive but I really plan on meaning “Till death do us part.” I’m doing this thing cause I really want to, not because I think I have to.

I’m sure after a few months of marriage I’ll be back to my old bitter and cynical self but I appreciate the positive change of pace love has brought to me recently. Eventually, I’m sure our lives will be a little more mundane and the love endorphins will have worn off. Might as well enjoy them now.

As depressing as it is to see all these celebrity couples splitting, there are still plenty of good examples of marriage all around you. Everyone knows that couple that just seems like they’re meant for each other. Though we don’t have a catchy couple name like “Bennifer,” I hope my soon-to-be husband and I can inspire someone to think: “They’ll be the ones that make it.”

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