A couple my wife and I provided pre-marital education for a few months ago had a destination wedding in Jamaica. As you know, destination weddings take place in some of the most exotic and wonderful places in the world. Perhaps more so than having a local wedding, destination weddings take an enormous amount of planning, patience, and of course, money. The ultimate goal is to have everything go well once the destination is reached. For a destination marriage, however, the ultimate goal is to reach the destination together – even with the foreknowledge that not everything is always going to go well on the journey.
A destination marriage is another way of saying “our marriage is headed somewhere,” wherever that somewhere may be as prescribed by the couple. Destination marriages are planned by couples who recognize that marriage is more than a ceremony, cake, gifts, and the mushy feelings associated with the big day. Like a destination wedding, it requires planning, patience, and money.
Just as a destination wedding will fail miserably without planning, so, too, will a destination marriage. The old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is true for marriage. Just as couples have to agree on a destination for the wedding, they have to agree on a destination for the marriage. Couples who simply “drift” in marriage will eventually find they have drifted apart from one another. While I’m not pushing for you to use Microsoft® Project to run your marriage, I am strongly advocating that you and your spouse-to-be set measurable short and long-term goals. Doing so will keep you both moving forward towards your marriage destination, and will give you a much better chance at reaching a good place together.
Having a destination marriage requires great patience from both partners on a continual basis because reaching the destination takes time. The way life is setup, good things take time. As you’ve likely seen, anything that can be attained quickly usually winds up being a cheap, watered-down imitation of the “real” thing. As a result, patience is needed. The Greek word for patience is macrothumia (macro: long and thumia: temper). In other words, having a destination marriage requires a long temper. Why? There will be many times when you’re agitated with your spouse, the length of the journey, and many other factors related to married life. For this reason, patience is a definite requirement to reaching your destination in marriage.
Just as money is a significant factor in a destination wedding, so, too, is it vital in a destination marriage. No matter the goals or milestones you set for your marriage, you will have to make a financial investment to reach them. Couples that have a great marriage don’t wind up with a great message by accident. They intentionally invest in resources (books, seminars, mentoring, retreats, coaching, counseling trips, etc.) all aimed at making their marriage stronger (tip: the more you invest when things are good, the less likely you are to have to invest because things are bad). Once you set the destination for your marriage, expect to have to supply funds for your marriage to move towards that destination.
Whether you have a destination wedding or not, do plan to have a destination marriage. Be sure to employ planning, patience, and money to ensure your marriage reaches the destination of your choosing.