The American dream, our highest hopes for our children, include the joy and satisfaction of a happy long-term marriage. Rapidly changing social norms, the distress of widespread divorce, and an ever-tightening economy place enormous stresses on married couples. At the same time, the traditional sources of support for the couple, the church, small communities and extended families are becoming less prevalent. In order to help couples establish and maintain healthy marriages, we must provide some support at the outset and along the way to help them navigate the many challenges that are inevitable in a long-term marriage.
Part of the difficulty is that American popular culture continues to propagate the myth of “happily ever after”, that if you marry the right person, you will naturally and without much effort, enjoy a happy marriage. If a couple finds themselves struggling, they might first think they have married the wrong person since they should not be having these problems. But of course, the reality is that every couple has struggles and must find ways to communicate and readjust to work through them. Successful marriage does require some work and some skill, contrary to the popular understanding.
Preparation and Ceremony
Couples preparing for marriage often give a great deal of attention to the details of the wedding, the location, the dress, the flowers and food, but often neglect the heart of the matter, the ceremony that will take them across the threshold to a new relationship. The ceremony is a critical beginning and expression of their deepest beliefs about this union. It garners the support of the gathered community to see them along their way, through good times and bad. It is also an opportunity to explore and create a mutual ritual to speak each of their deepest truths.
Sherry Cassedy is a licensed minister in the State of California. She has a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology and a Certificate in Spiritual Guidance. She also has a Law degree and works as a lawyer-mediator with couples in facilitating premarital and divorce separation agreements.
Minister Cassedy is committed to preparing couples for the wonderful and challenging lifetime journey that marriage entails. She is also well-versed in creating and customizing ritual to meet a couple’s personal faith tradition and understanding.