The Need in Speed

frog prince

Here’s the deal; the facts are in. At least 50% of marriages don’t make it—which, if you’re a gambler, is slightly better than a crap shoot – this is what I told RadarOnline, when asked for a comment about Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom’s marriage.

And it would seem obvious to many people that marrying someone you have only known a few weeks would increase your odds of failure…among other things. So perhaps a better question to ask is not what are the downsides, but rather…why? Why get married? So you can have a party? Show up your sister on TV because you are profoundly insecure or desperate for ratings? What’s the rush? It’s not like love has a shelf life. Unless one is deeply religious, which is not evident in this case (correct me if I am wrong; I don’t think so), there are so few reasons to rush into nuptials before we have taken time to do a minimum of due diligence.

What I do know about these two people is they know something about success. It takes discipline, skill and focus (and perhaps a little luck) to turn your desire into reality. Hence my concern, again, about their haste. I am not convinced that these two people understand the game they are in. I feel whatever their motivations for wedlock—“looks good, feels good,” ratings, or whatever—they would benefit by focusing on the fact that the same commitment, discipline and skill that supported their success is needed to enjoy a successful relationship; particularly a healthy, fulfilling, sustainable one.

With all due respect, if these two people love each other, or feel a strong connection and want to jump into marriage (which I likened to jumping out of a plane, considering, well…that they have just barely met), they should strap on a parachute. Which is to say, they should strongly consider checking under the hood to make sure they have what it takes to make the journey before Sunday. Many things are very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to re-negotiate after they say “I do.”

While celebrity marriages may seem qualitatively different than the average boy-meets-girl scenario, all relationships thrive best when they rest on a solid foundation. In some ways, the celebrity relationship needs to pay even greater mind to this, as their relationship is subject to stresses, pressure and scrutiny that on a good day most of us cannot even fathom.

So I would say to this couple, go for it! IF they have managed in this three-week period to establish the following, at minimum:

Their top three non-negotiables.

If this person is worthy of their unconditional devotion and respect.

A strong “out” clause or good consciousness agreement.

If they themselves are a strong, loyal, devoted, trustworthy partner.

They have revealed all their deep secrets or habits that have the potential to destroy the relationship if not revealed and healed.

They have cleaned up all their past relationships.

Have the capacity to tell the truth despite the consequences, and see the value of truth as a cornerstone of their relationship.

Love each other’s friends and current daily lifestyle.

Have agreed upon children and child-rearing responsibilities.

Understand and are in alignment about money.

They are confident in each other’s ability to negotiate their feelings and concerns responsibly.

Know what each other values most in life.

Have shared and are in alignment and support of their 10-year plan.

Have agreed to see someone (either within the family or outside) to act as an unbiased counselor, to help support the relationship should they get stuck or feel they cannot resolve any matter that has the potential to end the relationship.

This, I believe, would afford them a good start. While relationships are a great breeding ground for personal development, chemistry as a litmus test for the potential of a relationship is too often a crash-and-burn method & can be quite painful. Rather than each failed relationship being a lesson learned, the pain becomes either fuel for the next one or a barrier to intimacy.

In our 20s we are at a peak in some ways, in terms of learning about who we are and who we are not, and oftentimes get into relationships based largely on chemistry—without having acquired some essential relationship tools and turned them into skills. Life will teach them soon enough. The good news is, if they really want a healthy relationship they are in a position to develop these skills, provided they have interviewed each other and revealed their shadows and non-negotiables to each other. Some of these deal-breakers, like infidelity or drug or alcohol addiction, are things that you want to know before you get married, not after!

Hard to establish trust when you have had so little time to see if the person’s words and actions match up. If you are in a rush, and clearly Khloe and Lamar seem to be, I’d advise them to take some time before Sunday to drop in with each other, because having a success plan is important! Bottom line, at least half of marriages end in divorce. If you want it to work, make sure you are prepared and have what it takes to make that happen.

To Re-cap

Hard to negotiate your needs after the marriage ceremony; double check your non-negotiables, you two!
What do you want and expect from each other & the marriage: do you both want kids, how will you share your money, or not? I call this a consciousness agreement.
What kind of relationship skills do you bring to the table? Do you have issues with commitment and intimacy, do you have a track record of being able to stay and hang in there when things get tough? “Looks good, feels good” isn’t going to cut it when things get sideways…these things are very difficult to negotiate after you already have established a pattern. Talk about it. What are you committing to?
Happily Ever After is not a place, and chemistry is not enough to keep a relationship together. They say that, in unconsciousness, the thing that brings you together in a relationship will be the thing that pulls you apart. What is your foundation for your relationship? I recommend spirit, God or the divine, and having a real practice.
Love is a choice and a privilege, not a sentence, so act like it!

I recently explained my take on the Khloe/Lamar situation at a book signing. You can watch it here.

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