"Where’s the bread?" my new husband, Joe, asked me in 1995 as we sat down for a meal of stir fry and rice.
My English/German mind told me that bread wasn’t necessary, but my Sicilian husband thought I had committed a sacrilege.
That’s one tiny example of how newlyweds must adjust to living together as they merge different traditions and backgrounds to forge something that’s uniquely theirs.
It’s something I’ve thought about as I happily watch my friend, Leila, prepare for her 2015 nuptials.
There’s so much I want to tell her about Wedding Day Plus One — things that no one really prepares you for.
Like the fact that marriage is work and requires a lifetime of nurturing, tending, protecting, uplifting and respecting.
And how others in her life will demand control over how she conducts her marriage, even though marriage is only between the couple and God.
I want her to know that there will be good times and bad; her wedding vows predict it. Appreciate and be thankful for the good times and don’t give up during the hard times. Laughing together, supporting each other, being each other’s cheerleader and best friend, and relying on God for strength and guidance will see her through.
I want to remind her that saying "I was wrong" or "I’m sorry" or "I forgive you" can go a long way. Don’t hold grudges or take each other for granted. Cherish each other, because "’til death do us part" sometimes comes too soon.
And above all, remember to always love one another — even during the moments (and you will have them!) when you may not like each other — because "love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:7-8)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Courier‘s June edition features a special section with many articles on the vocation of marriage.