Dear Peter,

I couldn't help but notice your message on the board from earlier this week about your second thoughts on your upcoming marriage. Though I'm fortunate in that I have been happily married for five years, let me tell you that I know exactly what it is you're going through. The idea of spending the rest of one's life with somebody else is a daunting one indeed, and it is not uncommon for someone to get cold feet. In fact, this is a regular enough occurrence that it has become a rather annoying movie cliché. My point is, you needn't fret about your nerves and fears. They're as common as the rain in England.

Still, I would feel amiss if I didn't at least attempt to alleviate some of your concerns.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred event. Under the eye of God you tie your lives together with the promise to never part, regardless of the obstacles you come across. You will be together forever, experiencing fortune and misfortune as one. I am certain you still remember the joy you experienced when she said yes to your proposal (which, I might add, was a very romantic one. The Moraine Lake at sunset is beautiful). I know I do. Every morning when I wake, I feel that very same joy the moment I lay eyes upon the calm, gorgeous visage of my wife and smell her gentle perfume still lingering in the air. I imagine it will be no different for you. There is no feeling that can compare to the simple knowledge that the one that holds your heart is so close.

Naturally, marriage is not all sunshine and happy times. I have found that it is the early years that are most strenuous. Not all little details you discover about your partner will be pleasant, and more than once you may find yourself vehemently disagreeing with one another. I urge you to not make the same mistakes as I did. Do not avoid an argument or confrontation. I held the misguided idea that I shouldn't argue with my darling. After all, I love her and at that time I didn't want to end up fighting her. The problem with walking out on a budding argument however is that it only raises tension and frustration.

Only recently did I become aware of this myself, but everything had already reached its boiling point. We engaged in a rather heated argument over something that was honestly a trivial matter. It was unpleasant and emotions ran high; however, once everything was said and done peace returned to our relationship. To be honest, our lives improved a great deal afterwards. She listens to my problems now, and I hold her lovingly whenever she needs it. To be a bit brazen about it, that one argument also very much reignited the passion. Previously our stolen moments between the bed sheets were few and far between, but now I find myself entangled in her nearly every night. We've even begun to be a bit more experimental, which was a rarity for us!

There are of course a few caveats. Marriage is after all, an endless search for the right compromise. The bedroom is chilled, just for her, and I find myself going out for her cosmetic needs on a much more regular basis. A tip: learn the shade and brand of make-up she frequently uses, and find out what her favorite perfume is. I swear, we must be going through a bottle a week at least, but whenever I look upon her serene expression I find it all worth it. She's certainly not complaining either.

As a final note, I would like to mention the in-laws. Please make certain you get along reasonably well with them. My own never cared for me, and while I was perfectly content to leave matters be I could not possibly stop my wife from interacting with her beloved parents. With the two of us so engaged with one another of late, she hasn’t been in the position to speak with them, and as a result they have become increasingly obnoxious. I may just have to invite them over for a family discussion so that my wife and I can discuss some boundaries with them.

I hope my message will be able to help you at least a little. Though it is early, I wish to congratulate you and your partner, and I hope your marriage becomes perfect and as fulfilling as mine.

James J. H.

Written by Nachtrae
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