No words needed: Marriage is its own blessing

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 17, 2007

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry.”

— Author Tom Mullen

Those who know me can attest to the fact that I am rarely left speechless. Words always seemed to flow both from my mouth and from my fingertips.

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But a recent request has dried up my vocabulary and left me grasping for the right things to say. To get me going in the right direction, I had to borrow a few words from someone else.

See it wasn’t just any old words I was looking for. Oh no, I needed just the right ones.

How else could you even attempt to describe what it means to find love and get married?

But that was what I was facing when I got an evening call that started it all.

“Hey, man, I am getting married in September,” a long-time friend said sort of abruptly after exchanging a few pleasantries. “We’re going to take the plunge at Myrtle Beach.”

“Wow, congratulations,” I said. “We wish you the best.”

“Well,” he said. “I want you to be my best man.”

“Wow. I’m honored and flattered. Are you sure?” I asked.

He was and I am, which leads me to my current dilemma: What do you say as someone prepares to tie the knot and take a big step.

Complicating matters is that I don’t know the bride.

All I can really do is draw upon my own, somewhat limited, experience.

I have been married for more than three years to a wonderful woman, a move that has been the smartest thing I have ever done in my life.

Reminiscing reminded me of when we were getting ready for our wedding.

Rae and I had already settled on a quaint historic chapel in West Virginia, requiring that we get a marriage license in that state.

So we visited the Cabell County Courthouse so that we would have the documents ready to go. The staff there was very helpful and explained everything in great detail but one point left us chuckling and somewhat mortified.

If I remember correctly, there was one part on the license that was highlighted in red and the clerk read it to us just to make sure we understood.

While I cannot remember the exact wording, the gist of it was that in marriage neither person becomes the property of the other and this union doesn’t establish ownership.

Really? Well, there’s a revelation! Do they really have to explain that to people?

So what was I going to say at my friend’s wedding?

Something like this: Marriage is like life; it is what you make of it. It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun. But like anything worth doing, you get back what you put into it.

Congratulations and good luck. If you treat it as a true equal partnership then it will be a success. Oh yeah, and remember that little bit of advice about ownership.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at