Girl meets boy. They fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.
Unfortunately we all know that life isn’t a fairytale. We get married; we work hard and hope our relationships survive all that life has to throw our way.
But for some, one in three in fact, their marriage won’t last.
For my friend Lisa* her life and her marriage seemed a match made in heaven. But sadly the truth is there was no fairytale.
Lisa met Paul* when she was 18 years old. She was out at a night club celebrating the end of the HSC and Paul knew a friend of hers.
“We were introduced and from that moment on I knew I was going to marry Paul. Everything seemed perfect. He was tall, and had these amazing blue eyes. I was infatuated by him” says Lisa.
That was in December 2002. In March 2008 Paul proposed to Lisa. But during their relationship before their engagement things weren’t all smooth sailing.
“Throughout this time, we didn’t live together but Paul stayed over a lot as I lived right near where he went to Uni”, recalls Lisa.
“My parents were really relaxed and supportive of us doing this. As I was working full time, I was trying to save as much as I could with Paul being at Uni.
“We did break up twice while we were together. Once after we’d been together for 2 years, and to be honest, I can’t remember when the second time was. We also had a break when I went to work overseas for 6 months. We did the long distance relationship, which was extremely difficult and very hard emotionally when I returned. I really don’t think things were ever the same once I got back- now that I look back on it all.
“I kept wondering ‘is this the right person for me’. I went through a stage where I didn’t think I wanted to be with Paul, but was so unsure of a lot of things in my life. My parents had separated a few years before and that took its toll on me. So when I got back, I went into what was familiar, as I felt it would hurt him too much if we broke up. I didn’t consider my own life or my own feelings. I was very protective of him. He suffered Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety and I feared for his mental well being as he had a very unstable family life with a mother who was an alcoholic.”
But their relationship continued, even through Lisa’s unhappiness.
“My best friend Cassie* recalls me being in her apartment crying saying ‘I have to end it’. I was unhappy. I knew it. But I couldn’t move on. I don’t know why. I don’t know what I was scared of. 6 months after that night in Cassie’s apartment we were engaged. I don’t know what happened between that time. I always knew I’d marry Paul so I think it was more of a progression of the relationship, rather than something I really, truly wanted and felt loved enough to make that commitment.
“When Paul proposed, I was happy, of course. We had discussed it. I chose a ring. He proposed in Bali. We were young, and I was happy that I was moving into the next phase of my life.
“Looking back I was excited about planning a wedding, and starting a family. But Paul always held me back in terms of doing things with our lives. Perhaps I seemed like I was in a rush but I had been working full time since I was 18, so I was ready to move on. I didn’t have the study commitments for 5 years that he had.”
So on the 12th September 2009 Lisa and Paul said I do, and became husband and wife.
To the outside world, me included, it looked like a wonderful relationship. A beautiful wedding, with pictures to die for. The bride and groom looking happy and relaxed.
Sadly though the pictures did not depict the reality.
Ever had one of those days where whatever could go wrong, will? You’ll be able to sympathise with my friend Louise* then! A simple trip to Melbourne for her sisters wedding, soon turned into a comedy of errors. And for us, a very funny read…
As Louise puts it:
My plans were:
0600 depart Newcastle
0730 arrive melb
1330 (1.30pm) hair in portsea
1630 (4.30pm) wedding.
Fly in and land as per plan. Other half advises that he didn’t bring pants (WHAT THE??) and that he would like to go shopping. Deep breath out… OK lets do breakfast then go to Chadstone (I’m sure the worlds BIGGEST shopping centre and even has its own Tiffanys and Co) Arrive Chadstone 1000, deal is Boy shop for pants then phone me when ready. Game over no later than 1200 to drive to hair appointment. I intended to go get mani and pedi to not spend too much money… oh yeah I LURVE CHADSTONE.
Well – long story short – I wandered round Chaddy, found a dress I have been searching for (involved asking a stranger where she got her RED dress from) had to buy new matching shoes, got my nails done and then…
Bride rang and said ‘can you talk to dad, he sounded distracted when she phoned him earlier.’ So rang dad. Dad was his usual organised self, not, and was charged with picking up the wedding cake. WELL. At 11.20 he had not LEFT HOME YET and the cake was at Chaddy, which was like Charlestown on a Sat morning. DEFINITELY NOT EMPTY and in no shape to simply breeze in and collect a wedding cake! So I said to dad that we were in Chadstone, and we would do the cake (I had visions of no wedding cake at reception…) So we hare around Chaddy to find a trolley then fang to the cake shop, get cake and hurtle into car. We zoom down to the reception (golf course), drop cake off, and I hurl Mike* off at the Country Club (next door thank Tgoodness) and race to get my hair done.
Meanwhile I forgot to metion why I am racing around… WELL
Jen* (Bride) had phoned and was telling me the updated location for …. PHOTOS. Um what photos I am thinking… the photos BEFORE THE CEREMONY at 2pm. Krikey! Hair appointment 1.30, cake dropped off at 1.20, and um PHOTOS AT 2? And amongst all this, Jen had booked my hair appointment time! SO arrive at hair 10 mins late (land speed records on back roads of Portsea) no chit chat, just wash blow dry hair pinned, off to the parents of the grooms small seaside waterfront mansion. Launch into a bathroom, did the superman change from jeans to dress, race out in time for one snap photo then off to the on-location photo shoot at the beach – it’s a clifftop ceremony. LOL the only makeup I have on is a swipe of mascara and some lip gloss! Note: father of the bride is at the parents of the grooms mansion.
Arrive at photo location with sister, bride and father of the bride. Take photos. Jane* (other sister) and I travel to next clifftop for ceremony.
All guests arrive, we all cram into a clifftop walkway and ceremony begins. I am facing bride (downwards) and Jane is on opposite side of crowd facing upwards. Both of us commence scanning crowd for father of bride. Nowhere to be seen… mind you there is 80 people squashed in. maybe he is just ‘amongst it all’. I am standing next to parents of groom. Mother of groom (Marilyn) and father of groom (Rob) whisper. Marilyn turns around and says ‘wheres Glen?’ (Father of the bride) I have to say ‘don’t know!’ mmmmm. Ceremony starts. Ceremony finishes. Celebrant calls for Marilyn and Glen to come forward to witness the signing. Marilyn – tick. Glen – absent. ABSENT!!! The father of the bride MISSED THE WHOLE WEDDING and was nowhere to be seen. I race through carpark to phone and ring him. He answers and I screech WHERE ARE YOU (I was hoping for no answer so maybe he had had a heart attack and a VALID reason for a – answering phone and b – not being on site) Im LOST he says. I have to resist the urge to tell him to keep driving – home – and make sure he gets here. I go back to the ceremony and Jane has signed the docs in dads absence.
Father of the groom delivers a lovely speech. Then father of the bride is asked to step to the mic. Father of the bride spends the first 2 mins telling everyone how he was instructed to speak for 3-4 mins only and that the father of the groom spoke for too long, but, dear listener, he wont. Then he rambles and stammers in a speech so shocking that was focussed on why his wife didn’t come (including telling everyone how Grace (his step-daughter) was ‘last chance at australian girls choir’ ) two tearful, over the top references to our mother, then a long winded ramble about Jen (Bride) better fitting to a povo 21st than a 33yr olds wedding. The speech was so bad that people were talking about it AFTERWARDS.
Other than that, the bride looked stunning in a strapless vera wang. Weather was to die for.
Phew. I have vented.
Ever had a day like Louise’s?!
*Names have been changed.