Q. Dear Rachel,
My sister thinks she’s a Kardashian! She just eloped to Las Vegas with a guy she’s only known for six weeks. She swears they’re soul mates. Meanwhile, my brother and I are taking bets on how long her marriage is going to last. He says they’ll split after the sex haze wears off? What do you think?
Sister of a Kardashian Wannabe
A. Dear Sister,
Quick weddings are tantamount to matrimonial Russian roulette. Statistically you’re playing a high-stakes game, but if you’re lucky, you’ll survive. Needless to say, I don’t suggest blindly leaping into marriage any more than I suggest putting a gun to your head, yet the world is filled with gamblers who get a thrill from taking risks.
All brief courtships invite numerous hazards, however, the hazards of a celebrity quickie wedding are magnified, due to the added pressure of paparazzi, public scrutiny and opportunities for infidelity. First of all, it’s much easier to idealize an acquaintance or crush before you get to know them fully. Reality can be so unromantic! Additionally, the drama of the infatuation phase or “sex haze,” as your brother put it, can be deliriously intoxicating, yet impossible to maintain for long. As if these tantalizing hazards weren’t reason enough to take a trip down the aisle, there’s always the “falling in love with the idea of love” pitfall for the hopeless romantics of the world.
Speaking of Kardashians, there’s a doozy of a pitfall that I call, “men with good style.” Good style is my term for charm or charisma, and some men have an abundance of it. Good-style men know how to say and do all the right things to make any woman feel loved and appreciated, as if she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. However, for you ladies who love good-style men, and you know who you are, you have to accept that your husband’s good style will be used on other women since his charm is an integral part of his personality. For a woman who jumps quickly into a relationship with a good-style man, this realization can be a rude awakening and sometimes a deal-breaker. Some women feel jealous and betrayed when they learn that their man’s charm is not reserved for them alone. My advice to women is this: Love your good-style man and enjoy his charm. Know that he can’t turn his charm off like a switch, and that it’s not a sign of infidelity. Look to other signs to confirm that your man loves you, such as the fact that he comes home to you every night.
For your sister’s sake, I hope her marriage works out. Maybe she’ll be one of the lucky gamblers who wins big. As for the rest of you out there who are contemplating your own speedy nuptials, keep this in mind: Las Vegas makes a profit because the odds are stacked against you. So the next time you hear a story about some couple that married two weeks after meeting and stayed madly in love ‘til the day they died, think of it as an entertaining tale as opposed to an instruction manual on love. These stories are the exception to the rule. When in doubt, remember that any story that ends with “And they lived happily ever after,” is best kept in the “fun fairy tales” section of your memory bank right next to “Cinderella” and “Snow White.”
Q. Dear Rachel,
I went from a whirlwind courtship to a whirlwind marriage this year. My wife is full of passion, which is great for our sex life, but murder when it comes to our day-to-day lives. She’s such a hothead. I never know what will set her off next. Just like clockwork, she bites my head off every day. I’ve talked to her repeatedly about her temper, but she’s in denial about her problem. She promised to control her temper as a condition of our getting married, but so far it has only gotten worse. How can I get her to behave like a rational adult?
A. Dear Fed-Up,
Generally, I suggest holding off on a legal commitment with a partner until after you’ve ironed out all potential deal-breakers in your relationship. However, this suggestion is now beside the point since the two of you are already married. Once you sign on for better or worse, your best bet is to come up with a compromise to bridge the gap between your differences with your spouse. If the two of you are not able to come up with a satisfactory compromise on your own, you may need to seek outside help from a marriage counselor or therapist.
You mentioned that your wife is in denial about her temper and you may be more right than you know. If she’s truly unaware of her behavior, it may be impossible for her to make changes without a third party’s assistance to intervene.
In the meantime, diffuse your wife’s verbal attacks by leaving the room next time she loses her temper. Tell her that you can’t talk to her when she raises her voice, but you’d be happy to communicate with her once she regains her composure. Some people need time to cool down and emotionally shift gears once they get angry. If this approach fails, your wife may not be able to control her anger on her own. If this is the case, proceed to Plan B and meet with a marriage counselor.
Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author, who lives with her husband in Venice. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.