Our wedding day is one of high expectation and emotion and for this reason, for some brides and grooms, it can turn into a day of disappointment, unhappy tears, and even conflict. As a relationship counsellor I have unfortunately heard many such tales and most of us have heard nightmare stories of stroppy bridesmaids, drunk ushers, rude relatives or lost rings.
My darling Hubby and I embark on the 10-hour train from Puno to Cusco as part of our Peruvian honeymoon. It's three days into our marriage and I still find myself feeling warm and fuzzy. We have reached one of life's biggest milestones and, reflecting on the whirlwind of excitement surrounding our wedding, we realise it has been character building in itself.
Whenever my income falls a bit short, I get a loan or, more often, a grant from The Bank of Gary - aka my husband. This provides a financial safety net, but it is contrary to the advice many wise mothers give to their daughters: have your own money and don't rely on a man. Should women be especially cautious about relying financially on their partners?
The moment you get engaged, get prepared to be inundated with everyone and their mom telling you variations of "don''t get stressed." I'm here to tell you that it is perfectly alright if the prospect of throwing a probably huge, definitely expensive party for your closest family and friends while committing your life to another human being feels a tad bit overwhelming and stressful. It is!
Kirstie Allsopp is not telling every woman that she needs to have a baby, flat and nice boyfriend by 27. I'm sure that in the light her comments to the telegraph she will be railed against for these suggestions, made as they were to her theoretical daughter. She is however most certainly a feminist and I'd argue many of her other beliefs far more radical than the average.
Everyone sits down and says the relationship is in trouble and then tells me the many ways in which the other person is lacking. The conversations are always about what's missing between them or how thing have changed, and a litany of the other person's shortcomings, long before they might mention their own contributions.
Congratulations, you're getting married! There is no other day in your life that compares with your wedding day. Sure, there are other big events in life that you'll always remember such as graduations, the birth of a child, or holidays of a lifetime, but it's your wedding day that you've probably fantasised about from a young age.
In a situation where a person finds themselves 'dumped' the chances are they are unlikely to be of sane enough mind to walk down the street without collapsing in a crumpled heap, much less, select a suitable aromatherapy treatment. They will feel rage, they will feel fury, they will feel a burning resentment and bitterness for every man walking the planet.
Let's face it, most of us wouldn't dream of taking on any other worthwhile new experience, such as driving or rock climbing, for instance, without some proper training. So why do we get married without preparation? Me included. Thirteen years ago, when I married in my late thirties, I didn't give marriage preparation a second thought.
The Office of National Statistics has revealed that the number of stepfamilies in the UK dropped from 631,000 in 2001 to 544,000 in 2011, a slump of 14% in just a decade. The drop has been interpreted as a reflection of the difficulties of assimilating children from different families into a new relationship, so if you are planning on doing a Brady Bunch, here's ten things you need to know...
But I can't help but feel that the format of 'Married At First Sight' tarnishes that. Just as you may buy an item of clothing to try on at home, decide you don't like it and return it to the shop with your receipt, Channel 4's new show seems to imply marriage is something that can be taken lightly as you can get out of it at the first sign of stormy waters.