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Wedding Address

“A successful Marriage is when the ‘you’ and the ‘I’ become the ‘us’, not two but one; an equal partnership, a single entity. A Marriage is a shared responsibility. A good marriage is plain old hard work. You each have strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths. The Buddha taught that a husband has certain duties to his wife and the wife to her husband. Among them are respect, courtesy and fidelity. Compassion and consideration for each other will go a long way in smoothing out the rough edges of life. To keep your love growing to its full glory, reject the poison of anger and grudges.  Sometimes you may disagree, but fight fair - avoid using the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ and just be as polite to each other, as you would be to a stranger.

Treat your in-laws as you would want your own parents treated. May I suggest that every year you thank your mother-in-law on your spouse’s birthday with a gift or a call. Without her, you wouldn’t be standing here. And family and friends, don’t take sides. Name of bride and name of groom are adults and are taking on adult responsibilities. They will workout the rough spots if they are allowed to do it themselves.

It is important, too, to be careful with the money you earn. There is nothing that can poison a marriage faster. Some saved, some given away; being neither tightfisted nor a spendthrift and making major financial decisions together will go a long way in keeping your marriage on an even keel.

With love and trust comes respect. You are uniting in love and trust. Trust each other because, after all, your spouse had enough sense to choose you, and to love you. Be trust worthy in keeping your private life private, this way you know that you can confide your greatest fears and dreams, triumphs and failures. Communicate your love both verbally and physically.                    

Depending on mind reading is unreliable and leads to a break down of communication and in the end, the fabric of the marriage itself. So say when something really bothers you or you really like or dislike something. My great aunt Edith was stuck in Hawaii during World War II. Meat was scarce so her friend made a rather horrid soybean casserole and my aunt gagged down two big helpings, not wanting to hurt her friend’s feelings. Years later, they met and my aunt was invited to dinner. Her hostess proudly carried in a soybean casserole, saying, “I remember how much you enjoyed it last time.” I don’t believe she ever told another fib. Be honest with one another but refrain from using truth as a cruel weapon.

Feed your love with warmth and affection, with sharing and with unbirthday gifts.”

(Given at  wedding performed April 19, 2003 at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County California by Sư Cô Thích N Chơn Đc)