Marriage Matters Monday – The Italian Honeymoon That Never Happened

Mr. TK & I chillaxin’ in Aruba three months after getting engaged

“Man can plan but God can hinder.”

Growing up, I listened to my North Carolina-born mom and grandmother recite the above sentence countless times and it typically left me perplexed. Now as a married, 30-something year-old woman I get it. In fact, my new marriage and now postponed honeymoon are prime examples of this saying.

Before I get into the who, what and why of my honeymoon being postponed, let me explain a few things: I work in an industry where frontin’ is embraced. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to post this because I was nervous about oversharing and exposing too much of me and the hubby’s business to the world wide web. But upon careful consideration, I concluded (after running it by him) that I should because if I experienced it, someone else probably has, too. So here goes…

After getting hitched last fall, Mr. TK and I planned to honeymoon in Southern Italy. I specifically wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast and Capri. I’ve been to Rome and Florence but not the southern region of the country and neither has Mr. TK so we were pumped to experience someplace new for both of us. I even had outfits picked out! Our minimoon helped to tie us over and we did manage to get away for my birthday a few months ago but in the back of my mind, I was dreaming about our stay in Italy. However we’ve had to make the grown-up decision that the money used toward a fancy honeymoon can be better used toward more important family goals.

After one says I Do, the ebb and flow of life doesn’t stop. So, when the transmission in the car goes, the longtime freelance assignment that provided a steady source of income ends and the acceptance that it is going to take a hefty dose of compromise on both of your parts to find a comfortable place for you to live (especially in NYC), things like a jaunt to Capri don’t seem important. Mr. TK and I will continue to travel — that bug hasn’t gone anywhere. But as a married couple we now have to do what’s best for our household. Those decisions aren’t always easy to make — we could have broken out a credit card or dipped into savings and still made Capri happen this year — but the truth is that wouldn’t have been smart. And what one can pay for and what one can actually afford are two different things. The bottom line: We cannot afford a trip to Capri this year. Period.

This experience has forced me to grow. I literally was pouting when Mr. TK said that under our current circumstances, Capri wasn’t going to be a reality for 2014. And he’s been less than thrilled with some suggestions I’ve made for us to improve our quality of life. We’ve both had to sacrifice in unprecedented ways since getting married and we know there are more sacrifices to come. Yet, I didn’t stay at that pity party long. I thought back to my mother’s sage advice about focusing more on what you do have than what you don’t. Mr. TK and I were blessed beyond measure not to incur any debt getting married. Our support system is strong. Sure, if we had reallocated some wedding funds we probably could have taken that Italian honeymoon but I refuse to live a life filled with coulda, shoulda, wouldas. 5, 7, or even 10 years from now when we do take that trip to Capri it will be much sweeter.

Priorities over Postcards: The Amalfi Coast will have to wait…

I’m thankful Mr. TK and I lived and had the opportunity to travel the world prior to getting hitched so we aren’t resentful to our marriage when situations like this arise. Our passports can get some rest while we build a foundation for our family. Right now our family is just the two of us but we have ambitious goals nonetheless. In the meantime, building up our savings and figuring out exactly where we want to plant roots is our priority — not hanging out on the Amalfi Coast. Prior to getting married, I never felt the need to discuss my travel plans with anyone so navigating this is new to me. But ya know what? I wouldn’t want to figure it out with anyone else.

P.S. – Writers, editors and now bloggers receive lots of awesome perks as a by-product of the gig. I’ve had the opportunity to visit some fantastic locales as a result of my career and more cool trips are in the works. But I at least try to keep my job perks and what I can actually afford in two separate buckets. Going to Italy on a press trip (which could very well happen in the future) and going on a true vacay with my husband are two different things and I refuse to fake the funk like they aren’t hence this post.

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    1. You are an amazing daughter in every sense of the word!!! I am so proud of you learning to put your priorities in order. The things you are going through now { remember, this too will past} are going to make you stronger.
      Love you both more than words could ever express. You are blessed ……….

    2. Very well put! I enjoyed reading this Bridgette. Its hard to put your wants and desires to the side when you’ve been dreaming about it for so long but it shows maturity to know what is more important at the time being and It will pay off in the end. That trip to Capri whenever you do go I’m sure will be magnificent and you will enjoy it all the more.

    3. Spikesdtr says:

      Learning to prioritize resources has been one of the biggest and hardest lessons of my retirement life. My basic needs are met very well but, the extras that I’d become so accustomed cannot always be had. It’s all good though because I’m realizing just how little I really need and how much I’ve wasted. It makes me appreciate that much more when I’m able to attain, do or go. I’m so appreciative of things I’d taken for granted. The journey is so informative and empowering.

    4. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Mommy – Thank you a million times. Most of what I know about prioritizing came from you. I didn’t realize how important those lessons were growing up but rarely a day goes by that I don’t stop to reflect on how thankful I am for the way I was raised. I love you!

      @Leah – I’m so glad this resonated with you especially since you’re a bride-to-be. I appreciate your kind words and wish you and your fiance all the bliss you can stand!

      @SD – Thanks for sharing and commenting. I’m seemingly far from retirement, but I too am more appreciative these days and particularly of things I took for granted prior to marriage. It may sound corny but I’m thankful for this growth. Although I still value travel, Mr. TK and I are realizing that not every rewarding travel experience needs to be grand and/or international. We had a ball in February down in Charleston! In addition, if we have to take a break from big vacations and other non-essential spending for a few years while we plant roots and build our foundation, then that’s what we have to do. And we will give thanks along the way because we both know in the scheme of life, we already have what matters most.

    5. The best posts are usually the most introspective although we bloggers are certainly not obligated to share it all on the “Innanet” :) . Kudos to y’all for making the responsible decision :)

    6. Carla A. Nelson says:

      Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. More people need to be real about their situation (without giving away everything). I too am learning how to be content where I am. More importantly, when your Italty trip does come, you will enjoy it more because those other stressors will be handled and gone!

      You are providing all of us what it means to have Bliss in Black Marriages!

    7. Bridgette this is a wonderful piece what I love about you writing you’re Raw &you’re honest . You will always get respect from your peers in those outside your circle . There is nothing wrong with putting your big honeymoon vacation on hold. You and your husband have traveled and will continue to travel & you get to the destination in Gods time. Yes, coming together as one being married you have to sacrifice for the better of your relationship and your family . Keep doing what you got to do and I support you and I thank you for being my friend.

    8. Girl you are preaching to the choir. I have had learn to deal with compromise and disappointment in my marriage when it comes to extra – curricular activities. Before getting married I had this romantic notion of all these fantastic trips and fabulous events that would happen now that I was in a dual income situation. Not taking to account that dual income comes along with dual responsibilities. While we do have combined expenses as individuals we also have things that come up that effects household finances. Such is life. What matters is building a future and enjoying each other as a couple whatever the current circumstances may be. As always great read, thanks for sharing

    9. Thank you so much for sharing. You will go on that vacation soon!!! The best is yet to come.

    10. Mondella Jones/MJLA Media says:

      “Writers, editors and now bloggers receive lots of awesome perks as a by-product of the gig…But I at least try to keep my job perks and what I can actually afford in two separate buckets.”

      You better SAY THAT!!!!!!! So many people in our “media” business drink the kool-aid and start believing that what they get through work is what they can afford on their own. Then they sell their readers the dream and aspiring young women and men believe the hype. Thanks for keeping it REALLY real and telling it like it is. You are doing everyone the greatest service ever. And young women who look up to you and the blog will know that it takes consistent hard work to achieve. Bravo B2R! So proud of you!

    11. Nice article. First off – please teach me how to get travel gigs by writing! Second, good point about being able to travel first before marriage and therefore not being resentful about sacrifices now. I’m single and enjoying that the best way I know how, so that when I settle down again I won’t be resentful at compromise (because I do like not having to consult anyone about my plans).

    12. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Jackie – Thank you!

      @Shauna – UMES Love! ;-) I appreciate you so much for sharing those kind, sincere words and for your unwavering support of Triple B. You ROCK!

      @Jene – Yes, yes, yes! Thanks for commenting.

      @Rashidah – The best is yet to come happens to be one of my mantras. Thanks for showing Triple B love.

      @Mondella – Proud of me? Aww shucks; thanks so much! And yes, that media Kool-Aid gets poured in abundance; no thanks. ;-)

      @Prudence – LOL! I appreciate the perks (including travel) my career has afforded me — for sure. But remember “perks” are relative, girl. We’ll talk about that offline. ;-) And yes(!) please take advantage of the flexibility you have to travel now while you’re not in a committed relationship. Settling down doesn’t mean the travel will have to stop of course but there will be other factors to consider then that you don’t have now. My mom used to tell me this and I didn’t get it then. I do now.

    13. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Oh my goodness, Carla: I forgot you. Thanks much for the words of wisdom.

    14. Love all the truth telling going on here, especially the bit about the industry and the frontin’ that goes on.
      And yes, a press junket and a vacay where you call the shots all day are two different things. The junkets are a great perk of the job, but we know they are work and you have to be ON.

      I understand your reluctance to share–at first–but part of us growing as individuals and couples and married folks comes from the sharing. It is not all sweet after the honeymoon. Life happens and ish gets very real, but it is how we deal with it TOGETHER that counts.

      You just spoke to someone who probably was forced to put down the Amex card and read this post.

    15. Daina Troy says:

      Great post Bridgette! I opted out of a honeymoon for a few reasons, but the main one was that I wanted my household in order. I too lament not making that ‘memory’, but I have plenty of moments that made our first years special. It is time to build the marriage and not the facade! We have couples coming up behind us that need to know the real deal. Kudos to you for using this forum to be a great example.

    16. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Thank you all and please keep the thoughtful comments coming, folks!

    17. Kimberly Robinson says:

      I just found this website while looking for something for someone else. I am glad that I found it, and I am equally as happy that I read your post. This is really refreshing, and it is a reminder for me. I am in the same boat and definitely needed this reassurance. I wish the two of you a wonderful, enduring, and happy marriage.

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