Dearly Beloved 

I have opinions on almost everything.

Dear Minerva,

My boyfriend and I consider ourselves modern people. We've struggled with the idea of marriage. We feel it is outdated, but there is a voice inside of us telling us to do it. We aren't naive, though. We know marriage is difficult. I know you officiate a lot of weddings, and I am hoping you can give us some advice. What advice do you have for this antsy couple?

Sincerely,

Betrothed

Dear Betrothed,

I've never been married (always the officiant, never the bride) but I have opinions on almost everything. What I can pass on to you is the Tennessee mountain wisdom of my late, beloved mamaw. When I was 13, she taught me two things about marriage: No. 1, if you marry for money, you'll earn every penny. No 2, never say "no" to your man in the bedroom, or he'll just go somewhere else. While this seems like crazy advice, let me explain. No. 1 is all about marrying for the right reasons. Marriage is work, but love gives you an incentive for the investment. Any other reason reduces marriage to a business transaction. No. 2 sounds wildly inappropriate today. Let's remove the sexual aspect. It could better be interpreted as compromise. People are happiest when they decide on something together. Compromising and communication is important. Whether it's what to have for dinner or where to live, hearing each other out and then moving forward with a common goal is mature. Best wishes to you both.

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