Marry Her Anyway? (Talk to Your Coach First)

The recent hit “Rude” (Marry Her Anyway) by Magic! is one of the top songs on the pop charts at the moment.  In the unlikely event that you haven’t yet heard the song, the general theme is about a kid who approaches his girlfriend’s dad to ask for her hand in marriage.  The dad says no and so the kid responds with the following (see full lyrics here)…

Marry that girl
Marry her anyway
Marry that girl
Yeah, no matter what you say
Marry that girl
And we’ll be a family
Why you gotta be so Rude

In hearing this song, one of the first thoughts to come to mind was that hopefully this kid is connected with a wellness coach through his employer. If he is, the outcome likely would have been very, very different.  Afterall, an effective wellness coach doesn’t simply address “food and fitness.” Rather, an effective wellness coach addresses all of the F5 areas (Faith, Family/Friends, Fuel/Fitness, Finances and Field of Play).  As a result of the ongoing relationship the wellness coach would have had with him over the past year or more, they would have been discussing and preparing for this potential major moment in his life over time.

Had he been connected with his own wellness coach the past year or more, he likely would have been acting more like a “young man” than the “kid” described above and in the song.  As the relationship developed, he and his wellness coach likely would have discussed some or all of the following:

  • How is your relationship impacting the other F5 areas in your life and the life of your girlfriend?
    • One valuable sign of a positive relationship is that the other F5 areas are generally enhanced.  So, what has happened with both his and her eating and exercise habits? How has their faith been strengthened? Are their financial decisions becoming more wise? Are they growing closer to their family and friends (beyond each other)? Are they enhancing the value they each bring in their careers?
  • How does this decision to get married ASAP fit into the broader context of spending a life together?
    • The wellness coach is able to help broaden the perspective from what’s happening at this moment to the broader, more important context of life.  Passion is powerful – and important! – but it’s one small part of a treasured life-long marriage relationship.  Waiting isn’t necessarily the answer, and there’s no “perfect time.” However, the wellness coach could help him think through the broader context of living arrangements, education plans, careers and finances within that broader context of life rather than simply what he “wants” right now. Remember, one of our biggest mistakes in life is often trading what we want NOW for what we (really) want MOST.
  • Has he developed the qualities the young woman deserves in a husband before proposing?
    • We’re not talking perfection – that will never happen for any of us – and any reasonable dad isn’t expecting that.  We’re talking about demonstrating a track record of character traits that will enhance their lives together over the long term.  His wellness coach could help him think these through and then pursue opportunities to learn and then demonstrate these traits consistently.  Rather than tackling a long list of potential “wish list” items that he’ll never live up to (sorry ladies), the focus here is on some core character traits that influence many others, such as:
      • Dependability – At it’s core, this simply refers to whether he follows through on what he says he’s going to do.  Does he show up to work on-time and work hard everyday? Or does he show up late when he “feels like it” or clocks in/out at work but doesn’t give a full effort while there?  Those are character traits that will eventually make their way into the marriage and their lives together.
      • Honesty/Integrity – Can he admit when he’s wrong? What choices does he make when he thinks nobody is watching? Does he “call in sick” when he’s not really sick? Pocket an occasional item from the office that won’t likely ever be discovered? These may seem simple, but they’re a reflection of something core about the individual, and those core aspects will eventually come out in the marriage.
      • Delayed Gratification (at least occasionally) – “You Only Live Once” and “Live for Today” make great themes for movies and songs, but when you’re a husband – and potentially a dad yourself at some point – it’s important to at least partially shift to a future orientation.  Anyone can say “I love your daughter more than life itself” — but is that person demonstrating it by staying the course in a tough job until something better is locked in or deciding against the cost of cable TV and the latest smartphone in order to build at least a small nest egg to help out as the family grows?  Talk is (extremely) cheap.  Demonstrate that love in action, the ability to say “no” to the right things that will result in a better future for you and those around you.  Your wellness coach could help him look for ways to do so and support him through the tough choices.
  • Has the stage been set for a discussion with his girlfriend’s dad about the decision?
    • Face it – he doesn’t “have” to receive the dad’s “permission” in order for them to get married.  This step reflects more a respect for the dad and the larger family unit than anything. He was wise to take that step, but a wellness coach would have helped him think it through over several months, building a stronger relationship with the dad over that time, showing he’s the kind of young man (vs. reactive kid) who will make not only a good husband, but also a great family member of the extended family in the years to come.  From the song, it doesn’t appear they even know each other…

This only scratches the surface of the potential discussions between the writer of the song and his wellness coach.  But the fact is, the relationship over time with the wellness coach likely would have resulted in a completely different outcome.  Maybe the dad would have been the one to pen the song, and the chorus may have gone something like this…

Marry that girl
You’ve shown me who you are
Marry that girl
You’re ready to go real far
Marry that girl
And we’ll all be a family
I’m proud to call you son
Glad she thinks you’re the one!

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