Rev. Janice Carter

Wedding Celebrant and Officiant in the Seattle area

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It Takes A Village to Support A Marriage

Marriage has its ebbs and flows, just as the ocean does.  It has its good times and its bad times.  It is important to understand that marriage is not always the “happily ever after” affair that we wish it could be.  Our marriage partner cannot read our minds.  Our marriage partner cannot make us happy.  Our marriage partner cannot be everything to us and for us.  It takes a village to support a marriage.

We need to reach out to our friends and family when we are going through difficult times.  Asking them to help us through the difficult times is something we don’t like to do – we want to keep our problems hidden from others – but many times, this is exactly the time we do need their help and support to get through the rough times.  They can listen and comfort us and also give us a perspective from outside the relationship that can help bring things back into balance.

In 2005, I did a radio program on “Leading Lives of Quiet Desperation”.   It is worth the 15 minutes to listen to it.  Go to and listen to the 6th audio program.  It provides insights into the desperate lives both men and women lead when we look behind closed doors.  No one’s life is perfect, although it may look perfect from the outside.  Then we are surprised when the couple with the “perfect life” all of a sudden split up.  What can be done to prevent this from happening?

During many of the wedding ceremonies I perform, I speak to the friends and family of the bride and groom to ask them to be there for the couple both during the good times and the bad times.  They need support when things are not going well and friends to share things with when things are going well.  It takes a village to support a marriage.

Here is an excerpt from a wedding ceremony I did yesterday:
“As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds the bride and groom – a Tribe, if you will.  Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other.  Encourage them when encouragement is needed.  Promise to always stand beside them, never between them.  Offer them your love and support, without your judgment.  Promise to encourage them when encouragement is needed, and counsel them when they ask for advice.  In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today.”

Every relationship has its ups and downs and it is important to know that we need to work through these times, because the good times will return if we are patient and we work at it.  Many times, marriages are ended too easily when they can be saved with a little work and by being a grown-up.

What do I mean by being a grown-up?  I mean that first of all, we take responsibility for our own actions.  We acknowledge when we have made a mistake.  Second, we take responsibility for our own happiness.  No one else can do that for us.  If our life is lacking something, we are responsible for figuring out what that is and then going after it.  Our spouse might be able to help us to figure out what that is, but they cannot be the one to bring happiness.  Third, we understand that things will not always be perfect.   Fourth, it’s too easy to blame our spouse for our problems.  Sometimes, a little time away from our spouse make us realize what we have.  If that spouse is not there to blame, it helps us to realize that we have to get out of our slump ourselves.  It helps us to appreciate all the things our spouse does bring to the relationship.   Think about what things would really be like if your split up with your spouse – all the problems you would have to face alone, the broken family life, the financial difficulties, the loneliness, the additional problems that would arise with a split.  It is definitely worth the effort to save the marriage.

Make sure to take time out to have romantic times with one another.  This is especially important when we become parents.  We may focus too much on the children and forget to go out on dates with one another and take vacations without the children.  We need to be sure our own relationship is strong in order to be good parents for our children.  This will also give the children a wonderful gift – some special time with their grandparents or friends of the family.

Build a tribe to support you and your family.  Give your relationship a chance.  Give it time to come around again.  Plan some special events that you can look forward to together to help build that bridge again between the two of you.  Change your job if you hate it.  Take up a new hobby.  Go dancing together.  Build memories, take pictures, and reminisce about it throughout the years.  Run off together and do something fun, whether it is taking a hike, going on a trip, exploring a new area of your city,  redecorating a room in your house, reading poetry together, or listening and dancing to music in your living room.  Get dressed up and meet for a fantasy “first date” with one another at a fancy bar or restaurant.  Who knows? You might end up spending a night with each other at a hotel nearby and have breakfast in bed the next morning!

I wrote the following poem, Ebb and Flow of Marriage, and it was chosen as one of the readings for the wedding yesterday.  See if it speaks to you.

We rejoice with you today in your deep love for one another.
We wish for that love to grow and deepen through the years.
Remember, though, a time will come when you feel your love is gone
And instead of being like magnets greatly attracted to each other,
It’s as though the polarity has all of a sudden changed
And you are being pushed apart and cannot stand to be together.
But know that this is part of the natural ebb and flow of love and relationships
And the polarity will reverse once again
And you’ll discover that your love and attraction for one another
Has not disappeared, but is back as strong as ever.
We will rejoice with you in your times of love
And support you in your times of tribulation.


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“Dating over 40” on Ashford Radio July 11, 2012

On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, I will again be appearing on Ashford Radio at noon Pacific Time.  The Three Generations of Payne will be discussing “Dating Over 40”.  To listen, go to and look for me in Studio C.

If you have a question about “Dating Over 40”, or on our August 1st topic, “Life’s Transitions”, please email me at  Indicate whether you would like the issue aired on the radio or answered privately.

July 9, 2012

Press Release

Rev. Jan Carter Returns to Ashford Radio

Rev. Jan Carter and the Three Generations of Payne will return to Ashford Radio in Studio C this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at noon Pacific Daylight Time.  This week’s discussion will be “Dating After 40”.

The Three Generations of Payne is a unique service that provides three generations of experience and perspective to the problems we all face.

This service is an outgrowth of the premarital courses that Reverend Janice Carter offers to her engaged couples.  Rev. Jan is an ordained minister who is a wedding Celebrant and Officiant in the Seattle/Tacoma/ Puget Sound area of Washington State.   With the current divorce rate sitting at 50%, Rev. Jan designed her premarital courses to promote enlightening discussions between engaged couples to help them discuss the many topics they need to cover before walking down the aisle.

Three Generations of Payne was created because engaged couples are not the only ones who have questions and problems.  Everyone has problems at times in life and they need a trusted person to talk with to get their perspective.  Rev. Jan has teamed up with her 36-year-old daughter, Jill Cloutier, and 88-year-old mother, Charline Payne, to provide a unique service.  Because they each grew up in a different era and have had different life experiences, each of them brings a different perspective to the problem you are facing.

To learn more about this unique service, turn in to Ashford Radio on July 11, 2012 at 3:00pm EST in Studio C to hear from Rev. Jan and Charline as they discuss this week’s topic, “Dating After 40”.  Also, note on your calendar that their next show on August 1, 2012, Rev. Jan, Charline, and Jill will be discussing “Life’s Transitions”.  This includes situations such death of a spouse, dealing with a chronic illness or disability, becoming empty nesters, getting divorced, moving to a new location, getting a new job, unemployment, the birth of a child, and retirement.

To have your problem addressed on the radio, email your questions ahead of time to  Emails will also be answered privately by request.

Join Ashford Radio in Welcoming back Rev Janice Carter on

July 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm EDT in Studio C

Topic “Dating Over 40”


August 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm EDT in Studio C

Topic “Life’s Transitions”


If you have any questions, or would like to order copies of the shows after they air, please call the following number: 516-222-2266.



Ashford Soical Media, Inc.
Ph. 516-222-2266
Fx. 516-493-9548