Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maybe I'm done being freaked out by weddings

I'm going to a wedding on Friday.
And strangely, I'm excited. For a long time, I have believed that no one should get married. Marriage is an archaic institution. At best, it is a legal agreement. At worst, it is codependent, abusive, and unhealthy. Weddings have freaked me out for a very long time. In my mind, they symbolized the beginning of a horrible hell, but something has changed in the last couple of months... And I blame the bride-to-be.

When I met her, she was going through an awful divorce. She wanted out - He didn't want to let her. All divorce is hell... but in my experience, the hell part was the back and forth before the divorce. In her experience, the hell was the years long legal battle they went through after she had filed for divorce.

I watched her go through having her kids shun her, because they were angry at the choices she was making (combined with the stories he was telling). I watched her decide that she couldn't wait for them to decide to want to be in her life. She loves them and she wants them around, but she's going to live her life and let them live theirs. It both saddened and inspired me. My family didn't make me choose between doing what was best for me and making them happy. Her family did. She chose to do what was best for herself. In my mind, that was the much harder choice.

She started talking about a friend she'd met online. Then she brought him over for dinner. I liked him from the first moment I met him. (He reminds me of my old therapist: easy-going teddy bear, with a tough streak. On several occasions, I have almost called him Paul (therapist's name) instead of by his name.) Although weeks went by between times we saw each other, he remembered what we'd talked about and we just picked up the conversation where we left off. And it was obvious to me that he liked her.

I remember her saying once, "I just want to fall in love. I want to know what it's like to love someone instead of needing someone. I want to know what it feels like to want to be with someone and have them want to be with me."  Watching them together, I felt like she was on the path to find what she wanted. That made me happy.

Then they got engaged. Whenever anyone has gotten engaged recently, I have wanted to go off on them about why they shouldn't. I never shared my thoughts, but it was very loud inside my head. This time, I didn't even feel the urge to go off on why I didn't believe in marriage. Instead, I just felt happy for her.

When I told BJ about my internal reaction, he asked if that meant I wanted to get married someday. HELL NO. I don't.
What does it mean? It means I have finally gotten comfortable enough in my own decision, that I don't need to tell other people what to do. I don't need to tell people why MY choice is the better choice. I can just live my life; make my choices; and let them live their lives and make their choices.

So, maybe I can't blame her for my change in perspective. Maybe, the more comfortable we (meaning people) are with our own choices, the less we need to control others.

What if telling other people what to do is just a way to help us make peace with our own choices?
I feel like I just discovered something important, but it makes my brain hurt. At moments like this, I love insights from others. Your thoughts?


  1. People at their core nature just want to belong. People also enjoy feeling empowered. When people can showing the belong by making everyone agree with them it fulfills both longings. It's a double whammy of positive feeling energy to their feel goods.

    1. Belonging is so important... Feeling loved and accepted is one of the best feelings ever. Knowing that, the more I try to make people fit into MY ideas of what they should do, the less accepted and belonged they feel.

      I like this journey I am on. As I learn to love and accept myself better, I can naturally love and accept others. And then we all belong, even if we are all very different. That world sounds very peaceful.