First of all, thanks so much for such supportive and encouraging responses to my previous post. I will absolutely respond to each and every one, as I try to with every post, but for now, in keeping with my new blogging approach, I am putting the very first Marriage Monday post up! I was so ridiculously excited to find in my in-box an actual submission last week! Full disclosure, it comes from a “real life” friend and she’s asked I don’t link to her blog since there is some family sensitivity around the issue. Anyway, I think her entry is the perfect beginning to Marriage Mondays. Here it is:
My husband’s best friend is getting married soon, and my husband is in the wedding. it’s a low-key wedding at a farm, where the ceremony and reception are in one location. sounds awesome!
but the couple are firm that no children are invited to the wedding. this includes no breastfed newborns! this means i can’t go. i’ve thought a lot about it, and even if i could pump enough milk for felix beforehand, there’s nowhere for me to pump at this wedding (can’t spend 20 minutes in a port-o-john. just no!).
i get no kids at a wedding, but no breastfed infants of a groomsman? i can’t help but feel this couple will come to regret excluding me from their wedding when they go on to have children. the bride said she’s “sorry that our no children request is inconvenient.” it’s not inconvenient so much as it precludes me from attending 😦
but i’m also trying to see my reaction from the outside–am i that friend who thinks the wedding revolves around me instead of the couple?? am i being “that” guest who makes the bride insane with special requests?
i can’t help but feel the wedding itself sets a precedent for the marriage to follow. what does this whole situation mean? bah!
The reason I find this post perfect for our first Marriage Monday segment is because it deals with issues surrounding a wedding – the very beginning of many marriages! I share Katy’s sentiments – if you are having a formal ceremony, the wedding should set a precedent for the marriage to follow. What that means will certainly differ from person to person, but ultimately a wedding should be a celebration while sort of setting your intent for your future together. As I thought this over the course of a couple of days, I found myself growing more and more angry on Katy’s behalf. In general I get the no-kids thing, especially in an environment as difficult to control as a farm. But her son is a newborn who simply cannot be separated from his mama for that length of time – he is not going to run roughshod through the place or tip the cake over or anything like that. The worst thing he can possibly do is cry, which can be solved by nursing or taking him away from the public. Katy’s husband isn’t a distant relative or mere acquaintance – he is a best friend and groomsman. In not allowing his wife to take their newborn to the wedding, I feel this bride is essentially ignoring the importance of his family at a time when she should be embracing all the concept has to offer. Over and over and over again I see people create these elaborate fantasy weddings that no marriage has any hope, ever, of living up to!
So I side with my friend Katy. But more to the point, I think, is ultimately how she lets this affect her own marriage. It would be easy, I think, to want her husband to take sides – to advocate for her and to feel resentful as he goes off to wedding while she stays home with her young sons. I think I, at least, would struggle with feelings of resentment both properly placed (the bride and groom) and improperly placed (S.) – so it’s important to recognize that the bride’s decision, despite its consequences, has nothing really to do with Katy and SO MUCH to do with the bride. And, there will be some justice, I think, when Katy’s husband is at the wedding and everyone asks him where Katy is, and he has to explain that his itty bitty baby boy couldn’t attend. I see the ultimate goal, here, is Katy’s ability not so much to rise above the issue but to allow her husband to enjoy the event despite her “marginalization,” so to speak. This would be a very hard thing for me to do.
What do you think?