Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I had a conversation the other day with an engaged friend about an argument she had with her fiance. I won't share all the details because that's her life and her business but I'll give you the general idea. It had to do with an element of the rehearsal dinner. She understands that since her mother-in-law is contributing to the dinner she doesn't get much of a say but there was just one little thing that she asked be incorporated. Unfortunately, her mother-in-law had the opposite idea and kind of nixed the suggestion. The fight came about when, though her fiance didn't care either way about the matter at hand, he wouldn't voice his support for his partner and speak up to his mom. I would understand if he agreed with his mother but the fact that he really didn't care about the outcome and still wouldn't speak up kind of got me thinking. I understand that some people don't like to rock the boat with their folks and cause any resentment but they're about to become a family, ya know. A unit. And if he can't stand up to his mother at this point in the process over a small detail what's going to happen later on when they have to make bigger life decisions and his mother doesn't agree with their choices? We're grown ups now. There has to be some separation from our mommies and daddies.*

I've found that, at times, wedding planning can be a little bit of us against the "world". Sure, the wedding is about our friends and family and not just about us (and I wouldn't want it ANY other way) but the thing that the wedding represents - the marriage - is about us and about us becoming this brand new, little family. And if my fiance wants to make a decision that his mother or father or my mother or father don't necessarily approve of then my loyalty will be with him (within reason, of course) and I expect the same from him. I don't know what I would do if he didn't have my back through this process. There have been a couple of tense conversations with my mom and he has always taken my side and been by my side and supported me.

I love my mother and father and sister and they will always be my family, obviously, and I will always take in to consideration their advice and ideas but, ultimately, when it comes to my relationship with my husband and our children (if, when we have them) the decision that he and I make as a family trumps all.

UPDATE: There must be something in the air. APW posted something similar (love the term mamadrama!).

*This is by no means an insult to my friend, her fiance or her mother-in-law to be. The dress rehearsal isn't the point. That was just the jumping off point for this bigger conversation I started having - with her, myself and my partner - about what it means to be a unit during the wedding planning and throughout the marriage. Of course, she isn't going to end things because of this argument. It was just a small disagreement that we ALL have at some point. But again...not the point.

7 comments:

anna and the ring said...

Something my future mother told me is that I will always love my family but I will love, and do anything for, the family I create so much more.

Liz said...

the wedding is kinda the turning point where your loyalty changes places a bit.

ashley said...

e-x-a-c-t-l-y...<3 this is so important, and I agree 200%.

Laurel said...

Interesting post. I feel for your friend and maybe one thing that would help - although I have not been in this situation personally, so I am not sure- BUT I wonder if her fiance feels detached from the process and since he may not want to rock the boat over something 'little.'
I do feel that so much presure is put on guys to stand up the their soon to be wives in this wedding event that it is hard to live up to that without rocking the boat. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally thrown by the husbands parents so maybe the grooms mother just feels like this is her little project.
PS with all that said. If I was directly involved and she were my friend... I would likely feel the exact same way you do! however for your friend she should not feel like this is a make or break item if he does or does not stand up for her.

A Los Angeles Love said...

It's funny - I was trying to get at this exact idea back when I attempted "wedding joy week" (before I had to admit that I was wedding-ed out and needed a big break) But I do think there's something so important about the process of engagement - specifically planning a wedding together - that ultimately makes the hellishness worth it. And it's the process of talking it out until you start to actually become that unit and family. Without the process of working through this shift, I'd worry about how the couple is going to make it long term. Some things are worth brushing under the rug (that's part of the negotiation) but some things are worth the fight.

I make no assumptions about which applied in the case of your friend, but I know what you mean about the bigger issue things.

noa (feather love photography) said...

well put! and it's true, this is when all the loyalty stuff and all it's related BS starts to rear it's ugly head. that's why i strongly believe that the engagement period is utterly essential and should really be honored. it's a rite of passage all on it's own...

Anonymous said...

i feel like people don't talk about this, but it's totally how i've been feeling. thanks!