With wedding season up ahead I feel this needs to be said.
Ladies, if you feel that you shouldn’t be getting married to the man you will soon say “I do” to:
As I flew to Las Vegas that fateful day years ago, I knew in my heart that was not what I wanted to do. It was a very tiny wedding at one of Las Vegas’ quaint little chapels. The only people present were the preacher, his wife, two witnesses, my soon to be husband, and me. The struggle within me was so strong that I nervously giggled through the short walk to the altar and through most of the vows.
I was a very naïve, vulnerable and pregnant bride. As I stated in some of my other posts, I had a rough upbringing and never met my father. In an effort to make sure my first child’s fate was nothing like mine, I tried to keep connections open with her father so he could be part of her life. Instead, I ended up pregnant for a second time when she was just eight months old. I was ashamed and felt horribly foolish.
Yeah, I hear you. “What were you thinking?” Don’t think those very thoughts have not resonated in my mind since that day. Fact is I wasn’t thinking at all. I was doing what I had been used to doing since childhood. Surviving.
Anyone raised in a nurturing and loving home with parents guiding them through the tough years of adolescence and young adulthood couldn’t possibly understand what goes on in the mind and heart of someone who had felt and been treated as an inconvenience her whole life. By her own family.
I had no family to turn to and felt an unsettling aloneness. Believing I had no options I felt I had to marry the man I didn’t feel good about. Believing I had no real value or meaning or that anyone would ever really want me, I felt pressured to say “I do”. I believed I needed a man to make it through life. Those childhood recordings echoed through my mind. You are unlovable. You deserve what you get. You have no other choice but to settle. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I owed my children a nurturing, safe and healthy life. I was willing to own where I stood as a mother. I had as the saying goes, made my bed, now I had to lie in it. But things could have been so different had I had the support and guidance I desperately needed. I endured the marriage for the sakes of the kids and because I was trying to live a Christian life. But who wants to endure a marriage? Underneath it all, I was a brand new Christian trying to figure out what God wanted from me. After fifteen long and painful years the marriage ended, causing my children a great deal of pain.
I look at this picture and still grieve over all the true, then unrecognizable, potentials
hidden inside the young girl with the pearls and the bridal bouquet. I had buried treasures inside of me I wasn’t aware of because of all the negativity and pressure surrounding my world. I see it now. But I couldn’t see it then. I didn’t have the nurturing or parental guidance I needed growing up. I believed I needed a man in my life to be somebody special because on my own I wasn’t worth much. After spending most of my life bouncing in and out of painful relationships I convinced myself that settling down with this man was the right thing to do for my children.
Right now, there are a few of you out there planning your wedding, but may have feelings inside you that tell you this is not the right man for you. These feelings are deeply unsettling and go far beyond cold feet. I urge you to talk to someone you trust about this.
The invitations may have gone out. The vacation cost may be non-refundable. The wedding dress has already been altered. The bridesmaids have their dresses. Maybe you or your parents put out a lot of money and effort for your wedding. You and your intended may even have already bought a house together.
I have had conversations with other women and have heard these same reasons as to why they stepped into a married life with someone they didn’t feel right about deep inside. They all ended up painfully regretting it. There may be countless of other reasons to go on with this wedding. A wedding that deep in your heart you feel is not for you. There might even be a child or children involved as in my case. It could simply be the embarrassment of cancelling the wedding.
All of these reasons I mentioned are small costs compared to the deep ache you will feel in your hearts later when you realize you made a big mistake. Take it from someone who has been there. Believe me. Feeling like a princess for a day or any amount of money considered “wasted” is not worth a miserable marriage. Read my prior post, “Searching for Love in the Right Places”. That was my life just a few short years after this picture was taken. It is much better to wish you were married, than to wish you could get out of the marriage you are in.
You may even have well-meaning family members and friends that love you very much and that see what you don’t see. They see a lifetime of hurt and misery while you only see what you want to see right now. Every single one of the ladies I spoke with wished they had cancelled their weddings or listened to their loved ones’ warnings.
The man I married that day and I are now divorced. You may not even believe this but several of his friends actually tried to talk me out of marrying him. They told me I was too sweet a girl and that I didn’t know what I was getting into. They were so right. As I said, I was young, naïve, vulnerable, and pregnant. I thought I had no options. I thought there was no one out there that would care enough about me to help me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian ©2013