Confessions of a second-time bride, part I

Posted on January 10, 2009. Filed under: reality |

I’ve been fighting against the idea, reality, necessity of planning our wedding since virtually the moment we started talking about marriage.  I’ve fought it with every ounce of my being, every cell in my body, every negative emotion I can summon, every bit of brain power and reasoning that I can bring to the task of avoiding the inevitable.

I want to marry him.  I want to be his wife; for him to be my husband.  But I’m scared.  I’ve failed before, and refusing the simplest of wedding-related tasks is somehow my talisman against more failure… and to be even more honest, a way of avoiding my embarrassment.  We don’t really get to begin with our slates wiped clean, no matter how amicable the divorce or well learned the lessons are.  People remember, people were there, I was there.  I floated through my first wedding like a bystander, content to have planned a really great party and entirely missing the sentimentality that I love about life.  That makes sense — in my early 20’s, I craved emotion and sentimentality while managing to avoid it like the plague.

And now?  Now, I get it.  Marriage is work, and I’m ready to do it.  I even feel prepared for the difficulties.  We’ve not had the easiest of relationships, he and I, but it’s been worth it, and I’m proud to have figured that out about life: it’s not easy.  But this wedding planning thing?  It’s a microcosm of everything I find hard about life.  I read once that dogs augment the very essence of people’s personalities, which is why some people (including myself) find owning a dog to be a lot of pressure.  If you’re nervous for example, you see nervousness in your dog.  Wedding planning feels the same; all of my weakness are exposed in a very public way, all along the way.

I wrote about my wish to elope, and many of you replied that you felt the same but didn’t feel like you could deprive your families of the wedding experience.  That’s not true for us.  His parents eloped on a long weekend.  My parents have been married more than once themselves, and (more to the point) have already been through the wedding experience with me, in a really big way.  They won’t mind if we don’t have a “wedding, ” so my reasons for not eloping have to be my own (my guy just wants what I want… love him).

I want a full do-over, but I’m not going to get one.  I’m still me, and my demons and closets stuffed full of history are mine as are the fantastic people and experiences I’ve had the fortune to bring with me.   And that’s why I want us to have our wedding.  We’re a new relationship, a new marriage, a new family, he and I, and any men that came before are part of my life, not ours.  I’m a sentimental girl, and the only way I’ll get sentimental things is if I accept (insist upon) them.  Weddings are a rite of passage because they force you to really look at yourself and where you want to go.

I want a sweet wedding at our home.  I want my family here to meet his family and all of our friends.  I want to feel the love of our people directed at us and our new family, even if it makes me a little squirmy.  I want to learn to accept love and blessings and life as it comes.  I want to stop trying to hide it all; my people aren’t talking about our wedding because they’re taking our cues from us, and we’re avoiding the whole subject because I’m avoiding it… because I’m embarrassed.

It’s time to stop fighting it, and so, I’m going to give myself some advice: Stop it.  You’re the only one who thinks about your first marriage anymore, and soon, you won’t think about it nearly as much either.  It’s okay; that’s the point.  You are ending one chapter to begin another, and it’s in your best interest to think about the first before embarking upon the second, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go through it again.  After all, what is practice but repetition?  You do the same thing over and over until you get it right.  You, you get to repeat the wedding thing until you get it right, so make sure this time is it.  Don’t leave yourself with any regrets, anything to dwell on after you become a wife again, because soon, you’ll forget the “again” and just be.  Get over it, and be a bride.  It’s okay to be stressed and caught up in details and worried about how everything will work out; you’re a bride.  You cannot avoid the discomfort or stress — yourself, essentially — by avoiding a wedding.  You can only use the opportunity of planning your wedding with your fiance to get past that piece of your history.  Don’t avoid yourself.  Take yourself with you.

I’ll be letting it all sink in for a day or two, then we’ll talk more about what comes next.  In the meantime, are you fighting against the inevitability of some part of planning your wedding?  Why?  For me, it’s not ever just because I don’t want to do it – it’s always something deeper.  Is that true for you as well?

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[…] Confessions of a second-time bride, part II January 13, 2009 Posted by Marisa in back to good. trackback Part I […]


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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