Like the sweet graphic I made? I am so excited for the first edition of Freckled & Helpful! I’m hoping to make this a regular part of my blog. If you are inspired to ask a question after reading this entry, please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you choose to be anonymous in our correspondence or not, know that this is strictly confidential and no one will ever know who the actual sender was (unless you blab in the comments!). Okay, enough formalities, lets get down to it:
I have a friend who was just recently married after dating for an extremely short period of time (3-5 months). I don’t think it was a good idea. When we talk, there’s only so much I can say about it without telling her what I really think, and I think she suspects that I don’t approve, so she provokes me into talking about it. I guess she’s hoping I’ll tell her what I really think, but I don’t know why, nor do I really want to tell her what I think because it’ll probably lead to a fight. What should I do?
First of all, can I please say what a good friend you are for not bursting through the doors saying “I OBJECT” during your friends nuptials? In a wedding obsessed culture (thanks to social media and the millions of Pinterest boards dedicated to that ~special day~), I personally think people rush into weddings not because they want the commitment of marriage, they want the excitement of a party all about them. However, once the cake is all gone, the DJ has packed up his equipment, and the fumes of wine have left the building, all that’s left is a couple that is either destined for greatness or doomed to spend their future years wondering “Um, how did I get here?”. It sounds like you understand this, and you take the idea of marriage very seriously–it’s not something you feel should be rushed into or taken lightly. That’s a totally valid idea to have, and probably will result in a stronger identity you’ll have for yourself when you get married one day (if you so choose).
That being said, it’s easy to want to impose what is working for YOU onto other people. Maybe you take things with more deliberate consideration–you analyze, and can over-think situations or ideas. This is a totally awesome way to be if it works for you and the people you surround yourself with. There are other people that follow their gut reaction to anything–there’s little to no thinking involved, they just jump and figure whatever happens, will happen. Even though this goes against my complete core of understanding, this is also an awesome way to be. Dating someone for 3-5 months then jumping into marriage with them sounds absolutely terrifying to me, because it’s not my way of going about things. But, there is the cliche saying of meeting the right person–“When you know, you know.” The adrenaline of being with someone in those early months is infectious, and sometimes you just want to get your life started with a person right away. If your friend is the kind of person that follows her first instinct, maybe the decision to say “I do!” felt right. And maybe it was the wrong instinct to choose. That’s the chance people who jump feet first into situations take.
But maybe it will be awesome.
Your friend probably doesn’t actually want validation that you support her marriage, but that you support her. If she’s prodding you for reassurance, she probably isn’t feeling too secure about herself. So you’re right–telling her exactly how you feel will probably lead to a fight and maybe the end of a friendship. If you value this relationship, you should tell her that you do. Let her know that you care about her, and value her heart and her friendship. Something along the lines of “You know what, I’m really glad you’re my friend and you want me in this new life you’re starting.” If she keeps pushing you for your true feelings about her marriage, tell her that you will support her no matter what she does, and that will never change. If you feel like she keeps bugging you about it, you can start to be more blunt: “You made this choice without consulting me, and I’m here to support it. If you want to talk about something else, we can. If you’re going to keep asking me if you made the right decision, I don’t know, because I’m not you or your partner.” You know what you would choose for yourself, but you don’t know what you would choose for her. And even if you don’t approve, if you value the friendship, you’re going to have to keep quiet about the details. Eventually she will realize you’re not going to say “YOU MADE THE WRONG CHOICE, GIRL. DO YOU EVEN KNOW YOUR NEW LAST NAME?” and will become bored and move on.
People get married for all kinds of reasons, even though the ideal is to fall ~in luv~ & run away together into the sunset. What’s important is that you remember why you value this girl’s friendship, and if you want to keep her in your life, make your own decision that the relationship means more to you than your opinion. If you show her that you support her no matter what, she’ll come to you when things are bad, and hopefully (and way more wonderful), when things are good. And you will be happy for her. Genuinely. Promise.
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