In Go Set Watchman by Harper Lee, Scout (aka Jean Louise) receives criticism from her family about marrying Henry Clinton. They say he isn’t “suitable” and “is not her kind.” I wonder how many of us have faced opposition in choosing our life’s partner.
I was fortunate. Even at the age of 21, my parents completely supported me in my decision to marry and in whom I was marrying. My parents have always been like that, though. Likely it is where I get my tendency to protect people’s right to do as they wish so long as it does not physically harm another.
My husband was not so fortunate. While his mother only showed signs of affection for me from day one, he received several words of caution from a couple male figures in his family. I understand they came from a place of love and concern. They had both been married young, had babies young, and had divorced multiple times. They wanted my husband to have an “easier” time in life.
Does it do any good to reason with love?
In my staunch, stingy opinion it does absolutely no good to reason with love. I am a very reasonable, rationale person. I am a problem solver. I like lists and puzzles. I was a high school mathematics teacher for 5 years. When it comes to love, however, there is no reckoning with it.
When my husband and I decided to marry, he was half way through a 5 year Army commitment, had served 1 of what would be 2 Iraq tours of duty, and I was not going to be torn away from him as I had been for nearly 2 years of basic training, advanced training, and then a combat tour.
I remember sitting with him in Paris during his mid-tour leave and espousing that whether or not we were married, that I would follow him to his next duty station stateside. Luckily, for me, he had plans of proposing within the week which made sticking by his side much easier.
We had talked about future career aspirations, schooling, family, kids, our dream home, our ideals, how to handle holidays, and we felt prepared, in love, and we were not going to listen to anyone else or let anyone get in our way. I imagine you probably shouldn’t be getting married if someone can talk you out of it.
When I acknowledged to myself – after a lengthy pre-marriage discussion about my husband’s family’s reservations – that I didn’t give two hoots what they had to say about it, I took that to heart.
There is only one appropriate response when someone – anyone – tells you they are getting married. It isn’t, “Have you thought this through?”, “How are you going to support yourselves?”, “You have your whole life to settle down.”
It is “Congratulations.” And yes, I’ve had to hold reservations aside myself to tell a beloved one “Congratulations.” Let them live their own life. If they come to you for advice, that’s different. But if they have come to you to share in their joy, excitement, and love, then do so.
What do you think? Should you give your two cents when someone you love is about to get married? Or just support them?