Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Do I Care What My Family Thinks...

I was recently asked what my thoughts were about weddings and fathers giving away the bride and all that jazz. I've always thought that whole tradition doesn't make much sense. I hate the idea that fathers have any right or standing or necessity to "give away" daughters, that we need this kind of permission or blessing or presentation, that husbands should accept "ownership" from fathers after a wedding (so not what weddings and marriage are about). But when I think about my future possible wedding, I actually get a bit panicked because I do not want this stupid tradition to be part of my wedding, yet I can't imagine not including it. Why?

Because my family would be totally freaked out. And upset. And hurt.  The past 5 or 6 years I have been playing by their rules, at least on the surface. I don't bring up the CSA as far as most of them know, it's been swept under the rug and I think most of them think that because I am involved with the family now, it is some kind of admission that I was in fact making it up in the first place but now I've "come to my senses" and everything is A-OK.

It is frustrating to me that I care so much about how they think of me and whether or not they approve of me especially when that concerns a tradition that would make me super uncomfortable on what many women think of as the biggest and one of the best days of their lives. So many of my family members- aunts, uncles, my parents, grandparents- were cold and even cruel when I disclosed the CSA- and each one supported my parents and their view that I was making it up- so why do I care whether they approve of me? ...especially on my day? Why do I care whether my choices for my own wedding hurt their feelings? GAH!


  1. I can completely relate to this, especially with family. I think that my assault and my family's initial lack of support reinforced the feeling that other people's desires, no matter how hurtful they were to me, were more important than my own. I have found myself in a vicious cycle of always looking externally for validation, even in the worst of places! I frequently end up valuing the opinions of individuals who do not deserve my respect over my own. Although our experiences were very different, you are not alone in feeling the need to please. I'm so sorry that you are in this position because you really deserve to carry out your wedding (and life!) the way you want. And I am so sorry that your family did not believe you when you spoke out. It takes a lot of courage to speak out in general, but particularly on such a personal issue. Keep listening to yourself because it is clear that you have your head on straight with these issues.

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement. It is always good to feel not alone :)


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