The wedding of my oldest son was this past weekend...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    True Confessions Time: I had posted before about my angst in interacting with my son and his fiancee' over the past six to nine months as they planned their wedding. Suffice it to say: It was a very, very challenging time for me, and I finally was "told off" by my son. It wasn't pretty and I was upset and hurt, and I said I was sorry for pushing too hard on having my younger son "up front"...and then I worked to let it all go, and stay busy with my own life, and just try to be supportive.

    I wanted the relationship with my son to be the priority. That meant I had to get out of the way, and put a smile on my face.

    And I've been able to do that...until the two days before the wedding...when I started to feel just really sick inside, dreading it all, and feeling like their getting married was the wrong thing to happen, etc.

    We had all kinds of family in from out of town (some that were actually invited to the wedding and then uninvited, but who came anyway to visit with my aging parents...) and I hosted a lunch on Thursday here for about 16 people and a cookout Friday for about 16 different people. I was busy! And that was good.

    But I started dreading Saturday night. I kind of hibernated all day Saturday because as I told my husband, I really wasn't fit company. I didn't want to bore people with my negative thinking...and that is all I was doing...negatively thinking.

    But I was wrong. I wasted two days of being all mixed up in my own head about thinking I knew what was right for other people. I completely lost my own serenity and peace and acceptance that I have worked hard to regain about this situation over the past weeks and months.

    I regret that time wasted now.

    The wedding turned out beautifully! It wasn't what I would have chosen...but it wasn't "my wedding." It was my son's and his fiancee's and it reflected them both beautifully. They wrote their own vows, God wasn't mentioned (sadly to me, but it is what it is), my son's fiancee flew in his favorite lead singer in a band who surprised my son and played music, with my son on his bass, all night. The weather was great, the venue was perfect (an old barn), I really enjoyed seeing all of the people.

    They seemed very emotional and loving to each other in their actions and their words.

    I think what has been at the heart of my fears for a long time, is that they were just getting married because they have been together for a long, long time, and not because they are connected in the ways that we all want to be when we get married...and on our wedding day. I was reliving my own first marriage and how it happened, through them.

    Isn't that what we do? We see others through our own lens. And we project onto that lens. How wrong that is. How wrong I was.

    They flew off to Hawaii, the sick feeling in my stomach is gone, and I hope I have once again learned an important lesson that will stay with me.

    I don't know what other people ought to do. I have no idea what is best for others. Please, let me remember that and how much time I wasted "feeling bad" about somebody else's decision.

    What a learning process this will always be.
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  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Beautifully put. I need to remember this. My way is not anyone else's way.
  3. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on your son's wedding!

    My nephew and his lovely bride just got married a few weeks ago in a barn.
    It was his dad's barn, and it fit them perfectly.

    My daughter will be getting married next spring in another country at a beautiful island destination wedding. It fits them perfectly.

    To each his own.

    Now is the time to refocus on you!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    COM, I agree that is what we do.......and stopping that projection is like stopping a runaway train!

    You are so good about being able to see your own "stuff" and even if you can't stop the feelings, you do a great job of refraining......even when you are hurting. Reminds me of something an old friend used to say all the time, "enlightenment is getting off of it before anyone knows you're on it!" You did that COM.

    I can empathize with you. Now a lot of my possible enabling, control and projecting goes on inside my head. I don't usually act on it, but the impetus is still there which I have to, like you, control. It is so like an addiction isn't it? The part of me that is bigger now knows the behavior leads nowhere but suffering, but it doesn't mean it isn't right there. It's a choice we have to continue to make.

    That is my prayer too.
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It always surprises me, when I finally see this kind of thing in myself. The wonder of it is that it all falls away. I am very conscious now of the choice to see, and of the choice to beat myself up for not having seen sooner or to revel in the wonderfulness of having been able to stop wrapping myself in layers and layers of justified judgment. This happens especially where my kids are concerned, and you could have knocked me over with a feather once I realized I had been seeing them through that filter.

    It's an ongoing thing.

    For heaven's sake.

    The wedding sounds like a beautiful thing; like something sincere in all its facets.

    I am happy for you, COM.

  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear COM

    I think that this kind of process that you went through might be typical for parents as they watch their adult children marry. This is when we really get that they are no longer ours.

    We really only have the filter of our own experience through which to evaluate anything. Like Cedar says, we are learning ever more quickly to let go of the judgment and forgive ourselves. We are human. Thank goodness.

    My Mother told my sister at the wedding rehearsal upon her second marriage, why don't you marry somebody like (the brother of the groom who was a doctor) instead of the groom!! Actually the marriage did not work out. But my mother learned to be quiet with the 3rd marriage. She got out of the way.

    Our kids are not us. All of us are learning this, in my case, a bit slowly.

    I am happy for you that at the end of the day you found happiness and meaning for you. After all, that is all we have, and everything....

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I'm happy that you can feel happy for your son and your daughter in law. That in itself is a wonderful victory of the best kind.
    For myself I am learning just how much of the danse macabre is me..right now I see it in my interactions with SO's daughter. She is not mine..I met her when she was 19, and she already had a mom and a step mom. She is pleasant and manipulative. I try to control her. She is better at resisting it than my own kids were, and in that conflict I can see my own role, then and now.
    This getting to know ourselves is hard. But satisfying.
    You had a good day of it.
    My sister used to say that the gates to greater love and intimacy in relationships were guarded by dragons, and fearsome battles had to be fought at those doors before we can pass through. I feel like you passed through a gate at your sons wedding.
    Blessings in your family, COM.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Echo, I just love this.

    I wish I could think of something smart to add, but this just says it all.

    Nobody loves unscathed.

    Thank you.
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  9. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Best quote of the day. So true and so well worded. You are wise, Childofmine. Your words help me this morning, too.
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    COM, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Oh yes, I'll jump on that bandwagon! I have so done this. I'm much better now in catching myself and just letting it go. The "not my circus, not my monkey's" line helps.;)

    I don't see it as time wasted as you learned something from it.

    I think this a very human thing we do. It's very humbling to recognize this in ourselves, to acknowledge our own imperfections. There will always be people in our lives that live in a manner that we ourselves would not, and there are people in our lives that may very well think the same of us.
    I try to remember that I only have one life to live, my life, I can't live anyone else's.

    It sounds like all in all you had a great weekend.

    I your son and daughter in law all the best as they begin their own journey together.
  11. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I, too, love this....and plan to dwell on the words for a few days.

    COM, good for you! and, how generous and loving to host some out-of-towner guest, and non-guests, at your home. That is just plain wonderful to do when you were dealing with your feelings. Awesomely done. (Making note to myself in case any of my kids ever marry).

    You learn and we benefit right along side of you. Thanks for sharing your experience, humbly and honestly.

    (I am glad the beautiful ceremony is behind you, though).

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  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am very glad the wedding went so well! Congratulations to your son & daughter in law!

    You have a lovely way of expressing things. I hope that you take time to tell your son the good things you felt about his wedding. It would probably mean a whole lot to him. Maybe explaining that you were seeing things through the lens of your past mistakes and you know that was wrong and you are sorry would help your relationship with both your son & your new daughter in law.

    Rather than regretting those long hours of feeling out of sorts, look on that time as the labor pains of your growth and acceptance. The greatest achievements are only accomplished by going through a lot of pain. While I really did not like going through labor, I don't regret it at all because I got my amazing children. You have a new level of knowledge and love now, but it took those hours of pain to have it and truly be able to use it and feel it deep down, so those hours were not wasted at all, Know what I mean??

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