We prepared for the wedding like most couples. My wife to be’s stepmother inserted her nose into thing continually, which was particularly annoying since they weren’t paying for any part of the wedding. Needless to say, I lost almost everything that mattered to me, because in the words of this woman, it would be rude to our guest. These are simple things like having the pictures taken after the wedding. As we prepared, we went through premarital counseling with our pastor. We were pretty much in line with all our beliefs. This is something I have come to learn is normal for women like my wife. They are very good at reading you, and adapt to you, until the hook is set, and things can turn nasty. Preparing for the wedding was stressful. We had our fair share of fights. I was consoled by others that this was a normal part of the process. I was also reminded that this was her day, and that I should let her have it. I should only fight for what really matters, so I gave ground continually. This became the metaphor for our life to come. I gave ground to keep her happy, and she took it and more. I had never been a weak person, but I was quickly becoming one with her.
My part of the deal was the honeymoon, so I worked out a deal for a cabin in Colorado that backed up to a beautiful cliff. There were hot springs with a spa just down the road, and hiking and adventures all around. I planned the honeymoon. She kept trying to interfere with other ideas, but I insisted that this was going to be my contribution to the event. I took a contract job setting up a new office with computers and cabling all the network and telephones. I was able to make enough money on this job to pay for the honeymoon, and most of the wedding. This seemed to win me points for a while with her, but it didn’t last long.
We did the wedding rehearsal the night before the wedding. The rehearsal went fine, with plenty of fun jokes to go around. I had picked up the tux for my ring bearer, so after the rehearsal I dropped off the tux. Me and the father talked for about 30 minutes, and then I went to the rehearsal dinner. When I arrived, my future wife was in a snit. She was incensed. She was furious that I had not just dropped off the tux and run out immediately. She also knew that this was not my personality, and that 30 minutes was a good job. She paraded me around the tables to analogize to everyone who came to the dinner. It was uncomfortable and odd. I chocked it up to being a man, and not understanding the proper graces for such an event. The truth is, this was just another way that she exerted control over me. It placed her in charge of the event for the night, and kept me uncomfortable all night. I was not able to relax at all until she had left, and I had returned to my parents house. This was a significant turning point as she fully came from adoring me to targeting me for her rage.
We plowed ahead to the wedding day. We took all our pictures before the wedding, so that we wouldn’t be rude to our guests and keep them waiting after the ceremony. To prepare for the pictures, we were supposed to meet alone before hand, and enjoy a few minutes to calm our nerves. Supposedly this was a common way to do things. Well this worked out about as well as putting a couple of dogs with their tail tied together in china store. When I came in she wasn’t prepared, and she became angry, very angry. Instead of having a nice intimate moment, we had a fight and we were far from relaxed when we went to take pictures.
The wedding went off with all its appropriate ceremony and beauty. Our ring bearer and flower girl were adorable as they giggled going down the isle. We were married with traditional vows. Vows that I truly believed and have taken very seriously. I had no intent to ever break those vows, and to give her grace when she struggled with them. I had come to the conclusion long before I was married that I was not entering a contract with my wife, but a covenant with my God. It did not matter what she did, I would honor the commitment to my God. I have done this to my best ability to this day. There have been times that I have struggled, and in recent years, I have struggled with my understanding of God, in part because of my marriage. God has been good, and has rejuvenated me as I endure this latest challenge. I have been reminded that it was I that went away, not him. Apparently my wife to be viewed her vows as a promise, and mine as a contract with her for her alone to interpret its meaning. A future post will explain what I mean here, for now just take it for what it says, and how that might impact motivations and attitudes.
The reception was a normal affair. We signed the wedding certificate, and did all the toasts with sparkling cider or grape juice, since we were at the church. Everyone had a good time. We did all the cheesy things like cutting the cake, and her putting frosting on my face. We spent about an hour milling around and shaking hands and hugging friends and family. She had arranged for a limousine to pick us up, and take us to get more pictures at a park, which became tiring. I was ready to be done, but went along, because that is what a good groom does on his wedding day. It is her day after all. We then went to the nursing home that her mother was at. We took pictures with her, and then went on to our hotel. I relaxed while she took her hair down, and changed clothes. We ordered in pizza, and relaxed together. Then came the moment. Our first time together. It was uncomfortable, as I expected for all the stress of the wedding, and time that we had waited. What I didn’t expect was how demanding she would be. Her controlling attitude through the whole affair almost ruined it completely for me, and by that I mean I had to work extra hard to get myself back into performance shape, even though I had been ready from about the time she started taking down her hair. This was only the beginning, the honeymoon was still to come.