I really feel like I won the lottery when it comes to my wife. I say this because I can’t imagine anyone better for me. I also say this because we got married at a relatively young age and even though we’ve both changed over the last 16 years, we still love being together.
I have no idea if any of our friends didn’t think it would last. They certainly didn’t say anything to either of us and if they had it would not have been received well.
I was thinking of this the other day as I was on a sparsely occupied flight back to Chicago. There was a 20 something couple occupying three seats in the row across from me. The girl was attractive and had a positive attitude to herself. The guy? Not so much. He walked on to the flight after her and had a noticeably grumpy look to him.
I was watching them during the wait to take off and through the flight. In that time I saw him tell her no when she asked if she could look at his magazine. She later asked him to get something from her bag which turned out to be some chips. He literally threw them at her. It appeared for a second that she was going to cry. 30 minutes later he was cuddling with her and giving her kisses. Thirty minutes after that he was snapping at her. When the flight landed he walked ahead of her, leaving her to carry two bags while he had just a back pack.
Now this was just a snap shot of their life of course and there are certainly times that if you saw just a snap shot of me that you’d think I’m the worst husband and father in the world. But looking at this girl, I saw no self esteem and wanted to tell her that her boyfriend treats her like crap and that she should love herself and not take that garbage. Of course to say something like this while on a plane could potentially be a disaster and it’s really none of my business.
But what if this was a friend of mine? Or a friend of yours? We all have friends that we know have terrible marriages and/or know people that we could have told them years ago that they were marrying the wrong person. Should you ever speak up and tell them not to get married at all?
I can’t imagine this conversation ever going too well. If your friend/relative gets married despite your advice, that could certainly put a strain on the relationship. Now if one of my kids wanted to get married at 18 or 19, I’d tell them they were out of their minds. But if I knew that would make them never talk to me again then I would bite my tongue and hope for the best. Sometimes people just have to learn on their own.
So am I just a conflict avoider or does anyone think that you should tell a friend or loved one not to marry someone? What’s the threshold here? I’m guessing for me it would have to be a safety issue, but what if you just know that their fiancé is not a good person? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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