When my husband first proposed to me in January 2010, all hell broke loose in my house. My parents were completely against it. They felt that we should wait until my husband had completed his Bachelor’s degree and started working. Everyone was in my ear and telling me that I was rushing into marriage, that we weren’t ready, or that we didn’t have enough money. My parents were so against our decision that they both announced to me that they wouldn’t attend if we went through with it. So I was on my own.
My engagement turned out to be the best and worst 6 months of my life up to that point. On one hand, I felt excited because I felt like God was telling us to move forward and take the next step, but on the other hand, no one in my immediate family was happy for me. They all thought I was crazy for doing it, especially when my parents were against it.
I understood the concerns my parents had, but every time I prayed about it, I kept getting confirmations that this was the time. No, we didn’t have much money but the most important foundational pieces were there: we shared the same core values, we wanted the same things out of life, and we both were determined that no matter what we were going to stick together and face our challenges as a united front. So on July 25, 2010, my mom (she eventually gave in) and my uncle walked me down the aisle to meet my husband.
It was a happy day, but from then on I had virtually no contact with my dad. I decided that if he was going to let his pride keep him from supporting me on the most important day of my life, he didn’t need to be in it. The first few years of my marriage, my dad and I exchanged very awkward and formal greetings every time we saw each other at family gatherings.
Eventually though, things started to thaw. However, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I got a tangible confirmation that my dad’s thinking about our situation had changed.
He had come over to my mom’s house to see our kids, and was sitting on the couch. I brought over a family photo of my husband and I with our kids from when our son had turned two months old. I gave it to him and said, “Here Daddy, this is for you.” He took it from me and looked at it for a few moments, then said, “What a nice-looking family. Everyone is smiling.” I smiled and nodded, and got up to walk away. As I turned my back he said, “You know, I’m happy for you now.”
Wow. I had to turn around and look back at him in surprise. My dad is one of the most prideful people ever. I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve heard “I’m sorry” come out of his mouth. But in that moment I felt such joy and vindication because finally, my dad saw what I had known all along: I married a man with vision, a man of integrity who loves me beyond all doubt.
See, my father thought I was marrying someone who wouldn’t be able to provide for me, who didn’t have himself together, who didn’t know what he was getting into. But 7 years and 2 kids later, the evidence speaks for itself: my husband is almost done with his Master’s degree, working in his field, loves and takes great care of our kids, and treats me with love.
I’m not saying this to encourage people to go against the advice of friends and family. As a matter of fact, looking back I’m glad that I encountered the opposition I did because it drove me to examine myself and my relationship over and over again to make sure I was going into it with my eyes wide open. I examined the foundation of our relationship, our values, our vision for the family we wanted to build together, and it was a solid one.
So if you’re contemplating marriage, please make sure you do the same. Don’t ignore any red flags or anything you feel unsure about. Address any issues that nag at you, because trust me, they’re only magnified once the honeymoon phase is over. So it's okay to take as much time as you need to make sure you're making the right decision.
Till next time!