Well, I had another not-so-eventful weekend. I feel like after last weekend's post, I didn't need to put you guys through another full recap of a not jam-packed weekend! We had a few cheat meals, some healthy meals, and were pretty productive! Michael and I both made some returns, we got some workouts in, I got a lot of reading done, our pups got bordetella vaccinations, and oh yeah, we had our first pre-marital counseling session (more on that later--and no, we're not having problems!).
Okay, on to today's topic. I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but my parents are divorced. They got divorced when I was a baby, my middle brother was about five or six, and my oldest brother was about eight or nine. My mom has been remarried for over twenty years. I call my stepdad 'Dad.' I also call my biological father 'Dad.' I think on the blog, whenever I've said 'Dad' I was talking about my stepdad--he's the retired tugboat captain. The sister I've mentioned is my stepsister.
Me with my mom and stepdad when they visited me in Australia.
My stepdad told my dad years ago (when I was a little girl) that he was going to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day along with my dad. I've always known they would both be walking me down the aisle, but I didn't know my stepdad had informed my dad of that when I was still just a little girl.
Another thing I don't think I've mentioned. Michael is Catholic. His dad is actually a deacon. In order for his dad to marry us, we have to get married in a Catholic church. I never wanted to get married in a church growing up. But I think it will be really special to have Michael's dad be the one to marry us, so our wedding will be in a Catholic church. Going into it, we thought all you had to do to get married in the Church is to have a few meetings with a married couple from the parish and just talk about marriage. Michael's grandparents do this at their parish in Minnesota. The church we chose is apparently a lot more strict...these are the requirements:
- Complete a weekend retreat (with other engaged couples) or a six-week 'Evenings for the Engaged' series. We completed the six-week series. It was every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m.
- Complete at least three sessions with a marriage counselor. Our first session was on Friday.
- Michael has to show a copy of his baptism certificate. I don't have one, so my mom has to go to a Catholic church and get a paper signed by a priest (after he interrogates her about my life). It's mostly to confirm I've never been married before.
This turns out to be a lot more expensive than we thought! (The Evenings for the Engaged course was not free, and of course, therapy is pretty spendy.) So that gives you a picture of what we're dealing with.
The Evenings for the Engaged course had six different topics. Each evening was taught by a different couple from the parish. One of them was taught by the priest and the woman who works in the parish office. This woman looooved to bring up divorce. She also loved to say things like, "The non-Catholic in your relationship..." usually followed by something offensive. She said that divorce is not an option and ruins children. Um, hi, thanks for saying that with a child of divorce present. You are a gem, lady. You know what, I'm happy my parents got divorced. I don't think they would've had a happy marriage, and I think that would've messed me up more than an extremely amicable divorce. (My mom never fought with our dad, never bad-mouthed him, and they didn't avoid each other--they both came to things like recitals and sporting events and I'm sure they sat together. My mom had him over for dinner with us and my stepdad pretty often.)
I understand that the Bible is against divorce. Really, I get it. And the lady who works for the church can absolutely be against divorce, but I think what she said in a room full of seven young couples, not all of whom were Catholic, and none of whom she knew the life story of, was in poor taste. I think the point of the marriage class was to prepare us for marriage, hopefully so we could navigate any problems without turning to divorce. The thing is, her comment was about people who were already divorced and how it impacted their children negatively, which has nothing to do with strengthening our marriages and avoiding divorce. That being said, I don't think anyone should go into a marriage with the thought that if it doesn't work out, there's always divorce! But I think that sometimes, there are unfixable problems in a marriage. And divorce would be the best option for all involved. Michael was talking to his dad (the deacon, remember) about how upset I was about this woman's judgment and Michael's dad said that even the Pope (I love the current Pope, btw) said that sometimes divorce is the best course of action.
I don't mean to offend anyone with this post. I just mean to point out that when someone makes a generalization about you or your life with no insight, it's upsetting. I wish we could all stop judging people based on their skin color, their outward appearance, their religion, their occupation, their sexual identity/preference, their personal life/decisions, etc. We should all just go ahead and mind our own business.