Just Married …..At Last.

The Cute Cherub has Aged

I had a rather busy weekend.  One of the things I had going on was a friend’s wedding at which I took on the role of the master of ceremonies.  So that you do not misunderstand, let me clarify that there was a pastor to give a short sermon and to carry out the solemnisation of the marriage.  My role was merely to make the announcements, guide the congregation through the service programme and to help lead in the singing.  I think the wedding went well and I discharged my duties adequately apart from forgetting to ask the congregation to sit down at one point and on another occasion referring to  the flower girls as “page girls”.

I think there was a collective sigh of relief from all assembled when the bride and groom finally exchanged vows.  The reason is that the couple are both in their late 40’s after having an on again – off again relationship for over 15 years.  15 years!  Can you imagine?

The reason?  I suppose they would tell us that there were many reasons for the long journey but I think at the root of it was the fact that they were to some extent both  “commitment phobes”. Well, at least they finally took the plunge. Better late than never.  We are all happy for the couple.

The next day some of us were discussing “commitment phobia” over lunch and I learned that someone else I knew also has had an on again – off again relationship with this girl who has been his best friend since school, for also over 15 years.  In this case, though, there has been no happy conclusion yet.  In fact, during this time, the guy has gone out with at least three other girls.  Each time, the girl had graciously stepped aside and waited and then returned to his side when that episode was over.  It seems clear that he is happy with being best friends while she is hoping for more.

I remember a episode from the comic strip Bloom County or Outland (not sure which) where Opus the penguin is on a bridge all kitted out for bungee jumping by Ronald-Ann who runs the bungee jumping enterprise.  Opus keeps running up to the edge of the bridge but stops, peers over the edge and then backs off.  Each time he makes reference to how it is a metaphor for a guy excited at the thought of intimacy in marriage but getting cold feet as he peers into the chasm of commitment. After doing this a couple of times, Ronald-Ann finally takes matters into her own hands and shoves Opus off the bridge while giving the advice “You have to give them a push, girls”.

So what do you think? What can we do as friends to people like this?  Should we give them a push?


20 thoughts on “Just Married …..At Last.”

  1. No push or shove. I know a happy married wants everyone to be married but if the commitment isn’t there chances are it won’t work out. Divorce isn’t the best thing to go thru either so unless they are really ready to commit let them be.

  2. I wouldn’t push them, or want to be pushed. Presumably they are all adults, capable of making, and living with, their own decisions!

  3. Most do the opposite when you push them I think. I have known several people with commitment issues. Some missed the boat others came together eventually. Commitment can feel like a risk but without risks you don’t get anywhere I think.

  4. No, i wouldn’t do it.

    I was the girl, waiting, waiting, waiting for so long. My best friend from college was just that – best friend. He still is. I kept hoping he would “wake up” someday. But, then i met the man who is now my hubby & i know that we are much better matched than my BF & i. I think BF & i might have driven each other nuts, looking at it from a different point of view now. If we’d been “pushed,” not so good things might have happened. As it is, i’m so happy to have him as a continued close friend. But i’m so happy to be married to my husband.

    I do wish i’d met my hubby sooner in my life, but neither of us had any control over that.

    I don’t know about this couple. It is sad to see folks let time go by that way, but if they had been pushed it could have created more problems. I guess folks just have to take things in their own time.

    It does seem to be the natural thing for many of us to want to “fix things” for others, but it almost always backfires.

  5. Joyce and Molly,
    The squirrel sits at the feet of your wisdom and takes notes. Okay. No pushing. Can I at least knock some heads or lock them in a room? No? Aw, nuts.

    I get the message. No pushing. I agree that without taking risks, we get nowhere. I remember a saying, “Ships are safe in harbour but that is not what ships are built to do.”

  6. Kathryn,
    I hear you. Advice is taken. I am glad that you found your life’s love and you still have your BF.

    Whoa! No pushing here! I’m only willing to spring for a wedding present. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

  7. geewits,
    okay, okay. How about plan B? Get them drunk? No?

    Mr. Charleston,
    Interesting country wisdom but I would counter with, “if it’s worth it, it’s worth fighting for.” My current favorite saying is “If at first you don’t succeed, use a shorter bungee rope!” Think about it.

  8. I agree with Molly’s comment, and I echo the sentiments of most of the comments here. Let me just add that if after 15 years someone hasn’t been able to make up his mind, it’s probably never going to happen. It’s his life. What I might do, as a supportive friend, however, is perhaps explore if there is anything holding him back. He might not need a push, but he might need to sort some stuff out.

  9. Well, the man has no incentive to finalize things with a girl that is always there when he wants her. I can see no reason he’d ‘buy the cow’ as they say, when he enjoys all the benefits of already having it. She seems to be his ‘stand-by’ or his ‘reliable back up’.

    What I don’t understand also is why the girl feels that his repeated coming and going is acceptable, or would ever change – despite a signed piece of paper legalizing their relationship. If I were her, I’d want a man who really wanted me…not one that floated in and out of my life. I gues I’m much more black and white. Either be with me and stay…or leave me and don’t come back. Simple enough.
    You are a wonderful friend for thinking of trying to help them though.
    ❤ Here is a kiss for you, lovely Squirrel!

  10. Wandering coyote,
    That is very wise. But the guy thinks there is no problem. Perhaps it is better to try to get the girl to move on.

    sweet cheeks,
    I think you made a very important point about the guy’s attitude which is unlikely to change just because they get married. A very important point indeed. I hope she will realise that truth for herself.

  11. I’m late weighing in on this post – but my humble opinion is whatever happens, it is between the couple. It must be working for both of them, or they wouldn’t keep doing what they are doing.

  12. Laura,
    I get the message from all of you that it is a matter for the couple as they are both adults. I do agree that it is their choices but some people do make poor choices. I think something should be said in love but I agree to “no pushing”. ……..I am tempted to knock a couple of heads together though……is that bad?

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