If you ask any married person about their wedding experience, you may hear a mind-boggling story. Simply put, there is just something about a wedding that brings out the weirdness in us. In my clinical work, I’ve been told of relatives dropping dead on the dance floor, people getting drunk and making scenes, and significant others who interrupted the relationship for a variety of different reasons, grooms giving their best imitation to Sonny Corleone by having sex with bridesmaids or other women at the wedding, and women running away With old boyfriends leaving their prospective homes reeling, to name a few.
Some of what happens at weddings is bad luck. A client told me that her uncle had a heart attack and died on the dance floor. She said he is doing well, and that the accident came as a complete shock to the whole family. Of course, he wasn’t healthy, but he probably didn’t know what would become of him.
While we can’t control everything in our lives, it seems that most wedding accidents are caused by the nature of the event itself. And it’s not just the “future mother-in-law” to blame… although it certainly can be. Here are some causes of problems in the wedding ceremony:
A wedding is an event that symbolizes the end of a lifestyle and the beginning of another. Potential couples who have issues with this evolutionary shift, for whatever reason, can act out by pulling out of the wedding at the last minute. If you talk to enough people, you’ll find an astonishing number of people some of those people left at the altar. To avoid marriage, some of the partners left the country or disappeared completely so that they would never be heard from their friends and family again. Most of these people avoid conflict and those who shy away easily.
It is not only potential partners that may act with change, or should I say growth on the horizon; Parents or relatives may try to destroy it either consciously or unconsciously. For example, a mother who was excessively interfering with her child had difficulty leaving her and the anxiety associated with this shift was unbearable. This woman intermittently excused herself from the festivities and isolated herself in a room at the venue. The more involved the parent and child are before marriage, the more deviant behavior is expected in or around the wedding.
This is a specific type of change, but it is different enough to merit its own category. Those who view the wedding as a personal loss may display unexpressed grief in a devious or inappropriate manner. For example, a woman who lost her daughter in a car accident several years ago got so angry at her niece’s wedding that she started a quarrel with her niece’s mother (sister); She also insisted on driving herself home from the wedding and had a minor car accident. Only later did she admit that the wedding celebrations reminded her of the loss of her daughter and that she wanted to get rid of those horrific memories as quickly as possible.
Some people may feel guilty for their loss and punish themselves for it; Others around them are simply collateral damage. Referring to the previous case, when the woman’s drunken sister told her that she could have ended up like her daughter – she died from a car accident – the woman said that the thought of death gave her hope that she would join her daughter in heaven. She added that she herself deserved to die anyway because she was driving when she was attacked. Some describe this as “survivor’s guilt.”
I once went to a wedding which was full of people who didn’t have a good relationship with my young father who was getting married. The mingling of the guests I heard many of them say something like. “I don’t know why I was invited to this. I can’t stand these people.” Of course, no one asked why they accepted the invitation, but they have a point. However, angry people would somehow retaliate, and from what I heard, many gave the cheapest gifts and were the most critical of the place, the meals, and the music.
Those who are jealous of envy are bad participants in the wedding ceremony. Whether there is jealousy between potential in-laws or between participants and guests, this never goes well. A young married woman admitted to me that her husband’s family was less fortunate financially than her husband’s and that two of his uncles had decided to do business with her father. The men were distasteful to her father, mocking his need for an expensive wedding, and even challenging him into a physical altercation. Fortunately, the father took verbal punches as a sign of jealousy and refused to provoke them.
Anyone conflicted about the wedding, whether it’s the couple, the parents, or the guests could cause a scene. Inconsistency here is synonymous with internal conflict about what is happening.
The contradiction is difficult to decipher because there are usually two opposing opinions expressed by the same individual. For example, a maid of honor who did not agree to her best friend’s choice felt obligated to attend the wedding but was so late that it was almost two hours late. The second example is a man who wanted to marry his partner on the one hand but was equally attracted to a woman at the wedding party who was equally in love with him. Shortly before the party, the two were caught having sex in a secluded part of the venue.
Finally, most divorcees and widows will tell you that they dread receiving an invitation to a wedding. They despise having to go it alone, and even if they find a friend to accommodate them, it’s a sweet and bitter experience at best. A divorced client told me it was difficult to attend his friend’s daughter’s wedding alone, but he also felt as if the guest husbands were treating him like a leper.
Another divorced client told me that while talking to a group of women at his friend’s wedding, a male guest accused him of trying to seduce his wife. My client said the scene was strange in itself, but to make matters worse, several other men came to the rescue of their friends and escorted my client out of the wedding. Particularly painful was the fact that a friend of my client did not come to his rescue and allowed this eviction to happen, despite all the women involved standing up for him.
Weddings are highly emotional events that signify growth and potential, but they also highlight sensitive, unhealed wounds. While residing in our subconscious, the remnants of these wounds may slip enough to create symptoms that make one’s day special for a host of other reasons.
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