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Thursday, February 17, 2005 

Going to the Chapel and We're Gonna Get Married...

I should probably insert some sort of disclaimer here. You know, that the views expressed here don’t represent so and so…that I’m not promoting anything…that I’m just telling a story. My story. I almost feel like I have to take a step back and write this from another’s point of view. It feels odd, for some reason. But I think that I’m the one that made it odd. Let me explain…I haven’t even really told this side of the story. Please know that some of this is kind of hard to put down on “paper” and I’m worried that this might suck. But here goes nothing:

It is quite obvious that Hubby and I didn’t follow the “normal” path of courtship and marriage, for anyone who has followed along with Various Stages. I was pregnant with Paige (my daughter) when I became engaged to my husband, Paige’s father. Hubby and I had gone to high school together. We had been good friends and then started dating. But I wasn’t even 19 when I found out I was pregnant. Although our love and devotion to each other was there, marriage hadn’t been in the picture at that point in time. We felt we were too young.

Things happen…situations change and several months later we were engaged to be married, but we had not set a date. We just knew that we were meant to be together and were committed to conquer whatever obstacles we were given. We knew our path was hard, but knew we could handle it. We truly felt that our love could see us through.

And it has.

I moved in with Hubby and his family right after Paige was born. Much of this time period is still a blur to me…but I remember my mom being totally devastated that I was going to be “living in sin” even though it meant that our new little family would be together. That’s really most of what I remember; how bad I felt that I was hurting my parents. From that day forward, I felt an insane amount of pressure to set the date and get married. And when I say pressure…you have NO idea how much pressure. And much of it I put on myself. I had so much G.U.I.L.T. for not following the standards I had held to for so long. So not only did Hubby and I jump into something called parenthood, we had stress from our parents and pressures to get married (and not get married from other sides) all around us. But I think I gave in to my guilt. From August (when Paige was born) to October (when we finally set a date) we had, what felt like, constant stress and pressure. And on November 1, 1997, I was married to the love of my life.

But I was not ready to get married to the love of my life.

I don’t exactly have any happy memories of my wedding day. The stress of our life seemed to creep in and take over our wedding day, too. My in-laws were the main source of the contention (another blog for another time) but everything wasn’t their fault. Religiously, yes…this is what was seen as “making things right” and moving on. But, in truth, I wanted everyone to just but out and let us be. I wanted to just be able to love Hubby and Paige and do things on our time, when we were ready. I had no idea how to do that. I had NO CLUE that that was what I really wanted. I just wanted to get it over with and be married to this man that I love(d) so much, so that I could move on AND JUST LIVE.

I regret not making decisions based on what was best for us (at the time) and sticking up for myself and for my family. I regret that so much of our beginning was so rushed and we didn’t have a chance to just breathe. I regret that, in a way, the religious pressures were just as heavy as all the other pressures that surrounded us.

Having said all that, I do NOT regret marrying the man the makes my life better every day. I do NOT regret loving this man with all my heart and sharing a life that has been so hard but that has been so wonderful. I do NOT regret the two amazing, beautiful daughters that we have together. I do NOT regret thanking Heavenly Father daily for answering spastic, scattered and even ridiculous prayers and for blessing me with so much when I felt that I didn’t deserve it…and when I didn’t even realize it.

Jills fam

Very interesting stuff J.P. and what a twist from what has been being discussed. I was thinking about Kaycee’s post this morning, before I read yours, and it made me start thinking about my own wedding. I didn’t get married in the temple, but a bishop married me, not because I wanted to have religion play a roll in my marriage, but because I was too lazy to go out and find myself a judge or someone else to marry me. As a result religion played a roll in my marriage even though I didn’t want it to. Right after the ceremony one of my ex-husbands aunts asked me when I was due… seeing that I weighed a whole whopping 90 lbs, didn’t appear pregnant and wasn’t pregnant I was a bit offended, but in her eyes why else wouldn’t I get married in the temple. When I think back on it all I wonder how many individuals felt sorry for me on my special day and how many of them looked down on my parents for raise a child that didn’t make the “right” choices. I am sure that there are some that talked poorly about us and this makes me sad. Had I, like you touched on, taken control of my situation and not been married in a such an obvious “Mormon gone bad setting” (Mormon bishop marrying me across the street for the SLC Temple), but actually one that represented my own beliefs I wonder how different my life would be today, or maybe if I had waited and been continent with dating a little longer and not given into the pressures within myself to get married. But in the end I guess it doesn’t matter too much because what is done is done and both you and I are happy with where our lives have taken us. We have made the best out of the decisions we have made in our lives and that is what is most important.

Oh… and I did have a second point. My other point is that I am really proud of Kaycee for deciding what type of wedding she wants, what she wants her wedding to represent about she and her soon to be husband and their future together. This is extremely admirable.

Great post J.P.

JP... I love you for being so brave. I remember what a difficult time that was for you, and I wish that I could have been there better.

I just want you to know how thankful I am for your little "mixed" family. I wouldn't be the samw without them in my life. I wouldn't know the happiness those 2 girls and that crazy hubby of yours can bring.

Thanks for letting me be a part of it. Thanks for being strong enough to choose your amazing family. I love you loads!

You're the first married person to post about this topic this week, and so you have a slightly different perspective.

I remember hearing from others about how difficult your situation was and I could tell from the way people talked that you were under ENOURMOUS pressure.

I guess sometimes even when you're under the proverbial "shotgun," things can still end up well.

JP-I have some memories of that time. Mostly of the love your mom had for you. My mom had told me you had given birth far away from home and your mom was so worried, yet so excited for you. She loved you then as much or maybe more now. It's always hard to live outside of our parents desires, but as always you should always do what you think best. Your pretty fantastic in my book.

Lots of marriages start out under more "ideal" circumstances than yours did, and do not have the same happy result. I LOVE that you shared your story with us.

I KNOW that a lot of the pressure and strangeness and confusion came about because you were young...but look how you stuck it out! Look how you made good decisions!

I REALLY hope that now you can look back from a more "mature" perspective and see all the ways in which things worked out for the best, even if other people would have done something differently.

I am seriously amazed that under such cicumstances(young and pregnant and hormonal) you were even able to function without a major meltdown! It was a scary grown up decision you had to make... And look at the results!Look at your GORGEOUS family! Thank you for sharing them as well.

JP, Thank you for sharing your story with us. Such courage! I just really appreciate getting to know you better, and understanding your trials and triumphs. I especially love the picture of your beautiful family! Thanks for sharing that!

Rebecca, How did you keep yourself from punching that lady in the mouth at your wedding?! My goodness... I've never heard of such a lack of tact (and premature judgment!). I hope you at least sent her home before she had a chance to eat any cake.

This was a great post, JP..and I am so glad that your story has a happy ending!
I do think we have gotten off topic though...(selfish interest in learning about Mormon beliefs, can you tell?) If you HADN'T of gotten married, what would that have meant religiously? I mean, which would the church consider worse, never being married, or doing it the "unconventional" way?

I would have to say, that I did things backwards myself, as well. I hear that you were devastated and under lots of stress and I can totally feel for you....but, being from a family that is not terribly religious, I didn't feel any of that stress. Isn't it strange how that happens?


You're right, Sandy...I did go "slightly" of topic...but its because that's what I relate to. I think THAT is what I know. And religiously, it meant that I had to take a step back.

If I hand't gotten married...I think that I would be in the same space, truthfully. We would've married eventually...and me being away from the church, that would probably be the same too. But I honestly don't know. Thanks for making me think...and for making us stick to the subject!! :)

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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