Please Don't Read This Popular Poem at Your Wedding


#1

According to this writer, the poem often read at weddings, "On Marriage," is really bad advice, working to keep a boundary between yourself and your spouse. Instead marriage means the joy of self-giving
see www.ncregister.com/blog/jennifer-fulwiler/please-dont-read-this-poem-at-your-wedding


#2

Sounds like horrible lyrics. I've never heard it at weddings yet though...;)


#3

You know... I wonder...

We are to become ONE...

And I think there is lost a sense of self... not that one should be selfish in anyway... But I'm recently talking with an older friend who is now seemingly having marital probs. You would not have expected it before...

And in listening to her... she's talking about what she wants and needs... nothing really unrealistic... and I realize, they didn't become ONE... they became HIM! She seemingly let go of all the things that define her as an individual... And now that the kids are gone, and he's home all the time... it's right in her face that she's not allowed to be herself at all... as it somehow defies their "relationship"...

This poem... I don't like it... but I wonder if it stems a bit from some ideal that some women get lost in their marriage... They forgot about the things they enjoyed or made them happy...


#4

We become one flesh but we remain two people with two brains. While our desire should be to make the other person happy and help them get to heaven, I have never interpreted that to mean that we have to make ourselves disappear completely to do so.

Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet", from which this prose poem was taken, became really popular in the 60s and was still so around the time I got married in 1975. That poem was used a lot at weddings around that time. I gave a deluxe edition of "The Prophet" to DH as a wedding present.

I didn't realize that he was still this popular. Wiki reports that he's the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu -- amazing since his first work was only published in 1905.


#5

I have always perceived the intention of the poem to be a warning against an unhealthy, codependent relationship or a lack of healthy self-care. When the poet writes, “Make not a bond of love,” I believe he is trying to say, “Don’t turn love into a chain of bondage.”

Although I don’t think the poem is appropriate for a Catholic wedding, I also wouldn’t right it off as “bad advice.” It is a call for balance. Marriage is not a 50%-50% proposition. Marriage is two 100% people joining to create something that never existed before (i.e. the marriage). Hence, the two 100% people are united into one healthy union. They don’t “chain each other up” or lose their own individual identities. They create a new union and nurture it together (two wholes make another whole).

There is also the danger of becoming so “close” that one’s spouse becomes an idol. So, if one is placing spouse over God, then, yes, there is a need to “pull back” and devote less of self to that person. Idolotry is sin and sin is bondage. “Make not a bond of love.”

So, maybe don’t read the poem at your wedding. But don’t dismiss it either.


#6

[quote="faithfully, post:3, topic:252612"]
You know... I wonder...

We are to become ONE...

And I think there is lost a sense of self... not that one should be selfish in anyway... But I'm recently talking with an older friend who is now seemingly having marital probs. You would not have expected it before...

And in listening to her... she's talking about what she wants and needs... nothing really unrealistic... and I realize, they didn't become ONE... they became HIM! She seemingly let go of all the things that define her as an individual... And now that the kids are gone, and he's home all the time... it's right in her face that she's not allowed to be herself at all... as it somehow defies their "relationship"...

This poem... I don't like it... but I wonder if it stems a bit from some ideal that some women get lost in their marriage... They forgot about the things they enjoyed or made them happy...

[/quote]

It is my problem. It got to the point where my husband would almost roll his eyes when I started talking to him, sharing my day with him. His disinterest was obvious. So I just quit and now I share almost nothing with him, and he says I am "shut down." I have not worked very much outside the home for the 20 years our kids have been alive. What I do allows him to do what he does, but I do not feel that we are a team or that he is interested in who I am or who I would like to be. It's just that I am not admiring him as much as he'd like, so he gets annoyed at that. He's got some amount of narcissism in him, not that much empathy, thinks that the world would be a better place if everyone were more like him (arrogance). It's been a long time since I heard him admit to any character defects, although he's fond of pointing mine out to me.

Our sons are almost grown and I don't know how to get new dreams. The dreams I once had, of a large happy Catholic family, had to die. I pray a lot about this, and I try to be patient for the Holy Spirit's direction, but it's a very difficult time.


#7

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:252612"]
It is my problem. It got to the point where my husband would almost roll his eyes when I started talking to him, sharing my day with him. His disinterest was obvious. So I just quit and now I share almost nothing with him, and he says I am "shut down." I have not worked very much outside the home for the 20 years our kids have been alive. What I do allows him to do what he does, but I do not feel that we are a team or that he is interested in who I am or who I would like to be. It's just that I am not admiring him as much as he'd like, so he gets annoyed at that. He's got some amount of narcissism in him, not that much empathy, thinks that the world would be a better place if everyone were more like him (arrogance). It's been a long time since I heard him admit to any character defects, although he's fond of pointing mine out to me.

Our sons are almost grown and I don't know how to get new dreams. The dreams I once had, of a large happy Catholic family, had to die. I pray a lot about this, and I try to be patient for the Holy Spirit's direction, but it's a very difficult time.

[/quote]

My heart is breaking for you Juliane. I have no advice at all but wanted you to know that I will pray for you. God bless you and your marriage.


#8

[quote="Mrs_V, post:7, topic:252612"]
My heart is breaking for you Juliane. I have no advice at all but wanted you to know that I will pray for you. God bless you and your marriage.

[/quote]

Thank you for your prayers. I could be a cautionary tale to young women, with all my failures. I am sorry to admit that I have even been thinking about separation lately. I don't even believe my husband likes me any more, let alone love, cherish, treasure me. And I don't like a lot of what he has become either. Maybe when he finally finishes this overseas project, we can decide if we want to go to counseling any more, or what. At this point I am just burned out and God forgive me, I want to let him go so he can be happy if I don't make him happy.


#9

Damn! I was planning just this weekend to read this!

Call my Fiancee! The wedding is off!

Can I keep the toasters though?


#10

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