Dear Readers – Many emails I receive are responses to topics recurring in my columns and live online chats, from other readers’ questions.
It’s no surprise that a chat I hosted about relationship “styles” - from long-term commitment to undefined “dating” to so-called “booty calls” – resulted in this first commentary. Following that is one of the best responses yet, about destination weddings.
Reader – “There are lots and lots of us who do not engage in premarital sex.
“I’ve been married for 20 years, and my husband and I waited to consummate our marriage till our wedding day.
“It has to do with how one sees the sexual relationship. We view it not as entertainment, but as a covenant-forming act between a husband and wife, signaling commitment.
“So while it's great pleasure, it's a sacred act too, as it forms the beginning of the bond between us.
“This is the Christian perspective, and it's a given in our circles. Many people in our congregation have come from a sexually active lifestyle, but when they became Christians, they put that aside.
“It's how we see honouring people in relationship with us: the intimate act signifies full commitment. Many people of other faiths also believe in, and live by, these same principles.
“Just thought you'd want to know. It only seems weird because of our current zeitgeist.”
My family and I were having dinner together when my oldest brother announced that his youngest son was getting married in Las Vegas.
He also said we were all going to be invited - my sister, my widowed mother, my other two brothers, me, and our spouses.
My sister - a traveller who loves Vegas - said immediately she’d take my mother, who also agreed. My sister mentioned this several times.
Several months later, my brother phoned my sister to say that unfortunately there wouldn't be enough room for them (the rest of us were waiting for an invitation to decide if we’d go).
She said it was very obvious he was embarrassed, but he knew she’d tell the rest of us, including my mother.
We were all dumbfounded - no room in a chapel in Vegas???
There’s absolutely no drama in our family, we’ve always attended nieces' and nephews' weddings, holidays together, help with home projects, etc.
But later there were many photos of the wedding on Facebook with many friends in attendance. Then my brother emailed photos to us saying "It was great - it was too bad you couldn't be there."
Although we were outraged for my mother's sake, my family did what we always did – we treated the situation with a sense of humour, and when my brother and his family had a barbecue later that summer as a substitute wedding reception, we all attended with wedding gifts.
By the way, the nephew is a great guy whom we and helped during his years of university so we were on good terms, but apparently not enough to be invited to his wedding! We put it all down to bad manners and laughed about it.
No Drama Family
Let’s hope that nephew realizes what a great family he has! His bride’s family may have put him on the spot if they were paying, or the cost per person might have been daunting for whomever helped with the bill.
But of all the many stories that readers have told about “destination wedding woes,” your relatives’ reaction exemplifies the most classy and family-peace-preserving approach. Congratulations!
FEEDBACK Regarding the widow who bought a house with her daughter and difficult teenage grandson, but needs to flee to regain her own life (May 28):
Reader – “As a widow and former longtime teacher here are my comments: This woman needs counselling or a good grief support group, before any elder abuse possibilities go further.
“She also needs legal and/or accounting advice to help her realize implications of all this. She does NOT owe her daughter the house, or the grandson, either.
“The over-indulgent mother and her spoiled son obviously need counselling, too. There’s no mention of the boy having a father in his life.
“So the grandmother and grandson may both have lost a valuable bond and support through the grandfather’s death and may both have their own issues regarding this loss.”
A-Thanks for the reminder about the boy’s experience of loss.
Tip of the day:
Relationships thrive when true to both partners’ beliefs and value system.