Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Picture-less post

Tim is sleeping next to me somewhat peacefully right now, and my brain is going into overdrive. 

Since Tim returned from Ghana (two weeks ago), things have been pretty tense. We've been arguing a lot, spending more time on our computers than usual, and just generally not getting along. I know that part of the problem is the letdown he's feeling after a big, amazing trip, but there's more to it than that. 

He doesn't want to have a wedding.

Now, I didn't say he doesn't want to get married--it isn't that dire--and he also hasn't said outright that this is how he feels. But the Google reader, the indiebride, the wedding-related shopping, the overheard phone calls with my mom and my MOH, and yes, the blogging--they're all driving him nuts, not to mention the wacked-out sleep schedule (3AM to noon) I've been on since the beginning of June.

When we started talking more concretely about getting married, we had "the talk" about the wedding. Tim isn't in touch with his family (a long, sad series of events that have left him scarred but better off), and he doesn't have a lot of close friends. He's painfully, painfully shy. I'm sympathetic to these things and try to be understanding, but it sometimes becomes exhausting. I'm not saying that it's right for me to be exhausted by it - it's just reality.

I, on the other hand, have a small but close-knit family and many, many friends I consider close. I want them to be there. I've never been an envision-my-wedding kind of girl, but I've always known I wanted to have one. I assumed until fairly recently that I'd get married in Milwaukee (where I grew up), with 200+ of mostly-my-parents' friends, in a synagogue.

All three of those things were understandably difficult for Tim: a Milwaukee wedding would seem "mine" rather than "ours," and it had the potential to highlight the absence of his family; his shyness means that crowds (especially ones filled with a lot of strangers) are petrifying; and since he's atheist, a synagogue isn't exactly the most comfortable place for him. He knew that it's important to my family and me to be married by a rabbi, though, and that part of it was not as alarming as a rabbi and a synagogue.

The move to Ithaca changed my mind about location. I fell in love with Ithaca life immediately and could easily picture getting married there. I started to think about it more seriously and realized that if we chose to marry in Ithaca, a lot of my parents' friends would elect to stay home, making the guest list more manageable and intimate. I casually mentioned it to Tim a few times, and he seemed to warm up to the idea. Problems 1 and 2, gone.

I'm not sure if I mentioned yet that we started planning our wedding before there was a ring on my finger, which was a little awkward but ultimately fine with me - after all, the pipe dream of getting married was becoming reality, and that's what mattered! We agreed to have a rabbi and found a beautiful venue where we could have both ceremony and reception. Problem 3, check.

But as planning quickly heated up, I realized that Tim was just not into it. In fact, it's starting to feel like he doesn't want to hear about ANY of it, even the things (music, food) he'd normally care about. My summer schedule is allowing me to sleep, relax, and read all the Weddingbee I want to - and I feel fine with that. He seems to think my lazy days are emblematic of a bigger problem, though, and it's starting to frustrate me. I'm fine! I just want to look at fonts! I've tried to impose computer time limits for myself, get out of the house together and take walks or go places, and spend more time cooking or watching movies together. 

He does have his assigned projects, but he hasn't had to start those yet. I'm not worried about his finishing them... it's just that I want him to nod and smile when I say something about embroidered handkerchiefs, rather than make snide comments about them.

I know many (most?) brides put up with apathetic fiances. But actively hostile? That seems to be a more serious issue.

If your partner isn't actively involved in the planning process, is s/he supportive of your excitement? Or is it excruciatingly difficult to get any sign of interest? Aside from having more late-night cryfests, how can I work on this?


Guilty Secret said...

My fiancé is not particularly interested in our wedding either. He wants to get married, has opinions on some stuff and is cool with all the choices we have made, but his response to pretty much everything is "is that really necessary?"

My solution is to hide it from him. He doesn't know about my blog anyway, but now I have a huge wedding blog habit he also doesn't know about. Sometimes I wonder if he knew how much time I spend thinking about weddings and looking at wedding stuff online... he'd think I'd gone crazy.

I enjoy it, but I know he won't get it and it will make him panic and think I want a huge, fancy wedding or something, so I just try not to mention it.

But more generally, I try not to talk about it too much. I talk to my sisters, my friends and my mum, but try to do it more when he's not around.

Some people might think it's weird, but I kind of look at it like the wedding is just my latest hobby. I would never want to bore him with the amount I think about shoes, ore clothes... so it's the same, I'm just being considerate not boring him with stuff that doesn't interest him that much.

I don't know whether any of this (long!) comment will help practically, but hopefully it'll just help to know you're not the only one trying to work this thing out.

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Hey, I know how it is to plan a wedding with a seriously wedding-nervous groom. My boy also doesn't get on with his family and it has been a pretty big issue. He's also extremely shy and anxious about meeting new people so I cut a lot of people out of the guest list that I would have liked to invite because he had never me them. It was hard but it's as much his day as mine, although I have been much more pro-active about it, and I want him to be happy.

I would suggest sitting down with your fiancée and trying to find out what he wants from the day. Try and get him to really think about it because it's important that you know.

And don't ask him about hankies and ribbons etc, just do it. I bought ribbons, made name tags, planned decorations and told him 'these are the name tags we're having' etc. Unless it's likely that he'll really hate them he probably won't care about not being asked his opinion and you won't have to suffer the annoyance of him being snide about things.

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time with it and I really hope it gets better for you soon.

Anonymous said...

That was a great way to put it, Ms. Guilty. Its a hobby. I think Lauren got initially freaked out because of the time I was spending day dreaming and researching, then she's gotten kinda of . . . bemused by my blog life. At anyr ate, I wrote an entry about how weddings are this creative outlet in a world and with a work/lifestyle that doesnt really give us socially- sanctioned family-funded artistic outlets. http://dingmoonment.blogspot.com/2008/03/creative-consumption.html. If my family gave me 10,000 dollars to write a book, I'd do it, but that aren't, you know? Anyway, mostly I want to say, its a hobby, its a creative outlet. Re-frame it for yourself, feel less guitly and strange and maybe that will give you the confidence and footing to approach the subject with your fiance.