Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Family Tree House of Horrors XIV

A post on fMh today reminded me of something I wanted to write about.

T and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage. Awesome eh! Well personally I’m thinking of getting a divorce but I’ll explain that more fully in a later post.

I’d rather celebrate the 15 years that we have been together, since to me, our wedding day was a sham.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mormon weddings there is a VERY strong theme in the lessons at church about getting married in the temple. For women especially, it is THE goal (then popping out kids, followed hopefully not too closely by the big trip to heaven). To be married in the temple you must be ‘pure’ and have interviews with church leaders to satisfy them that you are pure. We passed… although in all honesty we kind of pulled the wool over their eyes with that one ;)

The next thing you need to know is that the only people who can attend your temple wedding are Mormons who have also passed all the requirements to enter the temple. This brought the grand total of friends and family members who could join us in the temple (and afford the trip to Sydney) to 5! 4 friends of T’s who already lived in Sydney… and his mum.

Fast forward to the day before my wedding. It was time for me to go to the temple for some personal ceremonies preparatory to marriage. T had already been through his ceremonies in 1996 when he began his 2 year mission to New Zealand. Women generally wait for marriage to be Initiated. Now, it was… odd, to say the least. I was freaked out. I was scared to death of the prospect of going nude (as cruelly highlighted in the temple preparation class I attended). As it turned out, the nudity was actually perfectly acceptable to me. There was a lovely sheet for me to wear (think Halloween ghost costume). The next ceremony was less nude but more ridiculous. I wanted to laugh but everyone else was so damn serious. I held it together and just started counting the hours to my wedding.

That night I was roomy with my MIL. T spent the night at a friend’s house, lucky bugger. Now, it is important to clarify here that I like my MIL. This is not a rant about her; this is a description of the circumstances surrounding my wedding. MIL is a character involved here but I lay no blame whatsoever with her. Sticking out in my mind is a conversation MIL and I had that evening. Somehow I found myself listening to stories about T. No harm in that you might think. Well yes, it was pretty well fine until we got to the story about a particular young lady that he was going to run away with when he was around 16. Hmmm. All I want to say here is that…well, this just really wasn’t very helpful to me in preparation for the big day.

The countdown continued. It was all I could do to get myself through the surrounding craziness. I shut off. Pictures of our wedding day highlight this disconnect. I may post some here. Let me think about that for a bit.

We re-entered the temple and were married, for ‘time and all eternity’. Oh, and don’t forget that wording… I committed to ‘give myself’ to T. He committed to ‘receive me’….*@#$!! … Just a technicality to leave room for those other wives to join us later ;)

The deed was done. We ‘smiled’ for photos, ate a lovely meal together (all 7 of us!) and suffered the sly looks and winks as we said goodbye and made our way to the hotel. From here on out it gets a little X-rated so we’ll leave those two lovebirds to enjoy themselves.

So, I had not a single family member or friend in attendance. No joyous celebration of a significant occasion. No friendly arm to hold on to. No happy familiar face to smile into. Fuck it’s a sad story. My wedding . My sham.

For all of the Mormons talk of ‘forever families’ this sad scenario is repeated many times all around the world. Some sick horror show played out supposedly to solidify our family tree.


  1. I would say congratulatons on 10 years, but it sounds like thing are a little rough on that front. I hope things work out for the best, whatever that happens to be.

    Your wedding day does sound very sad and disappointing. Mine wasn't that bad, but I still tell my daughter that she can have an awesome wedding, not a boring temple wedding. If nothing else we can be happy that our kids won't have to deal with all that crap!

    Take care!XXX

  2. This is AllieKay from FMH.

    I've only been married one year, but I resent my temple marriage as well. I was so disappointed at the fact that I was told my entire life that getting married in the temple was special and wonderful. There was nothing at all special about it. It was exactly the same as every other wedding that had ever happened at that temple, and I was just a number. Neither of us were allowed to say anything, and it was all very mechanical. The whole process is about as romantic as buying a car. It broke my heart.

    Oh yeah, and the whole giving and receiving thing...

    What it felt like was that my marriage didn't belong to me. It had nothing to do with me or my husband. It only had to do with the church and the institution. It was as though marriage hadn't been given to us as a gift, but we had instead been fed to the institution of marriage.

  3. Hi AllieKay. I hope this comment of mine will actually stick!! My blog is being very temperamental today.

    Wow, the imagery that came up for me when you wrote about being "fed to the institution of marriage" !!

    I can definitely agree with the feeling of being a number and being kind of just placed in one spot, moved to another, say this, do this. Done. It really was a pretty big disappointment.. and I really didn't think I had been expecting that much to begin with.

    Mostly for me, I just look back in awe at what I was willing to sacrifice for a religion that I now think is hooey.

    It is great that you have found fMh so early on in your marriage. Did you find fMh before you were married? I will be very envious of you if you got to be a part of that online community whilst still a single gal. I think it could at least have given me a 'heads up' with a few things before launching into marriage and motherhood.

  4. Hey there Kaleidoscope Girl :) sorry to throw that one out there about divorce with no real explanation. I hope the later post sorted that out.

    I am very glad that my kids won't grow up thinking that temple marriage is THE goal. And, as you say, they will be spared all of that crap. Their wedding day (if they choose to get married) will actually be about them and their partner and the love that they share.

  5. Grrrrrr, Blogger is not playing nice today. Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow.