Sunday, 16 September 2007

Sometimes people can surprise you

Just after I got engaged, I signed up to a wedding planning website. The chat forum fascinates me, because there's every type of bride-to-be on there - divorcees, people who've been living with their partners for years, and people like me who haven't been married before and won't live with their husbands-to-be until after they marry. So you get quite a range of opinion on most topics.

The other day, someone posted a question: "Are you saving yourself for marriage?"

The responses were as uniform as I've ever seen them: "You must be joking", "No way", "Nobody does that any more", "We already have two children, so not really", etc.

Now, this is something I've had a problem with over the years. I don't like being treated as though I'm a freak, and I have been quite viciously verbally attacked on several occasions by people who considered it unnatural that I didn't leap into bed with every boy I liked. So I carried on doing what I thought was right, but throughout my late teens and twenties, I kept quiet and let people assume what they wanted to assume. I didn't want to have to justify my 'freakish' behaviour.

In my thirties, I got a bit bolshier - I'm proud that I didn't give in to the pressure in my youth, and I think it's good for people to see someone actually practising what the Church teaches and standing up for their beliefs.

So when I saw this thread, with all the people saying what a ridiculous idea it was that anybody should save themselves for their wedding night, I was taken right back to the times when I used to keep my mouth shut for fear of being laughed at or worse. And I decided I wouldn't put up with that. So I posted a response to the thread. I said, "Our wedding night will be the first time for both my husband to be and me. Having waited 38 years, I can easily wait another 9 months."

I then sat back and waited for the onslaught. The first response met my expectations: "You are joking, aren't you?"

Then people realised I was serious. And the next six responses were all along the lines of, "Good for you", "You need a medal", "Hats off to you" and "Good luck to you" (interspersed with "Of course, I could never do it myself", etc).

So I suppose I just want to say.... guess what?! The playground bullies do grow up - and they end up respecting you for the decisions you made that they thought were crazy at the time. I know most people who read this blog are beyond the age of getting pressure on this particular issue from their peers, but I just wanted to encourage anyone who's struggling with this sort of pressure at the moment. And to let you know that you're not the only one, as I often felt I was.

14 comments:

Ma Beck said...

Right on, sister!

:)

Statistics are on your side. May you live to see many anniversaries!

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Ma. :¬)

Beth said...

That is awesome!! My wedding night was the first time for me! I'm proud that I waited, even though it was hard, and I'll be able to tell my kids that too.

Thanks for sharing!

FloridaWife said...

I think the other people were making their earlier comments to justify their behavior and feel better about themselves. But many of them, I believe, secretly wish that they had waited but felt pressured to.

God bless you and NewMan.

And I didn't know your age!!! Now I do. For SOME reason, I thought you were a bit younger than me.

FloridaWife said...

One more thing: It's so nice that you found New Man and that he is equally like you in this regard. Congratulations.

newhousenewjob said...

Thank you.

"SOME reason"? Could that be anything to do with my claim to be in my very very late twenties...? I suppose in three or four years I might have to change that and admit that I'm in my late thirties. ;¬)

Nicholas said...

I remain single and celibate because there are so very few women of my age (late thirties) with your courage or morals. I raise my hat to you and wish you many happy years of marriage.

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Nicholas. Funnily enough, there probably are more than we think - it's just that they've got so used to keeping quiet about it that it takes a while to find them.

Nicholas said...

I guess having spent 12 years in monastic life puts me at odds with this secular society and the way this world is changing for the worse. Any former nuns out there? LOL :-}

newhousenewjob said...

Nicholas, have you read 'An Infinity of Little Hours'? I did a little review of it in early June on here. It was written by a woman who is married to an ex-Cistercian - so there's hope for you yet!

nicholas said...

I have indeed read the book and thought it was very well researched and put together. The harshness of the Carthusian life seems not to have affected these guys or hindered their path to happiness after monastic life.
As for me whatever will be will be. Unlike many others i know i ''REALLY'' am happy living the single life.

FloridaWife said...

Yes, newhousenewjob, that was why....

diana said...

I agree with Florida wife.

And age does bring a regret of having been too wild and easy as a young adult. Thankfully.

newhousenewjob said...

Funny, I was talking about this last night with a colleague, as she discovered that one of our students (changing careers later in life) was at school with her and remembered her as a teenager. Scary thought - I'm sure we all have things we'd rather the whole world would forget about our teenage years.