WWYD: Speak Now, Or Forever Hold Your Peace?
Forbes estimates that the average cost of a wedding is $28,000. The average cost of a divorce ranges from $15,000 to $30,000. There are no figures for the LGBT community because we can’t legally marry in most of the U.S and the world. However, it’s safe to assume queers will throw a good party, especially to celebrate a union, and lots will be at stake should the couple separate.
Gay or straight, we’ve all had some reservations about a friend or relative’s decision to seal a commitment with a formal union. [I’ll just use marriage and union interchangeably.] Perhaps you felt the couple was rushing to the altar, or perhaps you had legitimate reasons to believe your friend or relative was about to marry an evil troll sure to wreak havoc in the lives of everyone in his or her path. Bottom line: you have a bad feeling. Do you say something to stop this union? How can you justify this meddling?
Of course, the emotional cost of a failed marriage or union is greater than what dollars can measure, but sometimes people jump into commitment ignoring all that is at stake. As a friend or family member, it’s hard to watch someone jump blindly into a potentially disastrous situation. Besides wanting to spare your friend or relative heartache, you’d also like them consider the threats posed to their assets, time, energy and potential children.
Nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. You have a 50/50 chance of being right about your intuition. Is it worth risking your relationship with a friend or relative to speak up about a marriage you think is doomed?
It’s a tough question for me to answer. I’ve gotten in hot water for telling people why I think their partner is a jerk. I felt mistreated for being honest, as well as right. The relationships to which I objected have never lasted.
I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble of speaking up anymore. Now I think I should just let people make their own mistakes. Although, the drawback is that I’d have to hear frequent reports about how the relationship isn’t working. Sometimes, bad relationships are a no-win situation for everyone. Then again, some bad relationships turn into good relationships.
Dear readers, what would you do?