Fast forward many years later, and it’s almost like I am a completely different person. The thought of having to attend six weddings within six months had me freaking ecstatic! Not only do I love Love, I absolutely STAN for Black love and I am always the first person to cry at a wedding!
Between the two of us, my fiancé and I were invited to five weddings this past summer (ours being the sixth). This display of Black people committing their lives to each other was the most beautiful vision of the continued edification of the African-American community.
However, as the days passed, and the weddings rolled in, my fiancé and I started getting nervous! Though deep in the trenches of planning, we were sort of oblivious to how close we were to our wedding date. I mean, we had so many other friends getting married before us, the attention was not on us during our engagement. I think we secretly enjoyed not having the spotlight.
All of this changed after we attended a wedding this past June. Literally, as the bride and groom walked down the aisle in the recessional, they BOTH turned to us while they were passing and mouthed, “You guys are next!!” I know they offered those words in excitement for me and my fiancé, but it scared the sh*t out of us. All of a sudden, we had the floor as “next up.”
Later that night, after the wedding, and as my fiancé and I laid in bed replaying everything about our friends’ beautiful day, we had a heart to heart. We both admitted to being afraid.
Marriage is a big deal and neither of us were familiar with what it takes for it to be successful. We both were raised in single parent households. We both had absent fathers. Neither of us were privy to marital interactions between a husband and a wife. We had no idea what we were in for.
The good news is, our open dialogue and vulnerability set us on the right path to admitting what we were afraid of. It showed that though the “realness” of our impending nuptials were front and center, ready for immediate acknowledgement, our willingness to be emotionally naked about what we were most afraid of for marriage was our first teaching moment to building and maintaining a healthy marriage.
That lesson was open and honest communication.
I am very appreciative of my fiancé’s desire to communicate with me. He, in fact, is the stronger one when it comes to talking and sharing feelings. I am certain, as the years go by, we will continue to grow in this area; but for now, it is very comforting to know, recognize and understand that I can talk to him about anything. More importantly, we are both grateful that the invitation to witness the nuptials of so many of our friends solidified our road to open and honest communication.