Jewish Journal

Don’t Make The Same Mistakes I Did When You Get Married

by Mihal Levy

July 27, 2010 | 11:00 am

When it comes to marriage, it’s true what people say…it takes work.  Sometimes a lot of work.  Especially early on, even before the actual wedding.  But knowing that is half the battle.  I wish someone warned me before I got into this mess.  And by “mess” I don’t mean my actual marriage to my husband, but all the extraneous stressors from extended family.  I thought I would share with you some simple pointers so you don’t make the same mistakes I made.

1) When your fiancé explains that he wants to skip the fancy wedding and just elope on some romantic secluded island, just the two of you, accept his proposal and make his wish come true. Because after every one and their mother joins in with helping you plan your wedding (without permission), the extra guests THEY would like to invite and the embarrassment they cause you at the actual wedding is just not worth the hassle.  Especially that family member you bend over backwards for when she wants to include a few extra guests that she doesn’t even acknowledge throughout your wedding - guests you don’t know and who don’t even bring a gift.  In the end she is probably not worth bending over backwards for, because she most likely won’t even acknowledge you at her wedding or save you a piece of cake.  (Who wanted it anyway?  It probably had cat hair in it.)

2) Know that early on in the marriage when you try to please everyone else in your family to keep the peace that you shouldn’t.  There was never any peace to begin with.  It was just covered up better when they were trying to impress you at the beginning.

3) When you partake in extended family dinners and you are not served like everyone else there, don’t take it personally and wonder what you did to upset that person, just leave…and never look back.

4) Know that the one person in your extended family is and will always be the center of attention, even though it’s due to that person’s drama-stirring abilities.  Allow that person to take center stage while you and your husband vacation in Mexico or as far away as possible.

5) Don’t state your opinion ever to extended family members, because your opinion will always be wrong.

6) Don’t answer any “How do you feel about this?” open-ended advisory questions.  Your answer will be wrong.

7) When you follow your heart and do as you feel, don’t.  You will be wrong.  (i.e.: If you send that birthday gift out, do not expect one in return or an acknowledgement that yours was even received.)

8) Guilt may play an important factor on your end, but not anyone else’s.

9) When you are asked to arrive early for family pictures at a family function, know it is to watch others get photographed.  Bring an iPod or Sudoku.

10) Love the one you’re with…because that is what truly matters.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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