Sunday, December 10, 2006

Our Turbulent Engagement, Part 3

Wow, time has flown by and now there's less than a week. For anyone who might read this (all 3 of you), expect a blogging drought for a week beginning on the 16th. Here is the final portion of the Engagement series.

Part 1
Supplement I
Part 2
Supplemental II

So we waited. I held my ground and didn't give in. We still were planning on getting married in December. Considering how long we had been together before then, a 9 month engagement might've been a bit long. Right now it feels too long! But I purposefully chose a date "far" ahead so that my parents would have a good long chance to adjust to this idea.

Thank goodness for a certain elder and his wife in our church. I have the e-mail in my Gmail archives, dated April 4. It shows that I sent him a very distressed e-mail explaining our situation. I think I had just had the conversation with my mom, and needless to say, I was not very productive at work that day. We were able to hurriedly set up a get-together with them to get some comfort and advice. Now that I look back on it, we did not get much new advice from them, but it was IMMENSELY helpful to just be around an older and wiser couple and get comfort from them. Infinite thanks to L/E P.

I had that previous conversation in April, and my parents didn't try to contact me on phone for a while. Mostly what I remember is sparse talking with my mom over MSN. I do remember asking her if they were still going to come to my college graduation, since I still wanted to get married in December of that year. She responded by saying something like "No, you're not getting married in December. Forget that crazy talk." I still held my ground. It was during this time that I found a free MP3 of 4Him's rendition of "Be Thou My Vision," to which I listened incessantly during this period in my life. I thought that the unpleasant memories of this period would get imprinted with the song, but amazingly, I still feel great everytime I listen to that version.

Eventually May did roll around, and my family did come up for graduation. What follows was the biggest relief I've felt in a long time. The morning of graduation, my dad came over to my apartment. I don't remember why he originally said he was going to, but as it turns out, he came to talk to me about getting married in December. He asked me if I was still wanting to get married in December, and I said yes. To my extreme pleasant surprise, he then proceeded to tell me that he would support me in this! I don't remember everything that he said because I was just so high on relief. I remember him saying that he would deal with my mom, and that she would either come around, or be made to come around. Like I've said before, sometimes I am very glad that (most) decisions are final in my house when dad says so. In this case, VERY glad. Although the graduation ceremony was FOUR HOURS, I had no trouble sitting through the whole thing. Our families even sat together during the ceremony :D Afterwards, we all went out to dinner together, where my dad proceeded to clear the air and get the wedding conversation out in the open. Even at the table, my mom still (quietly) said to me in Korean that I should wait to get married, but I still did not budge, especially since I knew that my dad was on my side.

Up until graduation day, everything was an uphill battle. After graduation, everything felt like coasting, with a few (large) bumps here and there. Harmony and I both agree that we would much rather deal with wedding plan squabbles with both sets of parents than deal with pre-engagement issues with one set of parents.

So why have I told you all this? Maybe somewhere out there, there is another couple in a similar situation to us, desperately looking for any help they can get. Maybe they will go on Google or be looking through Christian blogs and find our's. If any of you that are reading this ever want to ask us for help, PLEASE do so. We might not be able to solve your problems, but perhaps we can at least sympathize, as war buddies usually can do. Back in That Horrible Month(tm) or April, we would've loved to have heard about an epic with a happy ending like this.

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5 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Laura


    I am stunned by what God brought you through to be together. It must have been hard to deal with all of those issues, especially at a time when you likely just wanted to enjoy the whole process of being engaged.

  • pivotpivot

    Thank you for your post as I am exactly that person that you're talking about at the end. We have also decided to go ahead with just a civil ceremony. Last night, my fiance explained that to my dad and he threatened to disown me or act like nothing is happening. I think it's the latter at the moment as there hasn't been any conflict. The two of us have been together for 3 years and he proposed 9 months ago. We compromised and had an official engagement ceremony for my parents a couple months ago. We're leaving to school in the states (in Canada right now) and have decided to go through with a civil ceremony there. My parents want us to wait another 4 years, but after struggling for communication and compromise.. we've decided to push forward. Prayer and the word has been telling us to push forward, but it is hard knowingly hurting my parents. They're a minister couple of a small church. They have threatened to disown us if we go through with the wedding. Please pray for us.

  • JunkMale


    Sorry it's taken so long for me to see your comment. We've been out of town, without internet. I just wanted to let you know that we're glad to have provided you a slight bit of encouragement. I'll reply in more detail when we actually get home. If you read this reply, please e-mail me privately through the address on my profile page.

    We'll be praying for you.

  • Annaberri

    Thank you for putting this out there. I did find this through your comments on DHM's blog, and I wanted you to know how much fun it was to find out my mother in law has "sisters" who are Korean. Mine is Filipino. We didn't have so much trouble with the marriage part, it was after she figured out I was still "white" that we had problems. I simply will NOT allow her to yell at and degrade my husband (her first born son) in front of our children. I have said so calmly, but that's "yelling", dontcha know. His dad is a wonderful man, but unlike your case, he is not the one in charge. He is, however, in a place I do not relish, between a rock and a hard place. There is no common ground and we can't back down and follow marching orders, because we feel it hurts the whole family to do so. So yes, we are disobeying, but we are following as much of God's will as we think is possible. We are choosing the family we have more than the family we came from.
    Incidentally, my family hasn't had any problems, but my MIL thinks they are hoy paloy, not good enough. No real college degrees and live on a ranch/farm = dirt. We can't fix it, and it causes endless stress for my husband, but he does have his brother in the area, who doesn't let it stress him out. He just reiterates craziness and says not to worry about it.
    We hope and pray things will get better, but years at a time go by with no progress. Last Oct. was the last we saw of them, and now it is July. A year has gone by before, and to our kids, four under eight, that's an eternity.
    Oh well, at least they have their very cool uncle, five minutes away.
    Thanks again. I'll direct my father in law here so he can see how it feels for some folks. I might have my husband's Korean friends take a peek, too. Very enlightening!

  • JunkMale


    Thanks for your comments. I'm glad that our series has been able to provide at least two people with some degree of enlightenment and/or comfort.

    I'm sorry for what your family is going through right now, although I don't think I fully understand what it is that you are going through. But maybe that was intentional on your part ;) Is it because you refuse to let MIL degrade your husband that you haven't seen them in a while? Or is it some other factor that makes her/them not want to see you? (of course, you don't have to answer if you're not comfortable doing so.)

    I wonder, before you were married, did your MIL think that you were a Filipino inside? Did your husband's parents not find out everything about your parents before you got married? I think in Korean culture, they (in some ways) consider the marriage to be a uniting of the two families; thus if the two families are not compatible in some way (hi/lo class), the marriage will not be "blessed." Consequently, I think my parents had the general gist of what Harmony's parents were like. But maybe Filipino culture is different.