by Andrea Schrage, MA, LAPC
It seems to be that time of year again when the proposals are increasing as well as more dates are being set for weddings.
At the same time more legislature is being pushed through to stop same sex marriages and to deny these couples the same legal, financial, and health benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Many are still reeling from the election and the acceptance of amendment 2 and the pain is still fresh. This article is not intended to argue political, religious, or moral viewpoints, but rather to address how people interact with each other and their emotions in a way that feels productive and healthy.
Many feelings are normal upon getting the announcement that friends are getting married; excitement, fear for your friend/family
member, fear of having less time with that person, envy, joy, and what happens if you don’t like the person that they are going to marry? What if you don’t believe in marriage? These are all common feelings, and now add the truth that marriage has become a privilege that is not available to everyone. How do you deal with someone you love getting married and balance the range of emotions felt? This is a very exciting time in the couples life and it is hard for many to acknowledge their personal pain for fear that they will detract
from the good news. This is a lot to juggle, so lets start with a few guidelines, remembering that every situation is different due to the individuals involved.
Spend some time talking about your emotions with a therapist or friend. It would be best to choose a person that you feel relatively safe with when sharing your feelings. Someone who is not as invested
in the wedding so much that they would have to keep any secretes. It is always wise to be conscious that any advice you get may come with some biases and what is most important is giving your self a chance to be honest about the emotions that have come up for you.
Staying with Emotion
As stronger emotions come up, allow your self room to have them, be with them, and move them. Moving them may be a new concept for some; it simply means expressing them in a way that they don’t end up buried inside of you. This may be something that feels more comfortable to do without others around, either way the following may be some ideas to try.
- Write down your feelings and emotions without editing the content
- Transfer the emotions on to paper through drawing. This is a time to let go of creating a masterpiece; the object is to use your intuition to guide your colors and your design.
- See if you can locate a body sensation that feels related to the emotions and bring your attention to the physical sensation. Watch to see if it shifts when you bring your attention to it. Describe it to your self in detail or simply breathe with it.
Move with the emotion; try using music. See what impulses come with it, this can be done through exercise, yoga, or just by single motions that may range from punching to curling up with a blanket.