Dealing with Discrimination
Human beings are, unfortunately, prone to discrimination. Our imperfect nature sometimes leads us into thinking that anything that is different is wrong. This can be very hurtful when it rears its ugly head during the time in which you are planning your wedding day. It may come from your family, friends, religious institutions or the vendors involved in the organisation of your wedding. No matter where the discrimination comes from or what its basis is, it is always unpleasant and often difficult to handle in a mature way, especially when dished out amidst the stress and excitement of your big day.
Discrimination may arise in the following situations:
- You are much younger or older than your bride- or groom-to-be
- You are marrying someone of the same sex
- You are marrying someone that is a different colour or culture to you
- You and your future spouse adhere to different religions
- Your family is not happy with the financial standing or social status of your partner
- You have chosen to celebrate your marriage with an unusual theme that not everyone feels comfortable with (such as Halloween)
Although you obviously want those closest to you to share in your happiness and excitement, it is imperative to remember that your wedding day is yours. It is for you and your partner to enjoy. You are not getting married for your friends and family, and cannot live your lives for them in the future. You want to be able to look back on the choices you made without regret.
Also, consider the reason or motivation behind the discrimination you are facing. If it is because they love you and are concerned about your life and decisions, you may be more inclined to deal with the matter in a kinder, softer manner. However, if you are facing the motivations of jealous, bias people that are not concerned with your happiness or safety, you may be less inclined to ‘play nice’.
There are various methods of dealing with discrimination. Because your emotions are involved, it may be difficult to contain them and act in a rational way. Follow these tips and suggestions to aid in dealing with and minimising wedding discrimination:
- Keep alert - if the discrimination is being inflicted upon your partner, act immediately in order to suppress it as soon as possible. This will prevent the early stages from developing into full-on discrimination and will minimise the hurt inflicted upon your loved one. Confront the problem head-on, but try to maintain poise and reasonability. Do not ignore it with the hopes that it will fade away.
- Put your money where your mouth is – ensure that you are not acting in a way that can be perceived as discriminatory as this will only incite the bias in others. If you have different beliefs or customs to those of your partner, ensure that you are not dogmatically insisting on getting your own way, for example. This will hurt your partner, make them and their family feel discriminated against, and encourage your family to stand behind you, creating far more drama than it is worth.
- Control yourself – if you can feel your thoughts and utterances are becoming offensive to some, keep them to yourself. Even if you feel very strongly about something or someone, your wedding day is not the time to voice every opinion.
- Harness your tongue – think before you speak and watch what you say and do around others. Making nasty remarks will only encourage others to do the same, whereas bridling your tongue will provide the perfect example of how the situation should be handled, giving them little fuel for their fire.
- Learn – if you think that your wedding may incite discrimination for whatever reason(s), make yourself familiar with the legal implications. This will ensure that you have a support basis if such discrimination (by the clergy or wedding service providers, for example) does arise.
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