“…Or forever hold your peace”
I wonder how many brides and grooms have held their breath as the pastor spoke those lines at the beginning of the marriage.
I remember hearing those words at my own wedding, wondering if any of my friends would speak up. The friends whom I had told I was unsure, the friends who promised it was just cold feet. I knew my parents wouldn’t, they had voiced their doubts and feelings as to “why this couple should not be wed” privately. I needed a friend to say it, someone other than my parents to hit me with a dose of reality. “Something’s missing, there’s just something not right here”. Would I have called it all off? I don’t know.
I can still hear my Mom saying those words, looking at me with pleading eyes – begging me to see what was in front of me. I wasn’t really happy – did I love him? Yes. I still do, but we weren’t right together. The painful truth is this: had we not shared a child together, we would have long since been absent from one another’s lives. Our split took a toll on me. I’m sure it took a toll on him too, but I don’t know his side of the story. What I do know is I spent the next six months waiting for him to come around, to tell me he was sorry and he wanted to make it work. To be the person I always dreamed he would be: F’s father. A true Dad. I’m still waiting for that.
I was mad at him for not fighting for us, I was pissed off at his ability to go drinking and partying while I sat at home crying into a glass of wine over reruns of Law & Order: SVU. I picked him apart, as if pointing out his flaws was going to make it any easier. It never did. I magnified all of the things he did that I hated, the things that annoyed the Hell out of me. I left the house with my brave face and my big girl underpants on. As angry as I was with the breakup, I was more angry with the friends who – months after my breakup – dared look me in the eyes and say “I always had a feeling”, or my absolute favourite: “I saw this coming a mile away.”
WELL, NOW’S A GREAT FUCKING TIME TO TELL ME.
My heart was broken, my life thrown upside down and you felt now was the time to tell me about your feeling? Your premonition? Super duper. Thanks. If you felt that way, why the Hell didn’t you intervene and tell me? Didn’t I deserve to know? All that those words have done in the months since my breakup is hurt me more. Remember that integral part of the paragraph the minister read? “Speak now, or FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.” As in shut your piehole and keep that little gem of 20/20 hindsight to yourself. I don’t need to hear it now.
If you love your friend, tell her now. Don’t let her make a mistake. If you’re not going to tell her now, keep you damn mouth shut two miles down the road when the inevitable finally comes to a head because it’s too little too late. It doesn’t help to hear about your feeling when her heart is broken.
Oh, and don’t bash the other person because they just might get back together, and then shit will be super awkward.