Only three more days until my wedding day and I’m feeling a mix of emotions. Excitement, anticipation, and nervousness are bouncing around in my head, dancing on every crevice of my brain. Underlying those feelings is a sense of serenity, a calmness which I attribute to my absolute certainty with this choice. It’s an interesting juxtaposition going on within me. My internal feelings aside, the central idea for today’s posting is what’s going on outside of me.
On Monday I wrote about what’s going on in Marriage Today; check it out if you haven’t already. Today I’m writing about Native Americans and Marriage.
From my own family I have several models of marriage – great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have all taken the vow at one time. My mother and father, although not with one another, have also been married. Every marriage is different, no two couples are exactly alike, but what my family marriages overwhelmingly have in common is that they married other Natives.
When I was younger, in high school in particular, there was pressure put on me from my mother and step-father to marry a Native woman. I recall countless sit-down sessions after dinner that would involve the two of them praising the virtues of such a marriage and enumerating the negative possibilities of marrying a woman who was non-Native. I believe my parents’ hearts were in the right place, they lived long enough to see the results of such pairings and did not want that for their children. However, as an adult now, I do believe their method of passing that knowledge along was flawed.
I cannot pretend to know what my own child will do when it comes to choosing a significant other. Life is fraught with too many unknown variables to predict what attributes a child will seek in a partner when they’re an adult. What I believe best sets a child up for a healthy relationship is for them to see it modeled in their own home. Love, laughter, disagreements, resolutions, compromises, and communication – there’s no one better to demonstrate that than parents! Sit-downs, while having their place, were not paramount to presenting the model of marriage.
I do envision my child being in a committed, lifelong, and loving relationship, but I cannot see whether the color of that person’s skin is white, black, or brown. Faith, traditions, and culture are the pillars that I see a healthy and whole home being built upon. For me, as a soon-to-be husband, I’ve kept that in my heart as the most important thing in my relationship. I’m blessed to be marrying a woman who shares those same core values as I. By holding these things important, we were able to find one another – Native man and Native woman.
I love my parents, and I thank them for giving me examples of what to do and what not to do in life and in marriage. I seek to do the same during my marriage for my son, and for any future children.
Who are your marriage models? What did you learn, good or bad, from their relationships?