Expressing concern can sometimes be seen as wishing bad things on others. Other times it is a way for people to feel like prophets and excuse themselves from the responsibility of any action that may be required should anything go wrong. "I told you this wouldn't work out, but you didn't listen, so you deserve any bad that befalls you." Sometimes, though, it is simply an effort to formulate a plan and form a team for taking emergency measures before the emergency occurs. The Bible even congratulates the wise woman who put something aside for the lean times. This is not pessimism; this is planning ahead.
This is how it is as we approach the marriage of the daughter of a dear friend. The crones know with certainty that there will be some rough times ahead as the two attempt to graft themselves and their lives one to the other. We're hopeful that their shared cultures will make this easier, but we also know that power struggles are a part of every partnership. With enough love, humor, hope, and support for the formation of the new family entity coming from both sides, all these issues can be openly addressed, and hopefully resolved. We must be on the side of the new union, not on the side of either partner. I don't often see this as the case.
It seems to me that people are more comfortable protecting their own team's sense of superiority, even at the expense of the society in which we live. Why do we continue to define who we are by defining who we reject? Aren't we stronger as we incorporate more hybridization into our genetics, thoughts, and ways of looking at the world? Do we really want all the world to be a safe square sandwich loaf of white bread, with each of us being flavorless slices?
Richard's eldest brother once told him that when a man marries, he marries a woman's whole family. Richard has certainly survived well, even with my huge malfunctioning mess of a clan. I think that is because we've continued to keep the roots of our relationship watered with a strong sense of what we want our home to be. We have also included so many into our extended family that the well never runs dry, no matter how many drink from the our family's faucet.
I hope that this couple, on their wedding day, will truly form a new family, and not become appendages to the families from which they came.