Marriage a la Mode


Another two couples have just become engaged, but I feel very differently about the respective announcements.

The first is the lovely Kiwi and German couple with whom I spent Christmas Day here in Sydney, and I couldn’t be happier for them. They are both warm, caring and creative people and seem genuinely to bring out the best in each other and to share the same values. Excellent news, then. Not a bit Hogarthian.

The second couple’s announcement, however, I confess I am a little ambivalent about. He is an old friend. And Gay. Yes, as in Homosexual. Or at least, he was when I left the UK a year ago. I have never met his fiancee, but she’s definitely female.

I have seen photos of her. She looks like a typically Middle Class English woman in her mid 30’s. (I can say that because I suspect I, too, look like a typically Middle Class English woman). Horsey and sensible; practically if a little dowdily dressed. She rather reminds me of Charlotte Bronte’s description of Jane Eyre: “small and plain”.

Anyway, my point being, does she know he is or was gay? Does she care? And will it matter, really, if what they both want is to settle and have a family?

Maybe they’ll be married successfully for 50 years, rubbing along together companionably while other, more traditional, relationships crash and burn around them?

His parents, at least, will be delighted at the prospect of returning ‘normality’ and the probability of grandchildren.

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7 Responses to Marriage a la Mode

  1. piereth says:

    Do you think he’s caving to perceived pressure to ‘normalise’ his operation? Very interesting. I hope it works out?

  2. Jenny says:

    Could he, perhaps, be Bi? And if so (like you say above) does she know? I hope he’s not just trying to make mummy and daddy happy.

  3. truce says:

    piereth – that’s what I thought to be honest. I hope I’m wrong.

    jenny – yes, that occurred to me, too, but I remember discussing that idea quite a bit when he first came out (since he had dated girls in his late teens) but he was adamant that he had just done that because he knew the alternative would be unacceptable at home. I hope he’s not just trying to make mummy and daddy happy, too. Or at least, if he is, then I hope it also makes him and his fiance happy into the bargain.

  4. azahar says:

    It’s almost always hard to tell from the outside what makes a relationship work. Also, people have different needs, so what might seem unacceptable to us could be the perfect set up for someone else. I think the main key is honesty – after that it’s just personal choice about what suits a couple best.

  5. LazyBuddhist says:

    Have you asked your friend outright “what’s the deal?” It would indeed be sad for her if she didn’t know what she was getting in to. Perhaps they have a deal. I have a gay friend that I would marry if he really needed the health care coverage (but, of course, that wouldn’t be an issue there in the UK). Perhaps they are great friends and wish to have kids together? Like you said, perhaps this marriage between great friends will last longer than those that are based on passion.

  6. Teresa says:

    And you know, some people are just fence jumpers, for a variety of reasons (me, for example). All that Kinsey business about where on the spectrum you are. I could have settled happily with someone of either gender, as long as it was right and loving and well balanced. There are a lot of gay people who whine that they can’t help it, it’s not a choice and so on, but I think for many people there is an element of choice. I do hope your friend has been honorable and open in talking with his future wife about all that, though. And therein lies the ambivalence.

  7. truce says:

    that’s a really interesting perspective Teresa, thanks. Yup, I hope he’ll be honourable and open with his future wife, too…

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