This tip is one of the most thoughtful long-lasting wedding gifts you can give a wedding couple. It's about supporting everyone concerned in having mutually satisfying supportive relationships. However, it only works if both wedding partners have included a fidelity agreement in their vows. After you have read this tip read about the Fidelity Agreement.
The Wedding Guest Vow supports open, honest, and responsible communication, zero significant* withholds. It presumes that you, a relative/friend/guest of one or both wedding partners, are willing to accept responsibility for the effects of your leadership-communication skills. It’s a given that all concerned agree that all communications, verbal, non-verbal, psychic, and physical have an effect.
Print, sign, and hand to the bride and groom each their own nicely printed copy of the Wedding Guest Vow (you may reword it).
- Wedding Guest Vow:
You have my word that I am available for clearing and problem-solving throughout your relationship. In return I'm asking you to agree to call me, or another wedding guest, the first time an upset or an experience of abuse is not acknowledged
By accepting this vow you are agreeing to be supported in communicating problems responsibly, from cause, rather than blame.
- Blame: "He won't answer my questions."
Responsible: "I don't know how to have him answer my questions."
Blame: "She gets angry when I try to make a suggestion."
Responsible: "I don't know how to make suggestions without triggering upset."
Blame: "She stopped being affectionate."
Responsible: "I don't know what I've done to cause her to stop being affectionate."
Blame: "He cheated on me."
Responsible: "Using my leadership-communication skills I drove him into the arms of another."
If I am unable to assist in resolving a dispute or dissatisfaction between you and your spouse, to include unacknowledged** verbal/non-verbal abuse, I will call another guest and together we will intervene through to mutual satisfaction.
You have my word that if I experience anything that does not feel good or right between the two of you, directly or from another, I will communicate it verbally to both of you. I will not withhold from either of you any negative judgments or rumors I may hear.
I will ask anyone who communicates negative gossip about you from whom they heard it. If they refuse to divulge the name of their source I will ask them if they’d be willing to tell you to your face what they told me; I’ll also remind them that you’re going to want to know the source. If they say they won’t tell you what they told me I’ll tell them that I will be telling you what they are passing around.
This Wedding Guest Vow does not mean that you must stay married, only that you will have discussed your first thoughts about separation or divorce with me or another guest prior to effecting a separation/divorce; it does however mean that if you decide to divorce that you will do so amicably, supportively, without blame, and with love.
Do we have an agreement?You may copy/print any portion of this tip providing you include the source, "Dear Gabby," "Community Communications," or "Kerry."
* "significant:" A thought is considered sigificant if sharing it would cause upset/anger.
** Acknowledged/unacknowledged: When you communicate abusively it's your responsibility to acknowledge to your partner that you know it was abusive. If you didn't hear yourself having communicated abusively then you will eventually set it up for your partner to remind you, to give you feedback. If your partner communicates (verbally or non-verbally), "That doesn't feel good" and you don't communicate, "I get that that was abusive," it reveals that you are in denial. A good test for abuse is the recipient's experience. For example: Ask, "How did that feel?" Someone stuck in abuse (abusing or being abused) is most always in denial (usually they will deny that abuse took place). An abuser will argue or get angry when the "victim" communicates, "That didn't feel good." Invariably the abuser will blame the recipient for starting the specific abuse in question. In a relationship in which unacknowledged abuse takes place regularly, there are no "victims," only consenting sparring partners. All divorces began on the first date when both partners (at the very same time) withheld a deal-breaking thought from the other. Both brought their addiction to withholding (to deception) into the relationship.
Conversely, if through your leadership-communication skills, you set it up (create space for, non-verbally grant permission) for your partner to communicate abusively and you don't insist that he/she acknowledge the abuse then you are beginning to accumulate reasons for a divorce. Extremely important: If you let even one abuse go unacknowledged, it reveals that you are unconsciously masterminding a divorce; you'll find yourself talking about that abuse from blame to someone during the divorce process. Abuses most always start with condescending "put-down" remarks, often masked as humor. i.e. "Nice going clutz." "Christ, that was smart." "What the hell are you doing? I told you..." To support it non-verbally, silently, compounds the disrespect that triggered the condescending remark.
Last edited 5/10/17