A reader writes:
"First of all, love your website. Yep, I'm a chick, I hate wedding porn. I find it obnoxious. I love how honest this website is.
"I have a question. It's about my fiancé...I'm torn. Maybe it's just a dream of mine but I'd like to think he can have as much fun at the wedding as I can. Maybe not in the planning process, but at least AT the wedding. I'm trying my damnedest to keep his spirit involved even if he is not necessarily planning things.
"For instance, we're going to the mountains for the wedding, mostly so mountain biking can be had. I'm not trying to think just of what I want, but of what we want. In my opinion you can't have a bride without a groom.
"But even with all this, he's very apathetic. To the point of saying "It's not the guy who want's the wedding, it's the girl" to me that says "I don't want a wedding". But here's the thing (there's always a thing)...we've been living with each other for 3.5 years, been dating for 4 (yep, we jumped). So we're essentially married already (and he says this too). So yeah, we could just go to the courthouse, make it official, then have a big ass potluck or something and then continue life as normal. But to me that sounds terrible. If nothing is going to change after we get married I at least want the big celebration that comes with the title.
"Am I being selfish?! Am I out of line to want a wedding when he doesn't? I am doing everything to make this an incredibly inexpensive wedding and relatively painless for him, but still we have the conversation every once in a while that he simple doesn't care. What prompted it this time was me asking, again, for him to get on the ball about getting his groomsmen and best man.
"This weekend we've been engaged a year. A year. He hasn't done this yet. His reasoning: it doesn't matter enough to him to remember to ask the guys (verbatim). He already knows which ones he's going to pick, just hasn't remembered to do it. So if the wedding means little enough to him to even remember to ask guys he sees on a regular basis to be his groomsmen/best man...why am I bothering? Again, am I being selfish?
"Just hoping for a peek into the male thought process..."_________
Four quick things pop to mind:
1. You're not being selfish. He's being a dick.
2. Everyone deserves more than a bigass potluck.
3. There is no chance that he (or any guy) can have as much fun as you (or any woman) at the wedding.
4. He needs to grow up.
Yes, here at The Plunge we recommend that guys don't go crazy with wedding planning. No, that does not mean the dude can say he "simply doesn't care." Talk about a buzz-kill. There's just a little bit of "faking it" that goes on in every relationship, and right now, for you, he needs to fake it.
This doesn't mean he needs to do cartwheels for gravy boats. And it doesn't mean he needs to morph into Super Groom. You're not asking that. But it does mean that he needs to be respectful of your enthusiasm, to not be such a grouch, and, at the very least, to talk to his damn groomsman. He's being a child. And he's going to have a rough go of marriage if he only perks up when he feels like it.
So here's what you can do: use the carrot and the stick.
For the carrot, you've already incorporated mountain biking--cool--which is something, we presume, that he likes. Go further. Tell him that your wedding doesn't have to be some stuffy, Hallmarky, impersonal ceremony that bores him to suicide. The weekend can incorporate your genuine interests, his genuine interests. Present him this thought experiment. Tell him, hypothetically, to pretend that it's not a "wedding weekend," but instead a "party weekend." And he could customize this party weekend however he'd like. What would he do? What would be included? What types of food, music, activities? Make him get creative. Then, within the bounds of reason and feasibility, incorporate his Party Weekend ideas into the Wedding Weekend.
Now, the stick.
He let you down. Tell him that. You can do so without sounding hysterical, clingy, or bridezilla-ey. You're not asking for him to take off 5 hours of work and pick out stationary, you're asking him to do the bare minimum and not be such a prick. That's not much.
The institution of marriage is different from a co-habitating couple. One of the differences, like it or not, is that you are now teammates, and teammates--always--get each others' backs.
For perspective, ask him how much he would like it if every time he switched on a football game (not to gender stereotype) you spent 3 hours snarkily muttering, "This game is dumb. Do you know these guys? How will your life be improved if the 49ers win? Ooooooooooh, 7 yard gain, frickin; exciting. How does it feel to be mindlessly chanting 'Let's Go!' with 67,000 other screaming morons?" etc etc etc. You don't do this. Instead, even though you (probably) don't really care, you'll politely ask, "Who's winning?" You don't care who wins. But you care that he cares.
In the future, there will be vacations that you're both not equally excited about, but one person sucks it up. In a way, that's what marriage is all about, taking turns sucking it up. Don't quote that out of context, and don't use that in your wedding vows.