Now why would I bother to blog about a celebrity wedding for heaven's sake?! You might be thinking .....gee she's digging to the bottom of the barrel re: her 'real life' examples. (Well....maybe....just a little! ) But not really. All situations are useful to learn from, however, this one is particularly useful because it is a fairly well known 'system' and provides opportunity for everyone to learn from how relationships exist within context of societal systems.
So what is the societal or system context that Meghan Markle is entering? Well, historically, the British are known for being 'pip, pip, pull up your boot straps' 'cheerio and run along then', follow etiquette and ask permission from Queen before doing anything if you are Royalty and do NOT show emotion. You are a public figure and the Church of England and what the Royals represent matters above individual needs and behaviour.
Meghan is a bi-racial, divorcee who began her feminist advocacy at the age of 11 when she wrote to Palmolive about how inappropriate it was to target just women regarding the washing of dishes.
So Meghan meets her Prince. Prince Harry is 5th in line to the throne. Well, 6th now that his brother just had another baby. He admittedly went a bit off the rails when he wasn't dealing with his feelings about the death of his mother. Most commentators that I have heard will now, rightfully, admit that it was inappropriate to expect those young boys to stuff their feelings and walk behind the hearse in front of millions of people when their mother, Princess Diana, died. Harry was 12. As a young man he did two tours of duty on the front line in Afghanistan. He left when his being on the front line was putting his fellow platoon mates in danger because of his celebrity status. On the helicopter he was confronted with a fellow army mate having lost a limb in battle and he understood that this man's life would be forever changed and that he would have to find the will to live his new life with this reality at the center of it.
So in his late 20's Harry went for therapy and figured out how his mother's death impacted on him and what he needed to do to heal around that. He has spoken about this publicly. And he began investing in his life in an intentional way. He created a charity regarding AIDS in Lesotho, Africa and he began the Invictus Games worldwide to help people recovering from PTSD.
So the most resilient thing you can do as a person is to know 'who you are'. What your interests are; what your values are; who you enjoy spending time with; what you enjoy re: taste, touch, smell, sound; and how you want to spend your time. However, knowing who you are doesn't mean that that's the way things are going to be! We live in context with others. Women have known for a long time that they deserved equality but power comes into play if things have always gone a certain way in a particular culture. So Meghan and Prince Harry, well, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now obviously agree that they are in support of inclusiveness of women, blacks and emotions given that the wedding service last Saturday had a black preacher Rev Curry who spoke with a 'fire and brimstone' flair; a black female, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin who did a reading and if you listened closely to the vows, Meghan did NOT promise to obey.
So while Meghan will have to adapt to Royal protocol and observe etiquette that she has not had to follow up until this point in her life. She knows herself well enough to have taken a stand with her new spouse and said....as long as I am treated equally as a woman and my black heritage is celebrated.
For any of us, partnering with another person is always a combining of two cultures. Regardless of race or religion. It can be that one of you always had a blue spruce at Christmas and volunteered at the Food Bank and the other always had a Douglas fir and had a big party with relatives at the cottage. There will be strongly held beliefs about what family is and how it should function. The resilient response is to know which things matter to you enough that you won't budge around them and which things you are willing to compromise or let go of. At the end of the day, if both people don't feel that they are getting recognized and valued enough in the situation it will end in divorce as did Harry's parents.
I say CONGRATULATIONS to this young couple! It is a mighty big system to be up against and they did well asserting themselves in it while being photographed and watched by millions of people all around the world!