When does fiction become reality? Since I wrote My Invisible Husband, I've received emails from women who admit to being tired of people always in their business. Although Nikki took it to the extreme, they found the story humorous and made them laugh at their own situations.
Imagine my surprise that the fiction world that I created was someone's actual reality. The email read: "My best friend did the fake wedding thing in Vegas! The guy decided he didn't want to after she'd told her entire family, friends and co-workers."
After I received the email, I was intrigued. I wanted to get into the mind of the woman who went through with it. The fictional character Nikki did it because she was insecure and did it for the sake of appearances. As the novel suggests, lying is not the answer and this true-life story will vouch for that.
The woman who faked the wedding unfortunately is dealing with a lot emotionally from the real life charades. When asked to interview, she was afraid that her identity would be given away and would be too embarrassed if people found out the truth. The best friend however did agree to talk to me about it in more details. She's not afraid to use her real name, however she respects her friends privacy, so for the interview I agreed to use a pseudonym- Jackie Boston.
Thank you Jackie for this interview.
Shelia Goss: How does the novel My Invisible Husband relate to your real life?
Jackie Boston: Unfortunately, my best friend 'faked' a marriage to a man she'd been shacking, living in common law or whatever one would call it. They always went on vacations, so when they went to Las Vegas, no flags went up. I thought they were going to gamble, relax and do some relationship bonding. When she came back, she said that they'd been married. I didn't believe her. It wasn't that I wasn't happy for her or anything. It was just weird that my best friend had gotten married and hadn't mentioned it to me. I relaxed about it when she said they wanted to surprise everybody. For such a special occasion, my man and I would have flown over to Vegas, especially since our men had been best friends since childhood.
Shelia: How long did your friend's charade take place before she told you? Are you the only one she told?
Jackie: A year passed before she actually told me. There were a few times, after fights they'd have, that she eluded to it but never flat out until there was no way out of it. I could tell that what ever it was she wanted to tell me was really serious but she just couldn't find the words or strength to say it. I'd do the 'worse scenario' guessing game but never was this one of my guesses.
Shelia: How did this affect your friendship? Have you been forced to lie to people too?
Jackie: Well, since this was already so devastating that she'd gone through such measures to protect her fabricated marital bliss, I just supported her. I told her I understood. She asked if I was mad about it. An added slap to her devastation is she'd told her father that she'd gotten married and two weeks later, he passed. She felt bad since she'd lied to him. That's when I realized the seriousness of this sticky situation. I realized the effects her lie had on me as well.
I was planning a post-wedding shower, maybe a small reception in our backyard. I started calling and pricing landscapers. Here in Boston, you have to wait until the season is right for that so it never happened, thank God for that. We did purchase expensive champagne and paid for a horse and carriage ride through the city on Valentines Day for them for the occasion and a small wedding gift for the time being though.
I started questioning my own relationship as a result though. My guy and I had been together much longer and were nowhere near marriage. It made me feel like I wasn't good enough or something since one friend had and the other hadn't. This had me really questioning myself. I knew that I was giving my relationship a 100% and felt under appreciated since my man hadn't asked my hand in marriage.
In many ways I'm forced to hold my tongue when discussions of marriage arise around our mutual friends. I listen as she speaks of her 'husband' and all of the wonderful things he does for her. When those mutual friends turn to me and say, "It's your turn next," and she agrees with them, it's a bit uncomfortable, especially when I'm the 'only' one of the group not married, per se.
I cringed and could barely hold my tongue when one day someone from the group made a wise crack insinuating that there must be something 'wrong' with anyone that is still single. Or that married women should not hang out with single friends-like single women are jealous and prey on their 'good husbands.'
Shelia: Did she tell you why she did it?
Jackie: Yes! That was offered right away. She said her man asked her to and assured her that they'd get married at a later date after some personal issues were resolved. All too soon, the arguments started and they were thinking of splitting. I offered my opinions, like friends do. I told her, "At least you're married and won't be coming out with nothing, the way I would if and when my common law relationship ended. You'll probably get to keep the property as well as contents plus proceeds from your business."
This revelation started my own personal hell all over again. It was a reality check for my own situation. I actually left my common law marriage for that and many other reasons. I'm laughing here because I recall saying to her, "My relationship is doomed anyway. I wasn't raised to live with a man like this. I do know better and shouldn't expect it to work because it hadn't been blessed by God, like yours has."
She never said don't leave him if that's what you're basing it on because we're not actually married.
Shelia: Has she discussed with you how she plans on getting out of the situation?
Jackie: Since then, she's left him and certainly with good reason. Her plans are to endure his 'emotional abuse' just to save face. She has stipulations he has to satisfy; the main one is that they actually get married.
She pretends that she is this strong woman that no longer needed/wanted the clutches of marriage. However, behind the scene, she's praying that he will marry her to abolish the lies.
Shelia: What advice would you give others who have lied about relationships just to appease other folks?
Jackie: After experiencing this situation through my friends eyes and a few of my own crumbled relationships, I'd say just be real. Lies will come to light one day; one- way or another. The stress from the conniving is not worth your dignity, sanity and most of all, relationships with friends and relatives. Once discovered, you are labeled as a liar, but now, an insane liar. Self-dignity is well worth preserving.
If there are children involved, get yourself some help. Let your therapist know that you have a problem with pretentiousness. He/she will help guide you through a series of issues that you must have within that need immediate resolution before you destroy your children along with yourself.
Jackie, thank you again. Quite honestly, I was shocked when you first emailed me about your friend's situation. But I've learned one person's fiction is another person's reality.
Jackie's best friend faked a Las Vegas wedding. In My Invisible Husband, the fictional character, Nikki Montana, faked a Las Vegas wedding.
The "Nikki" question this week is How far would you go to please your family and friends?