Very recently, I got engaged to a wonderful man. The proposal took place at home one evening, just the two of us and what I now believe to be some pretty special lemon cake. I’ve got mad baking skills, it appears! I couldn’t be happier with the way we decided to make a marriage.
Interestingly, I really don’t believe that marriage is a necessity anymore, and I know I’m not alone in that opinion. I am vehemently pro-gay marriage, however, because I believe that everyone should have the same civil rights. I did know, however, that marriage was a ride I wanted to take. Why did I feel so strongly that I wanted to get married? I’ve tried to answer this question over the last few weeks, and I’ve found there is no clear answer for me.
In part, it’s to do with the fact that my parents divorced. Their marriage, until now, has been the most important marriage in my life and as I’m sure you can imagine it was incredibly difficult to deal with, despite being (technically) an adult when their separation occurred.
I’d like to place a happy full stop to that marriage and start a brand new chapter with my own.
As I’ve grown and developed my own adult identity I’ve clarified in my mind the qualities that I really value. Commitment is high up on my list. You can’t have a marriage without commitment, although conversely it’s possible to have commitment without marriage. I’m excited to wake up next to my future husband every day and know that what we have is still there. That the default position is that we love each other and we’re there for each other. That we’ve given permission to one other person to slightly take us for granted. Your spouse is the one person who should be able to take it for granted that you will be there for them. That if times get rough (and they will) that you will be there beside them. That you are partners.
I also want to be a wife. I really want to claim that label for myself! It’s not the only word I’d use to describe myself – I’m pretty sure enthusiastic, passionate, somewhat absent-minded and untidy would also make it onto that list – but being able to say I am someone’s wife will make me feel incredibly proud. I’ll take that responsibility bloody seriously. As much as marriage is a private bond made between a couple, these titles we bestow upon each other are a public declaration of the choice we made. I am in love, and I want to be an archetypal lovebird and sing it out to the world! I am in love! I am a wife!
Marriage is not sacred nor spiritual to me. It’s a precious man-made ritual that doesn’t even necessarily last our whole lives. I’m ok with that, but I’m going to try damn hard anyway. To me, marriage is a living promise, that calls upon me to be truly present in my relationship. My marriage will be a touchstone, a guiding force and loving filter through which I can view the choices I must make in my life.