There was a time, in the not too distant past, where I vowed and declared that I would never re-enter the institution of marriage.
Marriage wasn’t for me. It was an institution designed for the suppression of women, it was out-dated, it was no longer relevant for modern life, it was only for those who wanted to be tied to another by invisible but strong and deadening bonds.
Two years ago today I was tied to another by invisible but strong bonds in the sight of my family and closest friends.
Yes, I became married.
I was asked, around that time, whether I thought marriage would make any difference to a relationship that was non-traditional in one quite clear way (the age difference is very marked) but had never the less already made it past the five year mark.
At the time I wasn’t sure. Michelle seemed to think that being married was different from being together and I wondered if I would feel the same.
Is it different, being married to someone? Have the last two years differed in any significant way from the previous five?
I like, despite thinking that I might feel otherwise, having a ‘husband’ – a person named up as such. It quite possibly has to do with the husband I have, but I do like it.
I like that I can signal to the world (through subtly flashing my wedding ring) that I am married. I like the security and comfort of that.
I also, despite thinking otherwise at other times, liked planning the wedding.
A wedding is something that you do partly for show. The wedding ceremony is just as much for others as it is for the couple – you show your commitment to each other in front of others who are important in your life. You get to ask the 12 year daughter of your best friend from high school if she will present the rings and so be an extra special part of the celebration. That can never be taken away. You get to hear your sister read a poem that has significance and meaning to you. You get to see your mum and dad with tears in their eyes because you look so beautiful and you look around the small gathering and see the faces of your adult children and your grandchildren and your extra special friends and your know that this is something they’re happy to be part of. And then you see your German sister on the laptop, Skyping in from Germany, and you feel thrilled that she can be part of it too. This big commitment, undertaken in a marquee in your own backyard and then celebrated upstairs in a room that looks divine, is significant because it’s shared.
Thinking back on that day, two years ago, I am particularly pleased that I changed my mind about marriage.
I like being married.
I mostly like being married because I’m married to Tim. He lets me be.