On the topic of marriage.

I’ve been debating a new mini-series on my blog. On the topic of marriage. For some reason, lately (as in, the last couple of months), I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage (and this recent engagement of the most lovely couple ever continues to spark my thinking!), . Like, a very lot. Sometimes even daily. I wonder when M will propose…and sometimes even *if* he will propose. I wonder why I have such a pull towards it (lately). I wonder why I’m so stuck on it. And I wonder why I *want* to get married, ideally, in the next year.

Why, why, why?

Why does it matter?

For those of you that really know me…you know weddings and all the ‘stuff’ around it is really not my style. So to be thinking this much about marriage and everything just feels so different for me, anyway. Foreign, almost. And when talking to my sister Jess about it this week, she asked me this question:

“Why do you want to get married…why do you want him to propose this year? Does it really matter?”

And honestly, at first, I was stumped. Speechless. Had no idea what my answer was.

I just…do. I feel as though we both clearly know we are meant for each other, we are so perfectly matched in every possible way, without a shadow of a doubt, he is the man I want to be my husband.  And maybe that’s enough of an answer. Maybe it just means I am ready.

And maybe a part of me feels as though we are just slightly incomplete without being married. One of the biggest things I missed about being married was the completeness of it, the safety, the unity of it. And I no longer feel like we are still learning each other, that we are still ‘getting to know’ we each other wants, in each other, in a marriage, as (future) possible parents, in a life…together. I know exactly what he wants. He knows exactly what I want. And it’s the same damn thing. So what’s stopping us from making it happen? 

And a small part of me feels like it is validation…and this is the one that really confuses me. Last night, for some reason, a wave of worry flooded over me. I wondered if perhaps living with me and seeing my ‘true colors’ had started to drive M away. That seeing that I can be moody, that I am uber picky about tidiness and what I eat etc., were driving him away from me, not towards me. After a long conversation, where M assuaged my fears and told me that he loves me more every day just a little bit more than the day prior (swoon…), I felt the connection and validation again. The validation I was searching for. But. Why do I still feel that getting engaged and married is the validation I really need and want? (and do I need it or do I just want it? And does it matter if I want it more than *need* it?)

(can you see how my mind is going in a zillion directions and just won’t settle?!)

So maybe I need to explore my thoughts on marriage. On why I want it. On what it signifies. On what I want out of it. Because I sure as hell didn’t know what I wanted out of it the first time, when I really dig deep and look at it. I just simply didn’t. And the last thing I’d want to do going into another marriage (if/when <–see, there I go again! doubting!), is to go into it not knowing what I want it to look like.

Love like this may come once
Baby it’s fate like a soul mate
He’s your penguin…

And in the end, you’ll have your best friend.

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31 thoughts on “On the topic of marriage.

  1. Great topic for a miniseries!

    I struggle a little with the idea of marriage. My logical mind views it as a legally recognized partnership- like a business. And, in real life, that’s kinda what it is: two people sharing the responsibilities of _________. And then there’s that emotional side of me that wants marriage to be something romantic and blissful- something that, indeed, *validates* a good relationship. And if I dig really deep, I find a part of me that sees marriage as a security thing… something inside whispers, “if you get married, you can feel safe and worry less about things ending.” Oh, yeah… and I almost forgot the part of me that screams, “I need a re-try! The first time was a mistake… give me another chance and I’ll do better!”

    When I sit with all of that and let it swirl in my head, the only thing that’s *real* is the part about marriage being a legally recognized partnership. That’s the only piece that carries weight for anyone beyond myself and my ever-changing emotional landscape. A healthy relationship doesn’t need a license to prove it’s validity. The license makes no promises of what the future might hold. And my pride can nurse itself on a multitude of other accomplishments.

    Whoa… my thoughts are going crazy now. I need to stop typing. Looking forward to the comments and any further posts on the topic.

    1. Hi Tara! I am so glad you are looking forward to this series. I am too, because honestly, it’s something I want to explore and figure out. I guess I can’t even explain why making it ‘official’ via a piece of paper means something to me. I used to fall into the camp of just that – it’s just paper, but after getting divorced, as you may have also experienced, I did feel like marriage was a security thing. And in a sense, it is. And yes, in another sense, i want a re-try! I want to prove that I am capable of a successful marriage. And dammit, I just want it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either. Love your thoughts here too!

  2. I’ve thought about this more since we last talked about it. I think you want to marry M so very much because you realize now that your marriage to Pete wasn’t truly a “marriage” — at least now how you’d define marriage now. And you want “that” definition of marriage – the one you have in your mind’s eye today. If I could guess what that marriage definition includes, it would look something like this: a true partnership; fierce devotion; true admiration for one another…and respect; passion; open communication that leads to new evolutions between the two of you and individually; and a love that you really can’t even describe fully. I think that’s how you might define “marriage” today — and it’s very different than what your marriage looked like before. And that’s why you want to marry M so much. And I love that. (and hopefully I’m “on” with my assessment here, ha!)

    1. It is the partnership aspect, the unity, the respect and loyalty. All of it. Not that it isn’t there if you aren’t married, I just feel as though it is an opportunity to really drive deep into that, and focus on being the best partners to each other that we can be, in every way. Your assessment is very good sis, and thanks for getting me to even be thinking about it in the first place.

  3. Jason and I were together (even owned a condo) for over 5 years before we decided to get married. And honestly, I could still be with him today without being married. Marriage, as you know, doesn’t necessarily make everything complete. It’s a piece of paper. What makes what you guys have complete is each other, your complete and utter love for each other (craziness and all).

    1. I used to fall into this same camp…marriage as a piece of paper. I agree, mostly, but there is an aspect to it that I think means more than ‘just’ the paper, the commitment to each other, it doesn’t feel so easily ‘temporary’ if that makes any sense. And no, marriage doesn’t automatically make things complete…that’s actually a topic in mind for a post in this series 😉 great minds… 😉

  4. Oh i love this post. You completely hit the nail on the head. I was having all of these emotions and didn’t even realize that was what the hell my problem was until he DID propose. There was a sense of just being ready to move on already. Knowing the perfection of what you have and knowing what your future holds you just want to get on with it already. Perhaps just being older too. The need to call that man next to you your husband and not just boyfriend. I totally get you on this.
    I was so damn clueless was the funny part. for some reason I hadn’t given thought to the fact he had to propose. Perhaps Mexico would be a good proposal spot? Just saying:) It’s coming:)

    1. YES! I think I am feeling the very same way. Clearly, we think alike and share many of the same views on this stuff, right now, especially. I just can’t explain it, though I want to, I just need to explore it more, I think. I know it is technically a piece of paper, but after the journey I’ve had, from there to here, it’s what I want. And maybe that’s the biggest realization of all (and Mexico…how romantic would that be hehe)

  5. I commend you for being so honest about this! I think most (if not all?) women have felt like this if they are in a committed long term relationship. I know I had similar feelings in the months leading up to Billy’s proposal – which he managed to pull off as a complete surprise! and I was so thankful for the surprise, and the thought he’d put into it. I have no doubt that you & M will get married, and in the meantime, just embrace his openness and full acceptance of you. that’s such a beautiful thing!

    1. Thank you Dorry! I guess I am just being real about it and honest, partially because I just don’t know what is going on in my head and why I have such a pull towards it, especially as in the past, it was usually the last thing on my mind or not a ‘need’ thing. If that makes sense. We do have a beautiful thing, just the way we are, you are right on that, not to shortchange that in the slightest! 🙂

  6. Before I got married or engaged, really, to Jason, I felt like that too. I had absolutely no interest in the wedding itself (I hated wedding planning) but I felt like he and I needed to be married.

    1. Exactly. I feel the same. And I still don’t care much about weddings and all that goes with it. I just want that unity aspect that I just define marriage as of late.

  7. I kind of hate that the world (including me!!) feels they need to validate their choices in life. Whether it’s to get married, have kids, go back to school, etc etc. It’s YOUR life & you have every right to live it how you WANT Jo. If that means getting married to M — get married!! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. I mean, you’re both adults it’s clear the relationship is something stable, I’m wondering why you aren’t engaged!!! 🙂

    1. That’s such an interesting – and good – perspective. Validation. It does sort of feel that way, in a sense, even though I don’t need to explain my why to anyone but myself (and maybe to M!) on this. I just want to explore why I want marriage, what I want out of it, and what I want success to look like. If M asked me to marry him tomorrow, I would seriously do it. Tomorrow. 😉

  8. I too really appreciate your honesty. Marriage is so…many different conflicting and confusing and wonderful things. Ed and I have been married for 8 years and it’s been on my mind a lot lately too. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on it too.

    1. It is different for everyone, isn’t it? And you are the second person to say my post was honest – so interesting. I guess I wasn’t reading it that way ;-)8 years – congrats!!

  9. I don’t really *know* what to say, other than I think you and M are a beautiful couple. Everything happens for a reason, and I think when that *right time* comes for you to be married, you’ll know it.

    XOXO

  10. Yep, I wrote an entire series on marriage myself. Why… was I ready for it… did I need to do it again… what is it for… I hear you!

    And I think I know why it’s so important to you this time.

    You want a baby.

    *ducks and runs for cover*

    😉

    1. You are SO funny. “ducks and runs for cover” – I’m coming after youuuuu! Just kidding. you are a smart woman, T. Children are on my mind. Not now, but definitely something I’d only want to move ahead with *if* married. There is just something so right about that…too.

  11. Just want to say I enjoy reading your posts. This time however I felt the need to reply. Marriage can be a beautiful thing and to want to share it with a beautiful person is in itself, well…. Beautiful. You do not need to give yourself a reason as to why you want to marry M. He IS your reason. It is as simple as that.

    Marriage, like anything else in life has its ups and downs but remember there would be no ups if downs did not exist.

    Cinderella, if the glass shoe fits then he is the one for you, but only you will know that.

    The reason as to why I wanted to marry my husband goes too deep to even explain. That is the beauty of love. Although people love and are loved they will never experience the love that I do, and I will never experience the love that others do. It is whole and it is intimate and unique and only you know what you have.

    So the glass shoe fits…marriage is not just trying it on and knowing it fits – it is wearing it and wearing it proudly and knowing that it compliments the shoe on the other foot. They complete each other. And together they walk miles -Both uphill and down. Corny, yes, but this is my version.

    1. Wow, thank you SO MUCH for commenting and coming out of lurking! I LOVED your comment and it actually gave me chills to read. You are so right. Only I know why. Only we know why. That is the power behind it, behind our love, and why it fits. Thank you for sharing your story and perspective. beautiful!

  12. I can relate to this a lot, though I feel a little silly since CB and I have only been together 7 months. Living with him is great, but there’s always that little part of me that just wants to move on. Not for the sake of having a big and fun wedding. I want to move on and make it official because I just feel like “why not?” It just seems like we might as well.

    But then I also think about our need to adjust. We moved in and then we got a dog. Maybe there truly is no rush…and we should just settle into being doggy parents together. But the other part of me feels like I want to be official…for the world to truly know he is my partner and we’re doing this thing and we aren’t turning back.

    So I dunno. But I often wonder when he’s gonna ask. I guess it’s kind of a fun thing to look forward to, though!

    1. It’s not silly at all. When you know, you know. I know that I pretty much felt the same way at 7 months (knowing M is the one I want to marry) that I do now, at 1.5 years. Time doesn’t matter, it just deepens and strengthens. It is fun to look forward to too!

  13. I don’t know what the answer for you is, but for me getting married meant telling the world that we are in love with each other so much that we want to commit to each other 100%.
    Plus, then we got to have a kick ass party. 🙂

  14. This is a great topic! I think some of it is societal. What are we used to? What did we see in our family or those in our community? You married your ex, and what you have with M is so much more complete. Maybe you also feel as though you want to blend the institution and comfort that you had before with the intimacy and wholeness that you have now? xoxo

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