**The fourth in my mini-series on marriage. I am exploring why I want it (or trying to), what goes into a successful marriage, and snippets of conversations M and I have had on this very topic**
Marriage is more than ‘just’ a piece of paper.
For those of you that didn’t know me when I was married, for me to say this now and truly believe it…telling.
Because when I got married, I don’t think I truly believed in marriage and what it stands for. I saw it more as a formality, as the next ‘logical’ step in our (then) 7-year relationship. I pish-poshed the rituals of the engagement party, bridal shower, the whole nine yards wedding. I got married with none of my family or friends nearby. When we said our vows overlooking the waters of Kauai, I distinctly remember thinking ‘I should be more emotional. I should be crying. Or something. This should feel different. And powerful. And ‘us.’ But instead? It felt lonely (as I’ve said before). And it did feel like ‘just’ a piece of paper afterwards. We were happy, but we weren’t any *more* happy because we were married (not that I think that it’s like a light switch, suddenly your now-marriage is perfect puppies and rainbows, but there is something to be said for the ‘honeymoon period’ for a reason, right?!).
As these words flow from my fingertips…I am actually surprised at what I’m revealing. And the revelations I am uncovering through this post and this series, overall. I think my disbelief in marriage and what it stands for was one of several underlying reasons why our marriage ultimately failed. Because my ex-husband had this very same view…marriage is ‘just’ a piece of paper.
But now? I think in order for marriage to succeed, both have to believe that there is a reason to get married. That it’s not just a ‘logical’ step. That we want to publicly commit to each other (hopefully) for a lifetime. And put in the commitment necessary to make it succeed. Now, I am not saying that I suddenly ‘believe’ in the big white puffy dress fairy tale that so many do as they grow up, but I do know this: if/when M and I marry, we will be surrounded by our close family. Where/when/how/what is still up for debate, but making this commitment with our families there is important to me. For the very first time.
Because, it’s not just a piece of paper anymore. It’s purposeful. It is filled with intent. And it is a commitment I am ready to make. When the time comes.
For now, this is the end of my ‘on marriage’ series, though there may be more of these down the road…ya know, when the time comes (wink). Writing this series has been an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. Because with each topic that comes to mind, I actually have had no idea what I was going to write, until I wrote it. Free-flowing. Stream of conscious. I urge you…if there is something you are trying to work through, like me, and my thoughts on marriage and what I want it to look like, write it out. It truly makes it all come together.