8.06.2009

Thoughts on Marriage

With recent engagement announcements (exciting!), upcoming weddings to attend (also exciting!), and our first anniversary on the horizon (exciting and whoa nelly!), I've been thinking a lot about marriage.

We've been married for nearly 11 months. And after 10 years of unmarried togetherness (including 3 years of co-habitation), what's the difference?

Planning our wedding, getting married surrounded by our loved ones, and embarking on this journey has been for us about renewed and fortified commitment to our relationship-- this thing that is bigger than either of us. There is him, there is me, and there is The Marriage. It doesn't shout about it or take up room on the couch; it's a subtle thing, but it's ever-present. We've always been a strong team and we've worked hard at good communication, but by entering into this larger whole our relationship has grown up a bit. Things have shifted in subtle but important ways.

Marriage sometimes (ok, often) gets a bad rap. Ball-and-chain, giving up your freedom, entering a life of boredom, something like prison, blah blah blah. But I've found just the opposite. Marriage, in the way that we've entered it, is freeing. It has freed us to dream big, to plan concretely, to rise above little things that used to butt in. Being boyfriend-girlfriend, and then fianc├ęs, I thought I was feeling the full joy of Us. But that was just a taste. This marriage has brought me a joyfulness I never felt before. Every morning I wake up and see his head next to mine and I am giddy (even if that head is snoring a bit). On top of the love and happiness we've always felt together, there is a new bliss and excitement and I-can't-believe-I-get-to-be-married-to-you joy in our lives. It's not something we take for granted- the marriage deserves our attention and nurturance and gratitude. Things aren't perfect, no way- that would be creepy. We have arguments and grumpy moments and I take bad moods out on him when I shouldn't (working on it...), but we get through to the other side. Above all of it, the little things and the bigger, is our Marriage, enveloping us and elevating us- as a couple and as individuals.

Yes, for us marriage is different. It is the most important thing I've ever been a part of.

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For some good thoughts on marriage:

Meg's Practical Wedding posts on the topic.
Laura Munson's thought-provoking New York Times article on her own marriage and a love that is strong, patient, and unconditional.
Cate's post on how marriage freed her.
Sara's Successful Relationship series is good as well as this post- It's about the Marriage Not the Wedding.

And on the lighter side, Real Simple's answers to "What is the Secret to a Good Marriage?"

p.s. Best wishes to Meg of A Practical Wedding who gets married on Sunday. Her blog brought sanity to my own wedding planning-- I can't wait to read about her wedding experience!



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photo 1 by flickr user h.koppdelaney
photo 2 by Upstate Photographers

4 comments:

Alexson said...

What a lovely and thoughtful post! Reading things like this and Meg’s site help keep me grounded when surrounded by wedding-craziness. Thanks.

Kahlia said...

This post makes me feel good. And excited for our Marriage to start (even though it's still 11.5 months away)!
Thanks for linking here in your recent comment on A Practical Wedding. Meg's been great so far, and I'm glad to be part of the "APW community"--you guys are great!

Dottie said...

A beautiful post! After five years of marriage, I agree that it has freed me to be myself and go after my career goals in a way I never could have without the support of my husband.

Meg said...

Hey lady, email me. There is a wedding graduate graduate thing going on.