In a previous post , I mentioned never having a fantasy or dream of marriage or kids growing up and that led me to consider all of life’s twists and turns that finally led me to what is now a traditional-flexible marital partnership.
I often would refer to my now husband as something that was more of an arranged marriage. No, we are not of any sort of specified religion, Eastern culture or subculture of America involved with these beliefs or practices. We are regular degular middle class modern citizens of the western world. When I say arranged marriage I refer to what felt like the pressure and the absence of choice in the early stages of our relationship. We met each other on our own by chance on a random young night in our early 20’s and within a few weeks we had our first date, I met his family, he met mine and a few months later we went on our first trip together. 9 months in we were living together and after a year I decided he was not for me and we broke up. My phone was blowing up from his family pressuring me to marry and talking me into it and I was pulled aside by my mother telling me the importance of marriage. All of which caused me to feel as if I was being blind sided and set up.
The one thing I heard from both sides was
“Sometimes you marry a good person first, and later on love grows over time.”
I rebelled. And Without further ado, Here are a few of the ways I knew it was time to get married and how I knew my Husband was indeed “the one” after all. (As he sat patiently, smiling and knowing for the full 8 years of my rebellion).
- “The older I get, the less time I want to spend with the part of the human race that didn’t marry me.” —Robert Brault.
This quote has become one of my all time favorites as it sums up the complete and total end of my rebellion against tradition. It symbolizes my feminist defeat, the end of all of my solo travel dreams and the end of my resistance and trying to prove everyone who loved me wrong.
As I grew older into my rebellion, I got a glimpse of who I would likely become in the future. I was always the quiet child and introverted adult completely content with long stretches of solitude, isolation and little to no human interaction. And although I loved to travel and see the world and have new experiences, this fact never changed. I was quiet and introverted in other cities and countries as well, and there were plenty of days of my traveling journey where I would simply just want to stay home in the hotel, the air bnb the villa and watch tv or swim in the pool. I grew into an adult who thrived in the isolation of pandemic, who limited the amount of people who had access to me. Dating became less of an adventure and more of a waste of time and doing for others became more of a priority.
I grew into a woman who only wanted her family to be okay, taken care of and around her; and when things went good or when things went bad there were only a select few people who were always included and what I noticed was : my husband was always the first person I shared the news with.
2. Evolving from a Selfish spirit to a servants heart.
My twenties were fueled by a selfishness I am so happy I indulged in. I had to get that out of my system once and for all. Selfish with my time, my resources, my life path. For the 6 months prior to getting married to my husband, I lived alone in Dallas, Texas soaking up the southern hospitality, accents and solitude of my all too great studio apartment that offered me the best view of the sunset. My balcony faced the forest and every night my dog and I would sit outside and watch the night creatures come out as the sun began to set to the left of us.
It was during these nights of peace and quiet and freedom that I was able to think with a clear head of my future. I was self employed and financially stable in my own right and had plenty of time to ponder and consider all of the possibilities of the future. It was then and only then that I began to lean into the true desires of my heart to marry and give all I had to someone else. I rediscovered my joy of cooking and baking again as working as a professional chef during my twenties drained me of all passion and appreciation of my craft. I discovered new recipes and created new dishes during all of this down time and every time I made something amazing, my first thought was always of how much my now husband would love it. Especially if I purposely made his favorite things like a sexy Ribeye, mashed potatoes, roasted peppers and broccolini, or his much beloved shredded chicken nachos.
Every single day of these 6 months my husband sent me snail mail love letters without fail detailing his love for me, his desire to marry and love me forever and how much he missed my cooking. He would detail all of the meals of mine he dreamt about the night before and would tell me the first thing he would want me to make for him whenever we were able to see each other again. Little did he know, I already had my own list of things to do for him and places to take him to when we finally saw each other again. His entry to a new career prevented us from seeing each other at all during this period as we were living in two different states at the time and it was a definite blessing to us. We both got to see what we took for granted, gain a new appreciation for our friendship and love for each other and it brought us closer and ultimately tested our dedication to our relationship in this life.
3. Realizing I was already married.
One big thing I had to realize on my own was something he would always tell me here and there over the 8 years of sharing our lives together: We are already married. This is what marriage was.
When he would say this , I would take it as a joke because being married was not something I ever agreed to in the traditional and lawful sense. He would always say he was serious and again I would laugh. But during this time apart and receiving his snail mail and phone calls to check in on me I realized he was right all along. Sure we didn’t sign the papers for 8 years, sure our relationship to each other was not recognized under the law, but we were two people from different walks of life who remained there for each other through the thick and the thin and never abandoned each other. Our friendship was deep and lasting as we watched all of our other friendships fade away. We always had each other. As we grew together and grew as individuals we always had each other. Our devotion to the relationship never ended. We always celebrated together and we always leaned on each other when things were bad.
I had to let go of what the frilly Disney and the movies and tv shows showed marriage to be and pay more attention to the fundamental bare bones of what marriage was: a dedicated and devoted partnership in this life. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer who is there?
We were there.
The 8 years I spent rebelling against what everyone told me to do is not something I regret. I believe my drive for self discovery and not just going along with everyones coercion is what ultimately took all of the “what if’s” out of such a big decision of my life. Marrying that young would have been a disaster and because of where my life was going and my free-spirited nature I would have always felt trapped and likely would have built more of a resentment towards my husband instead of the deep appreciation I feel for him for still being here and loving me. I needed to experience the free life and have the full journey to truly know what was right for me. There was no other way.