Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marriage

Probably the best thing so far about being engaged is that it has been a catalyst for me to start reading and thinking a lot about marriage. This is kind of obvious, in a way, but also not, because sometimes I worry that people forget completely about marriage until they are actually married, having been distracted by the wedding in the mean time.

And who can blame them? In all the wedding frenzy that exists in our culture about 5% is at all related to the groom and about 1% says anything about actually being married. But somehow before I got engaged I stumbled upon OffbeatBride.com. Which led me, post-engagement, to apracticalwedding.com. Which is awesome.

Marriage is really fascinating. I have been so interested to read about how it changes you to actually stand up and say vows. Before I started to read from people who had been married, I assumed getting married was for fun and family and for a party and to get the legal stuff sorted and to be official, but that the fundamental relationship would be unchanged. And in many ways I still think the relationship will stay the same. But I also think it will be better somehow. It will be more solid and it will run deeper. That's what the people say, anyway. And I actually feel this way about being engaged. We have already had big, serious talks that didn't seem necessary before, and they definitely were not fun but somehow they intensified something. We are building our lives together. It's hard to do that, but also awesome.

The other day I was talking to a new friend (who I have decided is the big sister I never had) about her marriage. And how very very very hard it is. Managing two people's distinct needs and careers and dreams. And it was great to be able to talk about that in an honest way. It is hard, but that doesn't mean the end is nigh or you are with the wrong person or you love each other any less. In my experience, people either say 1 of 2 things about marriage 1) I love my hubby and our life is perfect! or, more commonly 2) Husbands! Ugh! Hahaha. It's time we start being more honest about what it's really like. Though admittedly there should always some sacred space in the relationship.

The point is this: a wedding is 1 day, a marriage is a whole lot of days if you are lucky. And I'm glad that somehow the webosphere has focused my attention on the latter, especially in these first few months. I think it will help me keep perspective once the wedding planning phase kicks into high gear. (By the way, if I DO lose the plot when the planning kicks into high gear, feel free to set me straight. But be nice about it. Methinks weddings stack the deck against you keeping your sanity. K thanks.)

Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't say that this post was inspired in part by the most recent post over at Suburbalicious Living. Which I found through A Practical Wedding. The joy of hyperlinks!!

Also P.S. thanks to my parents for being good at being married and showing me how that works.

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