Thursday, February 01, 2007

The difference with "I do"

I went out the other day with a couple of friends in various stages of "on their way to being married" both were cohabitating, one was engaged to be married in a year. Both of their partners weren't there, so we were free to talk about stuff.

We talked about living with someone else and our various living situations and relationships. How you end up adjusting and making adjustments. The difference between being married and being a single woman in a relationship.

I came to see how far the hubby and I have gone over the past year. The changes we've made to be more "we" and how it was different when we were together but not married.

They talked about the different arguments they have about coordinating schedules and figuring each other's habits. How things about the other still kind of surprised them.

And while the hubby and I are not tied to the hip, I could see how much closer we've gotten in the last year. The friends I was talking to have been with their partners for years and they already live with their partners, but I could still see the levels of disjoin. Hell, I could see levels that I didn't know existed before. While they talked, I could hear, oh they haven't had that fight yet. Oh, they haven't discussed this part yet. Oh, it's going to be fun when they get to here. hehe

I could see too how as the hubby and I go along the choices we will make to either pull apart or make our marriage stronger. I don't really think there's one choice or decision that makes or breaks a marriage. It seems more like a balance or a scale, just make sure you choose the stay together side more often than not.

Just after we got married, people asked, so how does it feel? And I remember saying that "it seems like everything stayed the same and yet everything changed." It's only now that I'm seeing some of the changes and how significant those changes were.

One of the guys at the bowling alley asked me, "how married life was going?" I said it was going "alright." He said, "Alright? It should be better than alright! It should be great, fantastic!" Thinking about it later, being alright sounds fine to me. Weddings are big romantic and dreamy affairs. They are certainly great and fantastic. Marriage is up and down and spurts of great and fantastic. Mostly it's us doing the laundry or chatting about articles in the news or figuring out what to eat for dinner.

I wasn't one of those women who always dreamed of getting married. I wasn't the type that had to have a boyfriend. So I'm not one of those domestic goddess women types who'll say, "I love being married!" I do love the man I married. I go to bed happy that he's sleeping beside me, even though he steals the blanket in the morning, but that's marriage too. And for that I'm a lucky woman.

When I look now at married couples who have been together for years and years, I can see the stitching between them. Even when one of them is alone, the threads are still there. Some couples sew better than others. Some just have had a tattered mess for so long, they just can't untie the knots, others are quite well patched together that the fabric between them is a fine quality.

And while at times I miss some "freedoms" of being single, I do love how in many ways marriage has set me free.

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