It has been a little more than one year since our official date, the Court House date and not yet a full year since the Ceremony date. I would say that officially, it is not yet a year. This is because while legally, we have been maried for a year, the court house ceremony is so anti-climactic, is so banal that you don’t actually feel married. The act of putting on a wedding, going through it with all the people around you, all the pressure and traditions and customs, that it really does make you feel bonded and that you are trully part of something new, and special and that you are now a unit of two and life will never be the same. So for those thinking about: to just the court or ceremony, I say, do the ceremony, even if it’s just 50 people, do it. If you love eachother, do it.
So back to life as a married couple. I think modern marriage is for the mature, for the couple that knows each other and knows how to communicate. I know that our marriage, would not be what it is if we knew eachother less, if we were less mature and did not know how to talk and listen and work together. Our ability to be frank and respectful allowed us to overcome changing cities of wedding a week before marriage, moving to another continent a couple weeks after the wedding and surviving a difficult year abroad. The low times were brief, the good times have been pretty constant. It is not always easy or natural, but you do see that the less shy you are about your feelings, thoughts and frustration, the easier it is. The most important thing I find is to trust the partner that their response will usually be to find a way to resolve whatever the issue is. Most issues are really mild so long as you discuss them.
There are certain things about marriage I did not foresee. The change between us as a married couple has felt at times less profound but in many ways very clear and deep. We care and worry about each other much more. We are each other’s keepers. Our lives depend on each other, on each other’s health. Even when one of us is lost in a museum, we can no longer just assume, oh we will find each other, we must find each other.
Our families are now each other’s responsibility. When her mother is here, she is my responsibility like my mother is to her. When she travels to US, even without me, it is now important for her to visit my family as it is for me to visit hers. While her family is still hers, and mine is still mine, I now have a say in what happens with her family as her happiness is important to me and mine is to her.
Finances I think are still tricky. It has taken some time to consilidate ours. More than a decade on my own makes it hard for me to shift them together but we did. It takes some time to think about evenness of spending and not to think this is my money and does she contribute equally. It is our contribution by our own collective and current ability and the important part is that we are financially stable, bills are paid and savings are saved.
Fun is important to have by yourself once in a while. But what I noticed is it is far less necessary. I’m perfectly happy staying in with my wife and doing things together. The bond has increased and being together all the time is not as taboo as it is when we are dating. We have to make an effort for our own sake to see other people, to invite other people and to do fun things with others, but strangely we really don’t feel like we need to.
We really are a team. She and I do our best to do things that each one is capable to make the day easier. She often helps me with making food so I don’t have to think about it and we don’t spend money on it, I will try to fix things around the house and do things that are easier or time efficient for me. She understands my constraints and needs and I understand and respect hers and try to help her. The time it takes out of my day to help her is a net win for both of us in the end because we really do end up saving a lot of time and effort for each other if we were on our own. You really start to see that your full potential is in a way, stifled by being on your own. Love is very important, it is paramount, love and appreciation grow for each other, you realize it during times of absense which we had when I had to go abroad for a class and she to see family. But you also see the growth you create in each other and what you enable each other to do through support and just the different situations you put yourselves as a result of marriage.
You really do see it that you are better off together than without and that makes us more complete.
I think that’s all I have for now. I will add more as I think of more things.