I have always believed in marriage. Perhaps for all the obvious reasons; the pinnacle of commitment, of love and a declaration to the world and to God of your promise to love, honour and cherish your partner. The cleaving of husband to wife, the creation of a family, forsaking all others, committing to love this one person, for as long as you live–or until things break down so irretrievably that you end up in the divorce courts.
It’s been a year since Mr M and I started dating and the inevitable mid to long-term future discussions have started to come up with more regularity. It is clear as day to me that I have met my lobster. The one person who is so well matched to me in so many ways, who is able to engage on emotional, intellectual and physical levels I have never before experienced. Having spent years in an emotional wasteland of a marriage with a partner who was unable to engage on an emotional level, Mr M has truly been a revelation. I will never be able to adequately put into words how deeply satisfying and rewarding this relationship is. All of the friends who knew me then and now have said that it’s been great to see me find someone who is ‘able to keep up’ with me, who is emotionally available, genial, funny and intelligent. Which is not to say that my ex was none of those things, just that Mr M is the epitome of those things.
I credit Mr M in large part with how quickly I have been able to truly move past some of my previous hangups and put down the baggage. I am living the adage: It is not time but love that heals.
I have been afforded the opportunity to bask in the warmth of a love that is honest, respectful and nurturing; indeed it is only when we trust and are trusted, that we feel secure enough to love with abandon. To let go of all desire to control, secure in the knowledge that by relinquishing control we afford love the opportunity to effloresce.
We have all seen those who try to tame, control, cage and trap. In some ways, we have all been that person at one point or another. Unsure of ourselves, insecure in our abilities, we tried to exert control in small or large ways in our own lives and in the lives of others. Oft times not borne out of a desire to subdue so much as a misguided attempt at showing how much we care and that we wanted the best for our partner.
For me, it took a divorce to grow my emotional intelligence. I did not get married to control but I believe I went about some things in the wrong way during my marriage, in my ignorance of what love truly is. However, as painful as it was I would not trade any of it because of who I have become as a result of that loss, the people and love I have gained as a result of the journey I undertook and the relationship I now delight in would not have been possible had I relented and had a baby. Indeed if I am honest with myself, my marriage would have ended regardless of having had a baby. I cannot, nor do I, speak for Gerald but I am sure that given space and time, he would look back and agree. The ultimatum to have a baby or get divorced was his way of trying to exert control. He is now involved with someone else and they have a baby. It seems he has everything he ever wanted, and I am truly happy for him. It is because of the love I had for him that I can admit that. I always wanted him to be happy, it just turns out he is happier without me and that is not the end of the world for me.
It is with all of this in mind that I consider what it is that I want out of a marriage and why it is so seemingly important and I believe that it’s the opportunity to do it over again and do it right with a partner who is as invested in the journey as I am.
I still believe in everything that marriage stands for, that hasn’t changed, but Mr M’s view on marriage is not the same as mine. He too is a product of divorced parents and views marriage more as an archaic institution that makes people lazy in their love. I can’t say I entirely disagree. I also have friends who see marriage as ownership. I’d go as far as to say that they don’t understand marriage in the same way I do but perhaps the converse it true of me, certainly it would be so from their perspective.
And so, it is with my desire to relinquish all control in mind, that I free myself from the need to be married, because it’s not a need at all. I do see myself married one day but if it doesn’t happen I ‘m not going to try and force that situation because it suits me more than it suits Mr M. I am certainly not going to sell the house because the light bulbs are not working.
As Mr M once said to me; A woman cannot change a man because she loves him, he changes himself because he loves her. And our love has changed us both, in many ways, for the better and for us, this is enough.
Thank you for reading!