8/10/2011

Marriage - What Does it Mean to You?

While Jordan and I are honeymooning in Vegas, I've asked a few of my favorite bloggers to help me out by writing a few guests posts.This is a guest post by eemusings. She lives in New Zealand and blogs about personal finance, career, relationships, food and 20-something life in general at Musings of an Abstract Aucklander.


With Jessie and Jordan off celebrating their newlywed status, I thought I'd take this opportunity to reflect on marriage - such a heavy word - and exactly what it means to me.

Some of you might know that I recently upgraded from de facto to fiancee. (I still haven't quite got used to it and still refer to T as my partner, actually.)

What you mightn't know is this wasn't the first time he proposed. No siree. That came a couple of years ago, when I was in the throes of my final year at university and perilously close to a mini breakdown. There I was, in tears for the umpteenth time, lying in bed in our damp, mouldy converted-garage-room, when he asked me to marry him.

"Are you kidding?" I said. This was not how I had pictured it. I was 20 years old. He was, at the time, unemployed. And quite honestly, I wanted to be proposed to on a happy occasion, with a ring.
I think my reaction wounded him more than he let on, but eventually he gave it a proper shot two years later, and here we are today.

Those engaged among you who've started wedding planning (unlike me) have probably already come up against plenty of barriers. Specifically, I bet you've encountered people judging your choices from day one - even on the pettiest of details. I haven't even set a date, looked at any venues or settled on a guest list, but I've already met with judgement on three apparently controversial points:

Keeping my name
I've always planned on keeping my last name. But more people than I thought reacted to this, well, as if we were living a century ago. Even more surprising, these are women I've known for quite a while and who should have expected me to do so anyway.

A frugal, but not cheap, wedding
Never having been the kind of girl who dreamed about walking down the aisle, I'm much more concerned with saving for travel than my wedding. I'm really not excited by flowers or decorations. This leaves me in the minority. So far, I've pulled a number ($5,000) out of the air, and hope I can achieve all my priorities on that budget. 

Not rushing it
To us, being engaged doesn't mean a rush to the aisle. I don't see it as a catalyst to start dress shopping. It's two people committing to getting married - but not necessarily immediately. In our case, it's more like a couple of years away. Again ... not a popular view; I've actually been asked why we bothered at all.
I feel brides too often get caught up with "the big day" and forget to actually pay any attention to what comes after. 

Marriage. 

To me, it's the precursor to buying a house, starting a family - it's a formal and binding commitment one doesn't enter into lightly. (Not that I judge anybody who follows a different path.) 
 
For me, being married means choosing to choose somebody, every day, for the rest of your life. Choosing not to give up. Choosing to wake up to that person. To be their guiding light when they need one, and know they'll do the same for you. To focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. To accept their flaws and faults. To know you will never walk alone, and accept both the benefits - and drawbacks - of the fact.

What does marriage mean to you personally?

Reactions:

6 comments:

  1. Marriage means so much in so many different ways for so many reasons.. More importantly, once you are together, happy and in love I think you can view marriage however it works for you. Just don't take it lightly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When hubby proposed my first response was "are you serious?". Heh. We were at a pretty stable place, but I didn't expect it just yet.

    I did choose to change my name, but everything else I can completely relate to. Now that it's been 2 years, the marriage part is still so important but the wedding, and the details of it, are not. It was GREAT getting to celebrate with our family and friends. But the details? Not such a big deal. In fact, I had to pull out my wedding album the other day when someone asked me what kinds of flowers I had in my bouquet, as I could only remember the main flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! Marriage can have so many different meanings to many different people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marriage to me means a commitment to making an effort. An effort to put up with each other's idiosyncrasies, to resist all other temptations, and most of all, to work out the hard times instead of bailing. But in the end, that's where it ends to me. I think that's all we can honestly ask the other person, and all that an honest person can promise in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like this post, even though it's a lot different than how my husband and I "think".

    It shows there's not a "one size fits all" thing with married...we didn't "rush", but we had no desire to be engaged for very long (10 months was too long for us), we did have an expensive wedding but we thought of it more as a ceremony for joining our families than something we wanted (we knew damn well what we were getting into even though we had an "expensive" wedding), and I've never liked my maiden name so I had reason to keep it.

    You've gotta figure out what works for you and your husband and not give a crap what anyone else says.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I definitely agree with Laura- one size doesn't fit all. It's all about staying true to what you want/think without being harangued by everyone else.

    My ex proposed out of the blue when I was 20. In retrospect turning him down was probably the best decision I have ever made!

    ReplyDelete

Hi! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a message.

Followers

Links ♥