Marriage has always scared me — that's the reason why it took me nine years to say yes.
I've always been told to keep the communication lines working well when in a relationship, so when the tough times come we will know how to get through them. But after a year of marriage and nine years of being with the man I love, I find it's easier to love my husband when we're going through a tough time than when life is uneventful or boring.
Marriage has always scared me — that's the reason why it took me nine years to say yes. I could write a list of reasons why I was afraid of this kind of commitment but it was only a few days ago while I was reading one of Madeliene Rose's stories about love that I figured out what the real issue was.
Madeliene Rose writes that as the couple said their vows and kissed, "they both thought the kiss felt like a goodbye kiss." That's when I realized that as I said my vows a year ago, I was saying goodbye to the five personas found in the man I love.
I felt like I was saying goodbye to:
1. The man who chases me
I can never really joke about "maybe seeing him tomorrow" or "if we will still be together to attend our friend's wedding." Sounds trivial, but knowing that he will never chase me as he once did, because he knows that I will always be there, makes me mourn for that flirtatious part of our relationship.
2. The man who wants to know everything about me
Somehow, between messy hair and smudged makeup, rushed mornings and early nights, the last veil of mystery I was holding onto vanished, and now I often feel as if I'm part of the furniture: there to fill the house but not really noticed.
Before marriage, whenever I had something on my mind, my guy would keep pestering me to know everything that was going on with me. But this seems to have gone away over the past year, leaving me to have to say what's on my mind without being asked, which makes me feel more vulnerable and even less enigmatic.
3. The man who wants to do new things with me
Why is it that we stop doing new things with the people we know? New experiences mean excitement and getting to know your partner in a new environment. It kills me that I have to make a case for every new date night idea I come up with, when staying home to watch a movie or going to the usual restaurant is enough for him to spend time with me.
I long for his adventurous persona — the guy who would take me somewhere new just to see how I would react.
4. The man who wants to hang out with the people I love
Getting him to come to family gatherings or meet up with some of my friends has become challenging over the past year. There's nothing extraordinarily bad about my family; the level of dysfunction is equal to most families: they're loud, they can over share and they bring too much food wherever they go.
But these things never seemed to bother him so much, or at least they didn't, before marriage. He would still join me whenever we had a family gathering. But these days, it comes easier for him to say no and want to avoid such situations altogether.
5. The man who has no time for arguing
We fell in love through arguing. We argued about everything; from the stars in the sky to the lid of a container, we defied each other's opinion every time. As our relationship grew stronger, whenever we had a huge argument, he would always want to move past it and not drag it out.
He had no time for arguments and wanted to make up fast. But these days, he has time to drag out any argument we have. Maybe it's because we're living together, so he thinks we have more time. All I know is I don't want to be having week-long arguments with the one I love.
I may have painted a very bleak picture of married life, and honestly, I mourn these five personas often. But with saying goodbye, I have also said hello to the new personas who have come with that first married kiss.
There's the guy who will always come looking for me the minute he arrives home, and the one who's a little sad whenever he has to go abroad for work. There's the guy who's always kind, regardless of how much time we spend together.
And most importantly, he's the one who feels pressured to always take care of me, no matter what.