We have officially registered to become husband and wife. And that will be happening in less than seven weeks. How do I feel about it? The only word I can think of is excited.
However, unprepared also comes a little to mind. What some people don’t realise about marriage, or rather do – and are afraid of it – is how big a commitment it is. And although I say I don’t feel all that prepared, I don’t think I could do any more preperation for the marriage.
That doesn’t mean ordering flowers, finding somewhere to live, filling out forms, getting a wedding dress, booking a honeymoon. That means learning how to commit, communicate, love one another, plan for the future, and deal with the great and the sad times. It means doing what makes each other happy and avoiding what makes each other sad. It means doing a 5 week marriage course, reading multiple books on marriage, and reflecting back over the nearly 3 years of dating.
People have asked me ‘why are you doing a marriage course?’ or ‘why do you need to learn how to be married?‘ or ‘shouldn’t it come naturally?‘. Here is my answer: of course it isn’t going to come naturally. Of course it is going to be a challenge learning how to speak Ali’s love language, and him learning mine, and becoming fluent in speaking it. Of course it’s going to be hard to agree on absolutely everything or compromise. We are not naturally going to always laugh together, be infatuated, want to be together. Love is a choice after the ‘honeymoon phase’ is over. After the intense feelings have calmed down a bit. That isn’t to say they never come back – they do – but in the hard concrete scary moments, that is when we will be glad we learnt how to DO marriage.
What I feel unprepared for is being a wife. I’ve never been a wife before (obviously) and I know I will need to grow up and develop certain roles. That might take years to figure out what I’m good at and what I’m bad at. Can I cook? Am I organised? Will I do the driving? How much of a support can I be? These are all things I need to learn (And Ali as well in becoming a husband.)
My 10 year old cousin was asking me about marriage the other day. Mainly what she is going to look like as a flower girl but she did ask one big question that stuck with me: “What if you get married to someone but then you want to get married to someone else later?” And I told her if that happens, usually people split up. Then she asked me, “What happens if you change your mind about Ali?” And without even thinking about it I said, “I won’t.”
I realised my lack of hesitation later that night and breathed a sigh of relief. I’ve never doubted that Ali is the person I am to spend my life with. And it dawned on me, maybe I am prepared for marriage.
Over the last few months, so many people have told me I’m ‘too young‘ to get married. Honestly, about a dozen. It’s been driving me nuts. The woman who altered my dress, the woman who did my spray tan, and so on… It baffles me that people make 14/15 year olds choose subjects in school that will tie them to a career for the rest of their days when they’re not sure they want to do – but when I am sure of starting a life with a funny, adventurous and supportive man, they question it. I am 20 years old and Ali is 24. I was not forced to do this like choosing my Highers. I had every right to stay single or reject Ali’s proposal or be engaged for 5 years rather than 1. I had every right. So what makes people think I am incapable of such a decision? People are moving in with their partners. What we are doing isn’t much difference excect that we are saying vows to promise one another that we will be faithful, respectful, flexible and loving. That doesn’t sound all too bad. We will still have the same arguments, trials, errors that we would have if we didn’t get married although through that, we wouldn’t have the certainty that we would stay together.
Marriage is really a beautiful and wonderful thing and I don’t think I’m too young to start wonderful and new adventures with my best friend.