One of the interesting things about this story is that a traditional view of marriage is not about gender or politics. There’s room for all of us. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
I met my spouse almost fifteen years ago. Well, met is a relative
term. We first met in an IRC channel on f-net. For those of you too
young to know what I’m talking about, this was in the late 90s, the
only “popular” place to chat on-line was AOL. And then there was the
place for the true geeks, those of us who could telnet into chat
My spouse was a friend of my best friend at the time. We lived in
different cities, I in Seattle, he in El Paso. After a couple months
of constant chatting and phone conversations, I flew to El Paso and we
met in person for the first time. Then it was a year of flying back
and forth across the country ending with a cross-country move to
Seattle. Because there was no way in hell I was moving to El Paso.
It took another seven and a half years, but we were finally married.
In a big fancy church wedding, full Catholic Wedding Mass. It was, at
that point, truly the happiest day of my life. And it was perfect.
Even the snafus that every wedding has seemed perfect. I was so
overjoyed to be marrying my best friend and soul mate, I sobbed all
the way up the aisle to meet him. Seriously, the photos of that walk
need to be burned. I looked so horrible. Yet I was so totally
overwhelmed with joy.
We will be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary this June. Two
months after we celebrate our daughter’s fifth birthday. It’s been
fifteen years of incredible highs and terrible lows. Divorce has been
threatened at the lowest points. We’ve been in couples and then
marriage counseling a few times. We always seem to fight for Us. Even
when it’s so shitty we just want to leave. We don’t. We have to fight
I’m “lucky”. My soulmate is a man, and I’m a woman. I’ve always had
the privilege to be able to marry him. I never had to fight anyone for
the right to declare to God and country that he is It. That I will be
with him until our dying days. And honestly, I’m not so sure even
death would be able to separate us. When divorce is threatened around
here, it’s more of a cry of need, of needing more of each other.
Neither of us can imagine ever being with another person. If anything
ever happened to my husband, God forbid, I’m incredibly doubtful I
would ever remarry. Mostly because I don’t think another human being
could measure up to him in my eyes.
But the other reason is that marriage is HARD. I don’t think there is
another human being on the planet I would fight to be with the way he
and I have both fought to stay together. Even at the worst of times,
we’ve known in our souls and confessed in the quiet moments that we
will get through it all.
Marriage is many things. But mostly, it’s something worth fighting for
when you’ve found the right person. I never had to fight for the right
to be married, but I have fought in my own way for others who do not
have this right. When you have found that one person, the one you will
stick with even through the worst of times, the one who can bring pure
joy into your heart, the one who you know you want to be with for the
rest of your life, we should all be able to declare it to God and country and not be forced to defend the state of our soul to those filled with fear and hate.
I am so proud of my State Legislature and our Governor. Making it
possible for couples, just like my husband and me, who love each other
with all their souls, who are willing to fight to be together through
the hard times, who are so filled with joy and peace, to declare to
all what their souls are shouting.
Some think that marriage is just a contract. Just a silly piece of
paper that doesn’t mean anything substantial beyond tax benefits. I’m
not one of those people. Marriage is sacred. It’s sacred because it’s
about our individual soul joining together with another. Souls don’t
have gender. They just are. They are essence. Everyone should have the
right to join their soul with its right and proper mate, regardless of
the body that soul happens to be inhabiting.
I’m thankful that my state finally realized this and I wait, not so
patiently, for the rest of the world to realize it too.
Gwynn Robbins Raimondi
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