I think this project is entirely about love. In many ways, marriage is the vehicle. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:
I’ve never thought of myself as the marrying type. Let me just get that out there right now. Some of my closest friends have said that my romantic life reads a bit like a horror story and while it would be easier to say it all just happened to me, I know very well I have played the villain and the victim. Because of this I have not been able to imagine allowing anyone to choose to marry themselves to me. Keep your distance; let me be an island. Visit, for sure. I can be a lot of fun. But don’t stay too long.
So it’s been hard for me to find the words for this project. The obvious choice is to talk about whether I want to get married or not, I believe everyone should have the right to do so. That’s completely true, of course. But then, you see. There’s this girl.
And there’s always a “this girl”, right? And yes, she is different, and I am different around her and all of that. But let me tell you our story.
Eight years ago, when I was fresh out of the closest, I met her. I was not ready to find this person that I knew, even then, I wanted. And not just wanted. I mean wanted. From the split ends of my nappy hair to the tip of my toes and everything in between. I thought it was love, but now I know it was a strong connection and a heady desire. Man, what a spark. It was delicious and so was she and it didn’t last long, as these things never do. I was new and she was young, and I had recently come out of what is still the most damaging relationship of my life. I had some healing to do, we both had some growing to do.
So let’s fast forward a couple years. We try again. I’m dealing with death and trauma, she’s dealing with a deep depression. Not how you generally start something, but we reach for each other anyway. We know that, if nothing else, the presence of the other is a great comfort.
So we try. And, yes, we fail. When you’re afraid to be vulnerable, the pain can come out in such ugly ways. Our fights were louder than our love.
Some people might say you should just let it go. If it doesn’t work the first time, it won’t work the second, right? But now, we are on number three.
For the last two years we have been holding on, to each other and whatever we can grab on to. We are not so young anymore, and we understand that sometimes the healing will take a lifetime, and it’s nice to have company while you do it.
It has been so hard sometimes. I have been so scared for so long, and when it finally started to clear, she is the only person I wanted to tell and laugh and celebrate with. Still, sometimes there is fear and it feels like we fight for every inch we gain. But even when it’s hard, there is nothing else I would rather be doing. Even when it’s hard and we fight, now, I can hear the love in our shouting. I can hear us trying. Most of the time it’s easier than breathing. Just existing with her, in this house. Filling it with good food and laughter. With impromptu cocktail parties, and off-key musicals in the shower. We are happy together.
I don’t know if I believe in marriage for myself yet or not. I’ve got some healing to do, but that’s beside the point. But I do believe in connection. It’s what we’re all here for, after all. To seek out others, and share ourselves with them. She and I have sought each other out time and again. We’ve shared ourselves with each other, for better or worse, for eight years. We give and we try and we grow and it’s beautiful and so simple, really, but feels like one of the most revolutionary things I’ve ever done. Love is fucking hardcore, y’all.
This became a lot more about love than about marriage. I have love, and I’m unsure about marriage. I’m taking my time. I’m making sure I’m ready. Chris and I have been fighting for this love for eight years and now the fight’s almost over, and everyday it gets better and better. Who’s to say all this work, all of this that we have put into it is any less valid than any other romance on the planet? I would very much like to have the option, when I am ready, to tie myself to this woman. To publicly give myself to her capable heart that knows mine so well. To share all things with her that exist outside of my heart, as well. We are climbing out of our fears and trusting love, waiting on the rest of the world to do the same.