When my husband (SC) first started courting me, he told me he didn’t want to get married or have kids. He waxed poetic about how the world is over-populated as it is and how marriage is just a contract that society forces on you. I’m paraphrasing, but you catch my drift.
I did not engage. Instead of adding my two cents, I just listened. As someone who went most of my twenties and early thirties not wanting to get married, or have kids, I learned that conversation can be a trap. I’m not saying that all men who say they don’t want to get married or have kids secretly do. Those that I encountered secretly did and it caused a weird rift in our relationships. Trust that there was a future and that I’d stick around was shattered by nine simple words. “I don’t want to get married, or have kids.”
To be honest, by the time my husband came around, I was still on the fence about marriage. My previous relationship showed me that marriage could be beneficial, but the thought of being tethered to someone forever not by choice, but rather, due to a piece of paper seemed unnecessary. Over the years I recall saying, I just want someone who I’m happy to wake up next to every day and who is happy to wake up next to me.
Kids, however, have always been 99.9% off of the table. They seem to be a drain on physical, mental, emotional, and monetary resources. Any time I ask my friends with children about the joy of having kids, they get this pained look on their face. They tell me how frustrating and sometimes soul sucking it is. They follow that up with a pained smile and say, but it’s rewarding. The realest of the real will say that they have kids so they have someone to take care of them when they get old. (FYI kids are 65% on the table now, but more about that in a future post.)
Maybe 6 weeks into dating and only one day apart, SC brought up marriage again. By this point, I felt comfortable revealing my uncertainty. I told him that I was engaged when I was in my early twenties, but that was dumb. Dude only proposed because I wanted to get married. After that, and before, really, I never wanted to get married. It seemed unnecessary. However, I also explained that the relationship before SC showed me that marriage is a way to close all exit doors.
I didn’t have to elaborate. Over the course of next couple of days, I received a few drunken proposals from him, which I neither turned down nor accepted. I don’t know what I was waiting for, a sober moment, perhaps, or more time?
Fast forward a couple of days and SC got some devastating news. I spent the evening, into the wee hours of the morning supporting him through the five stages of grief. He yelled, he screamed, he stomped, he cried, he bargained. And I was there as the calm within the storm, an anchor that kept him tethered to reality while making it safe for him to go wherever his emotions took him. He was not okay and I was glad I could be there for him.
It just so happens that the bad news freed him up to take a trip he’d had to cancel for his birthday the following weekend, a trip to Vegas. There was a choice between staying behind for a huge party his friend was throwing or going to Vegas. The decision was up to me. I knew we’d get married if we went to Vegas even though he hadn’t said anything about it. I let it marinate for 24 hours and told him he should book a room for us.
So there was a proposal, down on one knee and everything. I can’t remember everything he said, but it was a showering of flattery, and the words, “I knew from the moment I met you that you’d be my wife.” So we went and got our marriage license and were married just off the strip by a very nice, if somewhat tweaker vibed, reverend and his wife. Technically, we’d only been dating for 7 weeks, and official for 3. We had known each other for 8 months, but we didn’t even start talking for months. I’ll get into that in another post.
We’re married because I talked about marriage being a way to close exit doors and boy can I see the value in it now. Marriage forces you to work with what you got and who you have. This thing is not all unicorns and rainbows. A quick internet search will show you it isn’t for anyone in their first year, no matter how long they knew each other before they got married. We are learning and we are growing and it will be great.
I started this blog for all of the other couples out there who married quickly, whether after meeting in person or online. It doesn’t seem to happen as often these days as it did in our parents’ generation. And the internet really only provides an article or two about a couple that married in a month or so and how it’s either great years later or why it was a bad idea. I want to share the ups and downs with people who can relate to jumping into marriage right away, the reactions from outside parties, and the efforts involved.
If even one person/couple finds this helpful, then I have done my job.