66/365: Learning to Be Married
Thursday, 31 July 2008.
I got married in April. If you'd told me 10 years ago that being married was a completely different animal than living with your partner unmarried, I would not have believed you. In fact, I don't think I would have believed you just 6 months ago. I am slowly, fitfully, sometimes reluctantly learning to accept that it's true.
Mind you, I don't mean to diminish cohabitation. I'm a firm believer in it. I think it's almost always the smartest thing you can do when you start thinking, "Yeah, this might be the right person for me." But, in my experience, when you live with a partner, you still maintain a sense of mine and yours, whether it's in regards to money, belongings, families, or anything else. And one of the things I was totally unprepared for was the sudden and surprisingly profound shift to ours. Where is the line drawn? This house is ours. This couch is ours. These cats are ours. These DVDs are ours. But this laptop is mine. And this cellphone is mine. And if I bought a pack of gum, I'm pretty sure it would be mine. This might all sound ridiculous, but really, it's a hard concept to make peace with when you've been on your own, single or partnered, for 39 years prior to getting married.
It's not all difficult, though. There are plenty of wonderful things to get used to. Like the achingly sweet feeling of missing him when he's out of town, and the thrill of welcoming him back; the smell of him on the pillows and blankets, and the smell of his cooking drifting through the house; and most of all, the constant presence of warmth and contact. It's pretty great.
And, of course, all of the above is just one of many reasons our government shouldn't be about the business of denying this wonderful thing to anyone based on the gender of the person they fell in love with. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel this way.