So… today we met with our attorney to go over our wills & add in our new baby boy – something I recommend people do every year in January (being a semi-type A personality), its just great to make sure it’s all correct & updated, that no one has gone crazy in your family (to where you’d want to take them off your will or as the guardian of your children should something happen to your and your spouse)…. Just in general, it’s a good thing to make a yearly tradition of (and sobering – you just. never. know.).
Our attorney is a wonderful man… on the outside, he looks like he’s your average, everyday middle-aged, American male. He’s the product of American traditionalism and good moral values – married for 32 years, 3 teenage kids that are actually doing great, 1 wife in his lifetime (never divorced), happily married to her (so rare for this age range of baby-boomers), from a small country town, was married at 17 (his wife was only 16)… and funny as hell once you get to know him better!
He walked us through our wills again as we had to initial and sign all the necessary papers – little did I know he was taking stock of our marriage right then and there. Towards the end of our hour & a half meeting with him, he asked how long we’d been married, we told him 8 years this coming August! He was impressed and told us that we’ve made it past the 7-year itch. He could tell by the way we interacted with each other that we truly enjoyed each other’s company, and genuinely loved being married to each other.
I guess i’ve taken it for granted that people just look at us, see that we look insanely young (much younger than we actually are), and make fast judgments on the how or the why we got married. Now that we’re closing in on 8 years of marriage, I suppose its getting pretty obvious to others that we aren’t just together for frivolous reasons.
When we got engaged, I was only 20 years old – a baby, and my husband was 22! No one took us seriously, even so-called friends didn’t really think that we’d actually last or that it made sense that we loved each other. People criticized our timing, our relationship itself, and even the engagement ring my husband bought.
Our parents reacted even harsher, mine completely kicked me out when they found out I was secretly engaged, they missed our wedding! His parents begrudgingly paid for the wedding (which against our wishes, was big and costly – where we told them we were fine with a very small, understated one). His father, the entire time, reminded us we were going to have to pay him back – every penny for it.
It was very clear, everyone seemed to resent it, and quite a few speculated that I was just pregnant – his aunt (the one who demanded we get rid of our cats), right out accused me of tricking him into marrying me just so that we could have sex (she later explained in an email to him she knew it was because I was so slutty that I couldn’t wait). His family (extended family) preferred for us to have lived together, with his grandma actually calling and telling him that she would be fine with that.
Obviously, we weren’t fine with that – it went against everything in our faith to cohabitate before marriage. Yes, you could argue that we could somehow stay “pure,” but the temptation while pretending to be a married couple, without the holy, sacramental commitment would be tremendous.
In hindsight, I’m really very grateful we didn’t let any of their opinions influence our decision to not marry each other, or to just cohabitate for a few years (bearing enormous amounts of unnecessary guilt that God never intended for us to feel), instead of marrying so young. I’m so thankful we didn’t give in to the immense pressure from family to do something that would’ve possibly ruined what God had for us.
Now, things have smoothed and worked themselves out, my parents adore my husband – they love how he is such an amazing, good, hard-working, smart man. My dad loves him… my mom loves him – and it is so beautiful being able to write that in this post today.
I guess I’m just silly, but it felt so incredibly good to feel like someone looked at us, and could actually see us. That they could see that we have a good marriage – someone who was bold enough to confirm verbally that we did the right thing. After facing so much judgment and criticism, it’s wonderful to feel that kind of acceptance. That someone out there doesn’t think of you as a screw-up… that they actually admire (and acknowledge) what you’ve worked so very hard to create.
I’m sentimental tonight, but this just truly touched my heart. We never know how our acceptance and love of other people will affect them. And this man’s love and acceptance definitely affected me.
My husband has always joked that our song is this one below, take a listen, and you’ll understand 😉