My husband and I waited years, and had many life experiences together before getting married. In true HSP introvert style, we finally did it last week, in a field, nearly alone but for a few family members and the beautiful mountains and trees (and cows) around us.
Did we wait years because we didn’t believe in marriage or each other? Absolutely not. We are so very thrilled to be married! In fact, we both feel it is a magic sacred covenant, especially when approached with a few key understandings (watch for them in the next Connection Compass newsletter!)
So why’d we wait?
Priorities: Living together with loving commitment while focusing on raising our three boys and creating a wonderful home, were our priority. We chose to have our baby and build our home first, because the timing was right. All the chaos and beauty of those processes allowed us to learn how to handle the hard stuff, and showed us how strong we were as a couple, before we made it legal.
Stress: With everything else going on (again building our own house, raising three boys, growing our own businesses, dealing with sickness and family issues), it didn't leave a lot of breathing room for anything else. Marriage is another sort of entity to take on, and we had plenty on our plates.
Stress in my marriage ceremony? No thanks. Adding more stress into my highly tuned nervous system? I'll pass. Pressuring anything around this beautiful dream? No thank you! (In fact, we were so committed to a low-stress experience, we put the party off for another year!)
History: The community my parents were part of was so full of marital drama: affairs, divorces, heartbreaks, financial ruin--did I mention affairs and divorces??? It was like a friggin’ soap opera! Truly.
Due to this interesting upbringing I grew up distrusting the institution of marriage and vowing I wouldn't get married. Though obviously that stubborn attitude shifted, and I came around to the idea of marriage early on in my twenties. But I remained cautious and wanted to honor my belief that marriage needs to be taken very seriously and both partners need to be very ready and willing to do the hard work it takes for it to stay loving and strong. (Read more about my love story and history here.)
Fear: Many of my clients have fear around their second marriages failing like their first. Though fear was not a big factor for me in putting off our marriage (I was pretty darn sure this man and I were golden together) I did want to avoid the logistical and financial ick of divorce! I tell you, when I got divorced, it was not fun dealing with the logistics nor the heartache (and my divorce was very peaceful and loving). So getting married again? Maybe facing another divorce someday? I was in no hurry. And waiting helped us be 100% sure we wanted to commit the rest of our lives to each other. We had a healthy sense of caution.
Timing: Because we believe in marriage as a sacred commitment to both each other and ourselves as individuals, we waited until we both felt that the right time had arrived. Not so long that it got forgotten about, but until the right space opened in our lives to hold and enfold it. This summer was that time.
Committed partnership is a truly beautiful thing. It doesn’t have to be marriage. But my experience is that marriage adds an element of sacredness that is unattainable otherwise. We tell each other we will love and support each other no matter what difficulties arise—understanding that plenty will!
Saying those words to him out-loud in front of witnesses was the most generous and love-producing gift I could give. Hearing my man say them to me was the most precious thing I could ask for.
As is the memory of his genuinely joyful face, so full of love for me, as he said those vows. I hold that always like secret treasure in my heart.
What makes marriage special to you? Why do/did you want to get married?Tell us in the comments below.