A lot can happen in nine years. I look at photos of me on that day and I feel like a completely different person.
Here’s how I saw myself:
- lovably nutty. (as opposed to genuinely and frustratingly bonkers: at least at points)
- a natural leader. (aka controlling and selfish)
- tidy and organised. (OCD)
- health-conscious. (eating-disordered)
However much marriage prep you get, it still smacks you round the head. Cosmetic preparation or ‘bridalplasty’ is one increasingly popular option, (including ‘hand lifts’ for those all-important wedding photos). As one exponent argues ‘you’ve got to live with your wedding album for the rest of your life’. What she doesn’t mention is that you’ve also got to cope with an actual person.
They don’t tell you this in ‘Intended For Pleasure’, (although it did have the scariest sex diagrams I have ever seen).
They don’t tell you that one can not only fall Out of Love, but Out of Like.
They don’t tell you that sometimes you listen to your partner making train noises with their cornflakes and don’t feel a surge of overwhelming love.
They don’t tell you that even the best partner won’t ‘complete’ you.
Don’t get me wrong: Marriage is great. I love Glen and I thank God for our relationship. It is a gift and I try not to take him for granted, (work in progress). But marriage is not The Answer; any more than a career or a mortgage or whatever else it is that our lives are missing. For me at the moment, that’s a baby. But as I spend time with parents, I see that they too have struggles. They love their kids and are profoundly, deeply grateful for them. But even children aren’t enough. Like a husband or a job or friends or health – they’re wonderful blessings, but they’re not ‘It’. When we recognise this, we’re free to enjoy such blessings for what they really are. But if we ask them to make us whole, we’ll always be disappointed.