Marriage Year One: Frequently Asked Questions

October 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Just a few days ago my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary of being married.  At this major milestone, it feels like a major accomplishment.  It’s been quite a year, and the infamous, faceless, “they” always say the first year is the hardest.  There are definitely many unexpected feelings that occur during this first year that “they” never seem to get into detail about, but the questions are always the same.  Below is a compilation of the most common questions asked to newlyweds — and real answers!

1. How’s married life?

This question in reality is really just a more personal version of “how are you?”, a greeting of sorts that sometimes leads to small talk.  With this in mind, the correct answer to this question is “good.”  But really this question opens up a can of worms for me.  My typical response is “it’s an adjustment”  because God forbid I just put on that shit eating grin and say “good” and move on with my life.  I have to be real.  It IS an adjustment. I don’t care how long you’ve been together, if you have kids or live together already.  Being married is different.  There is a sense of permanency to it.  You have just made the biggest adult decision of your life up to this point (if you haven’t had kids).  This is something you probably thought about in one way, shape, or form, your whole life, and now that’s it’s here, it’s not what you expected.  It’s not bad, it’s just real.  Reality is a weird thing.  And even stranger, the life you once knew, the one where you made decisions just for you, didn’t plan for the future, didn’t consider someone else; the life where you always wondered who you would end up with, all of that wonder is gone in the blink of an eye.  Ironically, you are used to that wonder that probably turned to loneliness and Celine Dion tunes on more than one occasion, and living without it is just strange.  I guess the grass is always greener.  Don’t get me wrong — I am happily married, but in being truthful, my husband and I are both adjusting, separately and together, to the decision we made.

2. So when are you having kids?

So apparently we are still living in the dark ages where marriage obviously equates to having children.  Why else would you get married if not for procreation?  Because no one I know has had kids “out of wedlock”  (do people still say that?).  The question in and of itself is sort of presumptuous.  What if we just wanted to get married?

The truth is, I don’t know when we are having kid(s), if we are having kids.  There are some things I want to do first, like travel, go to more concerts, buy a kitchen table, maybe get a little further into my grad school program that I just started.  Right now, kids are not my top priority.

3.  But don’t you want to have kids?

Yes, I actually do want to have kids, very much so, but not yet.  I am not ready to give my life so fully to another human being.  I know there is no perfect time to have kids, but I just have some things I want to do first, things I want to get in order.  Also, I have to let me husband warm up to the idea first.  Right now, puppies are looking really cute.

4. Well, you know you aren’t getting any younger…

Ok, so this is not a question, but yes, I realize I have not discovered the major anti-aging capability that will keep my precious eggs from escaping me before I get to plant a seed, but I am only 30.  Once again, this is not the dark ages.  Women are living longer.  I can wait a little bit longer until I am ready.  I am pretty sure I’ll still have some eggs left. If not, science or adoption still exist, to the best of my knowledge.

Well, that’s it.  That’s the most common conversation I’ve had since I got married.  To be fair, I’m sure it’s a common conversation for newlyweds, and for my friends, they expect me to have a plan like I always have.  But this is a new ball game, and I’m in a new position.  I have very little idea as to what is going to come next.  I can try to make some strategic moves, but partly, I need to let life unfold a bit, and for the first time ever, I’m okay with not having a plan fully fleshed out.  So I guess we’ll see what happens next.

Happily Ever After

October 9, 2012 at 7:25 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 4 Comments
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First of all, huge sigh of relief.  I made it!  I succeeded in getting married!  As my last post may have suggested, this was no easy feat for me.  Tons and tons of stress in planning this day, this life, all leading up to this point.  And the truth is, the stress did not end for me until I was just about to walk down the aisle.  I stressed about things that were really important to me for the day, but in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t matter.  I was mad at myself for what I was stressing me out, but it’s because I wanted everything to be perfect, like any bride does.  And it was, but not without drama.

The day before the wedding, my (now) husband got into a car accident.  Nothing major, and it wasn’t his fault, but it was clearly not what we needed.  The day before, we had a few last minute cancellations after we had already paid the venue — at automatic loss of hundreds of dollars.  As much as we thought we might become numb to the situation, we really didn’t.  And what really stressed me out was what every bride worries about — the things you cannot control: the weather.  I was unable to have the outdoor ceremony I had dreamed of, but got a window of time to take photos on the beach, by the water, so I was happy.

I really worried that I was going to get sick on my wedding day.  Most of my friends know that I throw up often usually when I’m drinking, but as I was lining up to walk down the aisle, a sudden sense of calmness came over me, and I think I know what it was.  Finally someone was directing me.  Finally I was not responsible for anything except being a good host and having a good time.  Being told when to walk, what to say, when to say it, was comforting to me after making so many decisions blindly on my own.

And going through the night was surreal.  It was crazy to watch every one of my plans come together nearly exactly how I pictured them.  I did my best to listen to the advice from former brides, to take time to take it all in, and I really did.  I didn’t drink too much and because of it, I remember each choreographed  moment and each surprise moment.  It was not a blur like I had been told.  I know a lot happened that I don’t even know about yet, and I look forward to hearing all of those stories.  But here are the moments I will remember:

I will remember looking into my husband’s eyes during the ceremony as they filled with tears.  I’ll remember the person who I saw most during the ceremony.  I’ll remember hearing the words I had read over and over again on the script.  I will remember taking shots of tequila instead of wine when we did the Jewish blessing.  I will remember the first dance, being introduced as man and wife, my best man and maid of honor’s beautiful speeches, my father’s speech and our dance.  I’ll remember my impromptu solo dance to Tom Petty’s Free Falling.  I’ll remember the most hilariously awful hora I have ever seen in my life.  I’ll remember the blow up penguin being tossed around the dance floor.  I’ll remember the wobble at the end of the night with my bridesmaids and bachelorette crew.  And most of all, I’ll remember the love that I felt in the room as my friends and family celebrated the next step in my life.

There will be more to come as I digest the fact that I’m really married.  But for now, I am off to my honeymoon and, for the first time in the history of Pushing Thirtyy, I will not blog while I travel.  I will miss this space for a couple of weeks, but am looking forward to coming back refreshed with stories from a far away land, and wedding pictures!

Back When I Was Married

September 27, 2012 at 7:30 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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I was having lunch with a colleague of mine recently, an older woman, about the age of my parents.  Her husband recently died suddenly, leaving her a widow.  She is a very positive person as I know her and she was grateful that he went peacefully.  From what I recall, she was back to work pretty quickly.

This happened about a year ago, so I’m unsure of what stage she is in in the grieving process, but something she said struck a chord with me.  I don’t even remember what we were talking about or what she said after this one line — that’s just how much it stuck out to me.  I still haven’t completely digested it yet, but hopefully in writing this I will be able to unpack the idea a bit.

She referred to her husband by saying, “Back when I was married…”  For some reason, perhaps because I am young, I never really thought about the “’til death do us part” part of the vows in any real detail.  It’s a hard idea to digest at this age.  I’ve always thought of this phrase in the light of both of us being old and never thinking we weren’t married even when one of us passed on.  Perhaps it depends on the age that it happens, but it is weird to think about being separated from your life partner by something beyond your control.  Of course, the alternative means of being separated are clearly unsavory, but I just never thought too deeply about separation by natural means.

I hope I never have to think too much about it, but in studying my colleague’s grieving process from afar, it seems that she has gotten comfortable with her new reality.  Though she may refer to herself as being unmarried, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t still love and miss her late husband, but she’s not living in a fantasy world either.  I think it shows great strength and I admire her for being so grounded in a tough reality.  I hope, when the time comes for my husband to be and I to part ways, hopefully we will be very old, but we’ll leave each other knowing that our love lives on.

A little musical complement to this post below.

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