“This is so frustrating!” Kevin said. “Every time I think about the guest list, I stress out.”
“I know, I’ve practically given up on the centerpieces and the table settings” I said.
It was around midnight and we’re about to dive into a very raw conversation about marriage. Not the best time for serious talks, but it seems to be a habit of our’s since we got together. You just can’t sleep when your mind is vexed.
And we were quite vexed.
“Why does marriage have to be so hard? Why are there fees and legal matters attached to it?” He said.
“I know, it’s retarded.” I said.
And then came this question: “I think marriage should be two people who simply agree to be together, live together and take care of each other. What do you think?”
Hmm, I didn’t know whether to agree or disagree exactly. I do believe that marriage should be simpler and it doesn’t need the complexity of money and taxes and rights to get in the way. However, I do believe in making a commitment to someone that is public, ceremonious, grants you a title and it somehow changes you (hopefully for the better).
Finally, I said that I think marriage is a commitment that you take more seriously because you’ve gone through those motions. And somehow going through those motions changes your perspective and creates this powerful sense of responsibility to one another.
I was kind of worried. “Do you even want to get married?” I asked.
“Of course!” He responded.
Whew. Well, that was a relief. But why was I worried? It signaled to me that maybe, I wanted this more? My mind was now vexed more than ever. But I know my mind better than anyone and I have a habit of jumping to conclusions and assuming things. So I stopped that habitual mental pattern and just said, “Well, we need to be on the same page. So what should we do?”
I felt calm.
And I felt proud that I didn’t get butt hurt. He’s definitely entitled to what he’s feeling. In this time, there will be anger and frustration from both of us. I need to remind myself that Kevin may look at marriage from a different perspective because he went through a separated household. I did not.
And so I realized: It was okay. After all, the rule in our house is to never be afraid to talk to one another. I want Kevin to feel he can always speak the truth even if it stings or hurts. This team that we’ve built is too strong for assumptions or lies.
More importantly, just to be heard and vent is what I think he really needed. It was also a great test for me to be empathetic and patient with his thought process.
Sometimes the first words that come out of your mouth are not necessarily what you truly mean. Stress makes us irrational.
I think the stresses of planning overshadowed our belief in marriage for a moment. And in the moment we were willing to let go of the ceremony, the flowers, the deposits on photographers, etc. and elope at city hall.
A sense of relief came over us.
It was something we really considered from the very beginning anyway.
But alas, we couldn’t pull the trigger. Among the many conversations we had that night, we realized that a wedding is not just for us, it’s also for the family that we’re both marrying into. So we came back down from our own wants and decided that considering our parents was a better decision.
But something had to change. I’d like to enjoy the ride until that day and all the days after. We need a better system of dealing with the planning. That’ll be step one. Off-hand anything we don’t have the slightest interest in.
It’s time to run the planning of this wedding like a business.
Now, you’re talking our language. And with that, we shelved the idea of city hall, only to look back at it longingly.
And that was the story of how we almost eloped.
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