I considered marriage to be just a party resulting in a piece of paper ‘formalising’ our existing commitment to each other. There was no religious aspect for me as I’m an atheist so I was never of the opinion that I must get married. This was a view I held up until our wedding day.
Likewise, Mack wasn’t really into marriage. His parent’s marriage had ended in a protracted divorce and his father had then gone on to marry 2 more times. Marriage to Mack seemed fickle and a big white wedding seemed a waste of money. So I never did think he’d propose. And I was ok about that. I felt secure in our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend and didn’t see how marriage would affect it one way or the other. I did fancy the wedding though but agreed that spending a house deposit type figure on one day was insane!
But then…Mack proposed! Mack will have to tell you what changed his mind (and his mind was changed – he wasn’t just leading me on to make the surprise bigger).
But in any event, one normal, boring Thursday at Easter time Mack put on an easter egg hunt for me using kinder eggs (normal adult behaviour in the Mack-Bobal household). And in the last egg was a beautiful diamond ring. When I turned around, Mack was on one knee and he proposed. We were ecstatic! Indeed planning a wedding is so lovely (with a dash of stress thrown in). And within 7 months we had planned a wedding on a budget. Yet I still didn’t consider that marriage would change or enhance our relationship.
Then we got married.
Our day was perfect with the exception that Mack’s grandma wasn’t able to attend in person as she was too ill (we did have a very memorable video chat with her though, where for a few minutes we were talking to her ceiling and then to one massive eye before she’d figured out the camera). We couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was exactly what we wanted and more (cliché I know but it’s a cliché for a reason).
But I wasn’t prepared for how significant it would feel to declare my love for Mack in front of everyone in our world. Making those promises to each other in front of people that mattered made the commitment seem real and important. If we broke those vows we’d be letting them down and ourselves. Hearing those promises from Mack gave me a warm sense of security I didn’t even know was missing.
Merging our worlds like that showed me what I stood to gain from a happy marriage. Not just because there were some excellent examples of successful marriages in the congregation (Mack’s mum’s second marriage, grandparents, aunty and uncles and cousins plus my parents – whilst separated had many happy years marriage and get on amicably to this day) but also because I could see the family I was gaining whom I wanted to keep.
Now, after the high of the wedding, our relationship has changed for the better. Silly quarrels don’t spin out of control as they once would as – what’s the point? No one is ending things so it will have to be resolved in the end so let’s just cut to the chase.
We now take our relationship seriously as we hadn’t done to this extent before (even though we thought we did). It’s a priority to keep our relationship good so we work at it. We now see the bigger picture in a way we couldn’t appreciate pre – wedding. And the happiness we felt on our wedding day acts as a bar that we hold our marriage to. We want to stay that happy.
The first time we referred to each other as ‘my husband’, ‘my wife’ (in our respective wedding toasts) the thrill and pride was indescribable. I still get that thrill now when ticking the ‘married box’ or introducing Mack as my husband.
I’m always proud to say Mack is my husband. I’m proud to say we have a happy marriage (I mean we’re not Ken and Barbie; we do have ups and downs but mostly we get a lot of joy from each other).
Importantly, I’m proud to say that I was wrong about marriage. Marriage is the ultimate declaration and cementation of love. Never mind how big or small your wedding is – you’re telling the world that this person is so special you can’t bear not to be at their side and what’s more you want them to be.
Mack knows all my stories. He’s lived most of them. My family love him like family and I love his family the same way (well except for Mack’s brother who’s a giant pain in the arse… only joking, he’s our only reader so mustn’t piss him off). I want Mack posing next to me in goofy photographs, going green next to me whilst we’re travelling (we get terrible travel sickness) and feeding me milky bar buttons (sod grapes) when I’m ill.
Mack is the most incredible person. And he is all mine (well Mush can lay claim a little). I’ve stuck my flag in him and there it will stay forever.
I’m reminded of this every time he sings
silly songs to our baby daughter, when he kisses me on my forehead or when he places my kindle on the bedside table, turns my light off and tucks me in when I fall asleep reading.
Here on our anniversary, I can say that I’m still a very lucky girl.