Yes, marriage. It’s not something I recommend lightly.
[Gasp] Oh my, how dare a newly-married woman say such a thing!
It’s odd because pre and post wedding single people seemed to be the most excited about said event. It’s not that it wasn’t – I married the love of my life… and I’m way too early into the adventure to even really know the depth of what that actually means yet and the brilliance of what we committed to on that exciting day. But it’s not a fairy tale, and I’m tired of feeling like the honesty of real marriage is going to burst some idolised bubble of single dreamers. I may have found my prince but I am no Disney princess.
The first few months of married life were littered with excited people – who I didn’t really know with any depth – asking me how married life was. Personally I think it’s quite a personal question, but that’s not relevant. I felt like there was a set answer which was the only acceptable answer: “It’s brilliant.” When people who genuinely asked me got an answer a little more like: “Honeymoon hadn’t even finished before I realised I actually was self-centred and selfish when it comes to love.” Or “I panicked internally when I got scared that maybe I didn’t really love him sub-consciously because in the middle of the night I didn’t want to snuggle anymore.” My fears and insecurities are still here. Yes, love is healing a lot of them but there is no quick solution.
Marriage doesn’t make perfect. This is not a Disney story, it’s a God story. You know the pick-up-your cross type. The only difference is I have promised in covenant to do that with my husband…no getting out of it now. And actually in real friendship and real relational community we can celebrate singleness and marriage as equal blessings. What a sad world we live in that we feel the need to have a spouse to make sure we’re not alone. The real beauty of my life is the friends that do life with us are the greatest blessing!
The only thing I would go back and change (pre-wedding) is I would have treasured singleness more tightly. It has a freedom that marriage doesn’t. Staying married takes up a lot of time and energy, especially emotional energy. I would have adventured more, spent less time worrying about guys, spent more time with my friends, valued myself more and spent a whole lot less time waiting to join some guy’s adventure.
Marriage is wonderful. Singleness is wonderful. And if it isn’t, why not?