Friday, 21 May 2021

The prospect of Marriage

I was 24 when I married the boys mum.

It seemed the right thing to do at the time.

We met at school. She was a year below me and I was taking extra AS Level subjects to cover University course requirements.

Eventually, our mutual acquaintance turned to dating and then into a relationship.

5 years later, with a push from my parents, I proposed.

We’d been dating for 5 years and most people thought we were the best choices AND chances for us both to have a serious relationship.

Looking back there were clearly red flags in our relationship.

The family was pushing the engagement. It seemed like it was the “right next step" for us. With my unknown future health my mum didn’t think I’d have more relationships; why would someone settle for a life of caring?

Even when I proposed she didn’t snap a “yes" back. Instead she waited, thought about it for some time and then said yes.

We should have known.

Despite this, the wedding was still meant to be the “big day".

So, as many do, we ended up being caught up with the wedding planning and spending a fortune to do it!

And why not? You only get married once, right?

We got married in a castle, had old fashioned cars to take us there, we had a photographer and a videographer, we had a harpist for walking down the aisle and whilst we were doing photos, we had a wedding breakfast with a minimum of 100 people (at £80 per person) whilst also having a different music group playing whilst we ate.

We had a hog roast, a master of ceremonies, we had a buffet (hog roast) and we had a DJ and Disco (minimum of 120 people) after. This isn’t including the normal flowers, service charges, rings, gifts, cars and table arrangements etc.

Was it nice? Yes!

Was it me and her? No.

This was a wedding for everyone else, not us.

With the wedding over we could carry on.

We both had these lives that were apart but parallel.

What seemed very clear was that we spent so much time on the wedding that we weren’t prepared for the marriage.

Our lives were just apart. 2 different people living 2 different lives whilst occupying a shared space. Someone once said we reminded them of a cat and dog; can live happily enough together but 2 different species.

4 years later, 2 house moves, 2 children, a change in careers and work positions and our relationship was under strain.

In addition and due to this my mental health, particularly my Dependent personality disorder and Emotional instability was playing a major part. However, that’s with hindsight. My personality disorder wasn’t even diagnosed for another 2 years.

With unknown mental health, multiple outside influences putting a strain in our relationship the whole situation then fell apart.

I played MAJOR parts in our separation. Some aspects were deep rooted, unknown and undiagnosed personality disorders. Some were me not putting my wife first, not being present enough mentally or physically and not being united.

So we split. 10 years together, shy of 5 years married and the relationship was over. We had 2 beautiful boys but it was best we were going our separate ways.

That was the best thing that ever happened to me. Which sounds horrible to say, write and read but it’s true.

I became a better father, son, cook and generally a better person because of it.

In that time I did unsuccessfully date other people. Getting the dates wasn’t too difficult. It was keeping them further than date 2 that was difficult. I just never really “clicked” with them.

However, with the small relationships I did have there was one thing I had learnt; I  never wanted to get married again.

What’s the point?

I’ve been there, wasted my money, tried to please everyone but me. I couldn’t see the point of doing it again. I was growing as a person and wanted the relationship not the wedding.

That was until I met Hannah.

Hannah and I had been friends for 3 years via blogging/Twitter.

During March 2017 we both hit a point where we were talking more offline and it was clear we were both interested in each other. Roll on 3 months later to our first date and the rest, as they say, was history.  

We were good. The relationship was good.

I’ve never met or had a connection with anyone like Hannah before. We’re just on the same page and instead of 2 different lives being parallel we instead feel united.

So what about marriage now?

Well despite 2019 being our year from hell there was one thing that stood out. The problem was never “us". We were good.

We had a lot of people say that if we weren’t together then the issue would go away. We even had that conversation ourselves. But why would we throw away something so good when the problem wasn’t us?

It was then that it hit me. If we can survive that and still be good then we can do anything as long as we’re together.

Marriage was again a possibility.

We had the conversation a few times.

I wanted a wedding for the purposes of marriage. One that reflected us as a couple and our shared faith. It should be more about us and the marriage than the wedding itself.

At the time it was an open option.

Until, that was, last Wednesday on our 4th Anniversary that Hannah proposed to me.

So we’re getting married.

The wedding will be in April 2023 but the date will have to be set at a later stage.

For a long time it never seemed to be an option. But then, I hadn’t met Hannah then.

She’s the one who’s changed it all.

So here’s to the next 2 years planning for the start of our marriage.





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