So far the most annoying question I've gotten has been the perplexing, somewhat presumptuous inquiry of:"How's married life?"
I get it. Since I got hitched, you're all kind of stumped on how to interact with me now that you can't ask about how the wedding planning is coming along. I get that "how's married life?" seems like a natural question to ask a newlywed. But implicit in the question, at least in my mind, is that it's somehow supposed to be radically different from pre-married life.
Reality check: it isn't--at least for us. Sure, it's kind of fun for me to call MT my hubs, and that's new. We also officially combined our finances, which I will probably write a series of blog entries about at some point. But all in all, life is pretty much exactly the same as it was before April 20th except that now we aren't paying for a wedding anymore. Now THAT'S something to celebrate!
While our wedding day was incredibly special, that was not the day that we committed fully to each other. That process happened long ago and was affirmed each time we worked through a conflict without the threat of leaving or stood beside each other when life threw us a curve ball. And that process will continue now that we're married. The wedding day was just that--a day. The real work and internal changes happened well before we married and will continue long after.
The following reading "Union" by Robert Fulghum encapsulates this beautifully and was what was shared right before we said our vows.
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
So when people ask me about married life with expectant eyes and genuine smiles, I don't bitch them out. I just happily say, "It's great, just like our life was before."
*I can't even begin to talk about how invasive it is to ask people about their plans to have a family. You're asking about their sex life, their use of birth control, their fertility issues, their futures. GAH! STOP ASKING PEOPLE THIS QUESTION.