Today Marcia and I have been married for 10 years (120 Monthaversaries in our terms). Next month we’ll have been a couple for 18 years. Yes, that does qualify me as being the luckiest man in the world. It also means that we were together for some eight years before we got married, and no, that wasn’t just because we had a very long ‘engagement’. You see, for most of my life I didn’t believe in marriage…
That’s not to say I had anything against the idea, and if two people wanted to get married I thought it was a great idea – for them. But for me it seemed… unnecessary. As far as I was concerned, as long as two people had made a commitment to each other they didn’t need a third person – either religious or state – telling them it was okay. I’d been in a number of serious relationships over the years, but I’d never been married. Engaged once, at 19, but that didn’t work out. Marcia had been married once before (and raised two fine children), but she and her husband had gone their separate ways.
During those eight years together we celebrated ourselves and each other, we fought, made up, shared in each other’s joys and triumphs, losses and failures, lived together, shared cars and homes and bank accounts and even in the eyes of the federal government we were a couple. Marriage never really occurred to me.
And then, on June 8, 2002, at the end of a bad patch in our relationship Marcia took me for a walk along a favourite bit of trail, got down on one knee, and proposed to me. I had to weigh the pros and cons, give it serious consideration (all of which took about 0.000001 seconds) and said ‘YES’. We were married in the back garden at the home of some close friends on October 26, 2002 – eight years to the day after our first kiss under the spreading arms of a grandmother oak tree (it was she who said to herself, “Enough of this foolishness”, scooped us up in her branches and pushed us toward each other in the first place, but that’s another story.)
We had a small ceremony, surrounded by friends and family, in a garden of flowers and with a backdrop of forest. Marcia and her matron of honour were in bare feet, and my best man and I wore mocassins (see the ‘About Us‘ page for a photograph). A wonderful woman by the name of Rev. Jay Brown officiated, and Marcia’s sons walked her down the ‘aisle’. I must admit, I took one look at Marcia in her dress, with her hair done up with flowers and I was a goner from the start. The rest of the ceremony was a blur to me.
The past ten years have been a whirlwind of magic and mayhem, more joy, more sorrow, wins and losses, but with one important difference. I’m married. How is it different from the eight years that went before? I can’t describe it, but it is. It’s not the ring on my finger (even though, whenever I have to take it off for work, etc. Marcia lovingly replaces it for me). It’s not the paper we have that says ‘Marriage Certificate’. It’s not the continuing commitment we have to each other. It’s indescribable, really, undefinable. But it’s a feeling that’s always there. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We honour and celebrate four Monthaversaries every month – the day we met, the day we became a couple, the day Marcia proposed and the day we were married, but we honour and celebrate ourselves and ‘Us’ every day. It’s something we feed, grow, keep alive within us, and it shows.
I know people get married for a number of different reasons, and some never at all. It’s not for everyone, but it is important to me. Marcia is my best friend, my lover, my partner, my confidante. She’s also my wife, my life and my one true love.
Happy Anniversary, my love!!
Forever and for always,
Maine may be poised to become the first US state to allow gay/lesbian marriage based on popular vote. So far as we’re concerned, finding someone to be happy with can be daunting, but once you find them you should put all of yourself into it. Maine has an ‘unusual’ advocate for this marriage policy; you can see more here: Maine’s Marriage Hero
P.S. II, the sequel
I’ve had this on my computer forever…
TWELVE RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE*
1) Never both be angry at once.
2) Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3) Yield to the wishes of the other as an exercise in self discipline, if you can’t think of a better reason.
4) If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good – choose your mate.
5) If you feel you must criticize, do so lovingly.
6) Never bring up a mistake of the past.
7) Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
8) Never let the day end without saying at least one complimentary thing to your life partner.
9) Never meet without an affectionate greeting.
10) When you’ve made a mistake, talk it out and ask for forgiveness.
11) Remember, it takes two to make an argument. The one who is wrong is the one who will be doing most of the talking.
12) Never go to bed mad.
* Loving relationship between two people.