I‘m getting married today. In fact, just as this is published, I should be just about to say “I do”. And I’m very fortunate to be marrying the most beautiful, loving, caring and amazing woman I’ve ever met.
I’ve taken some time to reflect on this step we’re taking together, to digest just what being married means. There’s a romantic notion instilled in us from our childhood that finding true love and staying together, sharing domestic bliss until death do we part is the end game we should all strive for. Of course, it’s never that simple.
The reality of our society and the pressures it puts on us makes giving each other time ever more complicated and making plans for the future is an exercise in futility wrapped inside a hard coating of frustration. Life is anything but a fairy tale for most people, even if they, like me, are fortunate enough to have found someone who so perfectly matches and complements their foibles and idiosyncrasies. But seriously, what does it all mean? What does it all boil down to?
It’s not true to say that marriage is all for the other person as one Seth Adam Smith suggests. I want something out of it too. I want to wake up next to The Boss every morning, see her messed up hair and hold her whether she senses it or not, for the rest of our lives. I want to have her next to me whispering “I love you” and sharing a kiss before turning the nights out and snoring away the nights forever.
More than that, I want her to see me as the first and last place to run to when something happens, good or bad, to smooth out any potholes we might plunge into in our lives together, so that the life and family we build is our own. I want to remember how merrily we lived before…well, you know. I want her to think that I’ll always be more important than the rest of the world, as I think she is. It’s a lot to ask for, and it assumes that the many dominoes of life fall into a neat and convenient package or there are many ways to bring any deviations back on track.
For all of that to happen, I have to make sure that I am the person who loves and accepts her for who she is. I have to grow, mature and be better so that I become the person who fits into the her vision of what the perfect husband should be. Even if I accomplish this, we have to work hard on our relationship to maintain that level of affection and commitment and we have to share the burden of providing for our family – whenever that becomes a reality – to make sure they have opportunity and happiness just as we do.
It’s no easy task. I don’t know if I’m ready for the responsibility of making sure that The Boss is always happy and satisfied. The larger responsibility of raising a family is even more daunting and scary. I have to be ready for all the challenges that lie ahead of us and even if I’m not, the challenge is to become good enough to exceed her expectations and my own. I’ll fail on some counts, score high on others and muddle through the rest. But I’ll do the best I can to be a good partner and husband, a good father and, more importantly the best person I can be for her. That’s the most important promise I can make in my lifetime. I hope I can live up to it.