Dear A – a funny sort of love letter
Surprise

You know that clock that shows the Earth’s age and then blows your mind by reminding you that humans have only been around for like a second? Well, if that clock was for marriages, A and I would be a millisecond.

Which probably goes some way to explaining why I’m not that great at marriage (yet). I’m really not, there are days when I think “man, I did not win at marriage today” or “wow, that was some bad marriage-ing just there”. It normally involves tissues in the washing machine, inadvertent messiness, hangry meltdowns or eating all the Maya Gold chocolate in the house.

I wish this was an exaggeration but it’s really, truly not – willingly splitting the last 4 squares of chocolate (instead of eating it all, which is my gut instinct) is one of my best marriage moves.

I can’t even use the word husband that often, I bottle it and end up saying “my A.” instead.

You are probably going to laugh at me when I tell you that this is a love letter. My thought was, as paper signifies Year One of marriage, I’d be throughly modern and print out a blog post for A. I think I’m proving, right here, just how brilliant I am at this marriage business.

That’s right people, I’ve been grappling with marriage for almost a year now, actually I guess that’s more of a ‘we’ thing (the ‘we’ thing, that’s marriage 101). We’ve been grappling with marriage for almost a year – 28th of May, if anyone’s wondering.

And like I said, I’m not brilliant at it, I’m even slightly embarrassed to celebrate our anniversary. I mean 10, 20, 30 years, that I get, that’s weighty. You’ve got to respect that kind of sticking power. I’ll throw us a ticker-tape parade when we reach a decade. But a year? What business have we to celebrate that? That’s blink and you’ll miss it territory.

Plus, it’s not actually a year, we’ve been together (mostly, anyway) for nearly 7 years! Do those 6 previous years get wiped from our slate? I’m not cool with that, those 6 years were hard won. We learnt some painful lessons in those years, we grew up in those years, we survived those years. I’m damn proud of those years. They were a lot tougher than our first newly wed year, that’s for sure and certain.

Also, I guess I’m new to this, but should I need a special day to celebrate a wedding? I prefer living a marriage. I rejoice daily, or at the very least weekly, when I realise that waking up to A is a rest of my life deal. If he’s away for work, it makes my heart glad, that he is legally contracted to come home to me, eventually. When flying back from a blissful holiday together, though sad, it’s fine really because we fly home together.

I’m hoping I can learn marriage or more importantly partnership by example. We’re surrounded by couples who show us what that truly looks like. We know fellow elopees, the newly engaged, some who have a scant year on us and the seven year itchers. We have role models for whom marriage isn’t their jam; who survive just fine without the paperwork. There are others who have been married for decades.

It is endlessly fascinating to me, watching how these people do it. How they compromise, work through their junk, How they LOVE.

They love in a way that is sure and true and deep. They love despite some things and because of others. They love through the uncertainty, this minefield of a life. They love through morning breath and explosive diarrhoea. They love in a way that makes sharing the chocolate come easily.

And it’s all so bloomin’ different it seems to me; someone’s total deal breaker, is another person’s Tuesday afternoon.

We talk about the uniqueness of snowflakes but it’s this weaving, complex dance, this joining with a some one else, that’s unique – and hopefully less icy.

So do we celebrate the art of love or surviving relatively intact? Can we celebrate halcyon days or not quitting this year? Do we celebrate the memory of the day we decided to be brave? Does what we celebrate change from year to year?

Some people shun it, some people have fought tirelessly for the right to do it. Marriage clearly isn’t for everyone. I’m not even sure it would have been right for me with anybody else. It wouldn’t have stuck. It’s the being married to A that fits. It fits like it doesn’t need celebrating. We are just where we should be.

So for that reason, I want to get good at marriage because all I really know is, for me, being married to A feels better than not being married to him. I want to continue to have the privilege and it is a privilege, of loving him and being loved by him.