My husband tonight said that our marriage is like an arranged marriage, in a lot of ways. I was so relieved to hear him say that because I’ve always felt the same way but thought he would be hurt by it. My husband, he’s kind of a sensitive guy!
But his admission is just one more reminder of how quickly we fell in together.
In Barbara Slate’s graphic novel, Jo marries the first guy her mother approves of, under pressure from her mother to get hitched before she becomes an old maid. Poor Jo. Too bad she didn’t have parents like mine, who urged me to wait before getting married. My father advised that I wait until I was at least 30. I came pretty close. I met Henry when I was 26 and we married when I was 28. We had a whirlwind courtship, a one year engagement and a small, intimate wedding.
Like an arranged marriage, Henry and I didn’t know each very well when we got married, and the early years of our marriage have been devoted to figuring each other out. It’s a really good thing that we like each other so much because I don’t think we could’ve made it this far without that. We were in love from the beginning but that’s different from really loving someone. I think you have to really know someone well in order to love them (or hate them, for that matter!). So, when Henry says he feels like we have an arranged marriage, that’s what he means. We’re getting to know each other still, really and our love has grown not just deeper but wider. I think of it as a tiny ball of light that expands over time, exerting its pressure. It grew little by little during the first 9 months of our marriage, then grew exponentially after Alice was born, despite my being a hormonal mess for the first six months of her life. It grew steadily bigger over the next 13 months, then there was another big growth spurt after Stella was born.
We’ve worked through a lot of angst and communication mishaps in the 4 years we’ve been married and as we approach our fifth anniversary, I finally feel like I really know my husband in the little ways and in the big ways, too. I admit, there were times when I wondered if I’d made a mistake. Not so much in marrying Henry but in marrying him so soon after we met but I’m a believer in fate. If we’re meant to be together, we might as well be married and figure out the rest as we go.