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.

This post is inspired by Getting Married and Other Mistakes by Barbara Slate. This graphic novel offers a raw, yet humorous look at what happens to Jo after a surprise divorce. Join From Left to Write on Thursday, June 28 as we discuss Getting Married and Other Mistakes by Barbara Slate. I received a review copy of the e-book and all opinions are my own. All links are IndieBound affiliate links. This means if you purchase the book using my link, I get a percentage! 

19 thoughts on “Married.”

  1. There would be fewer divorces if all married folks had your attitude about getting to know their spouse. Good job! And welcome to fromlefttowrite!

  2. I agree! My husband and I will be married seven years in the fall and I feel like after this much time, two kids, and another on the way we only learn about each other, love each other, and communicate better as time goes by. I'm more in love with him today than I was the day we were married… because of the life we've built together.

  3. My husband and I dated for 3 years and lived together for a full year of that. We've been married for nearly 12 years now and I still feel like we are learning about each other. Welcome to FL2W!

  4. Congrats on your five years! You are so right. Communication is the key to every marriage. My husband and I celebrate our 10 year in a few weeks and we still have to work on our marriage. But it's totally worth it.

  5. Love that you waited to find your right person. I know so many people who were so desperate to get married that they'd do anything to find SOMEone not the right one. 🙂

  6. I love your description of how love grows when you really get to know someone! My husband and I were way too young to get married when we met, but I've always believed in fate as well. Eight years later, we'd grown up. Now, we're getting ready to celebrate our 13th anniversary (:

  7. Ooh, the person I was dating before I met my husband was a real piece of work! I think my family definitely heaved a sigh of relief when we broke up… 🙂

  8. Sometimes it doesn't take much time to know someone is the right person. Other times it can take years to realize that someone wasn't. But we all change and grow over time and need to continue to get to know each other, even after many years!

  9. Jennifer, I always thought that being an adult meant you were all done growing. I'm glad I was wrong because I think life would be pretty blah. Not only do we need to continue to get to know each other, but we continue to know ourselves better.

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