The Middle - Marriage?
At some point during the college years I had a brief pregnancy scare. It was a false alarm. However, it did open up several new topics of conversation – a.) having babies and b.) marriage. On the subject of having babies – I'll discuss this more later but the upshot of the conversation at the time was that I had no intention of becoming a mother at that point, or taking time off from my education to bear a baby ...and MrS would have been supportive of any decision I would have made in this regard.
At one point he basically said “If you HAD been pregnant, and if you HAD wanted to keep the baby, and if you HAD wanted me to marry you … then I would have done that, because I love you.” (Just checked with MrS – he concurs that was the general gist of the message.) Which leads us to the general topic of marriage...
Turns out we had very different viewpoints on the whole topic that were very much influenced by what we had seen modeled in our lives.
Since I had never intended to be in a “relationship” in the first place I never considered the possibility of me, myself, being married but had nothing against the concept itself. My parents were not the absolute best model for marriage – they were much better “parents” then they were “spouses” - but it seemed to me, at the time, that since they shared the same focus – raising the 3 of us children – they at least shared a common goal. I did have an even better model of marriage – my maternal grandparents. Married almost 50 years (at that point) they were still obviously very much “in love.” After raising 4 children they still had an almost gravitational attraction for each other – you could almost see an invisible rubber band drawing the two of them together. She washes the dishes – he dries, she cooks the potatoes – he mashes them (it bothers her arthritis), he goes for a motorcycle ride – she has a snack ready for when he gets home, she goes to the grocery store – he fixes the sink while she is gone, at night they sit next to each other holding hands and watching Jeapardy! ...seriously! One day during a girl-to-girl talk (a lot of which had to do with how much about menstruation, sex, and pregnancy no one ever talked about when she was a girl – and how confusing everything was) she disclosed that she still shaved her legs everyday so as to be sexy to Grandpa, who she still thinks is the handsomest boy in the world.
MrS's models had been very different. His parents had gotten divorced when he was about 8 years old. His father was only intermittently involved through his childhood. His mother got re-married when he was 13 or so to someone who tried but didn't have much interest in fatherhood. MrS and his step-dad had a relationship was rocky at times – but never awful (the topic of adoption was superficial addressed at one point – but no-one seemed to have much interest). The longest term relationship that he saw being successful was between his dad and his long-time live-in girlfriend (who also had kids his age from a prior marriage).
So MrS's perspective was basically - ok, if you are going to spend your lives together and love each other you can just DO it and there is no reason why you have to get all married about it with all the societal baggage that being married in our culture entails. My perspective was that getting married was a public announcement of an intention to approach life as a team. If you have come to a place where you are committed to spending your life with someone then that's an amazing thing, why would you not want to celebrate that commitment with all of the people in your life that you care about and who care about you?
As for society – there are some benefits to being married in terms of ease of some financial matters, taxes, acceptance in certain social situations etc. However, just because society states “Marriage means this and this and this” doesn't dictate what our marriage has to be...our marriage, should it happen, would be defined by us.
So, just over four years after meeting for the first time we have “The Wedding of Mr and Mrs S”
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (24+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (5+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic girlfriend and BFF
Lotus: "it's complicated"
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.
My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe