My husband and I had a small, simple wedding originally but have always planned to renew our vows and have our dream ceremony and reception after five years of marriage. And my mind has been a whirlwind of thoughts lately with our renewal being merely several months away now.
Marriage is “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.” The definition sounds so incredibly simple, but is the concept truly that simple?
Five years ago, I knew I loved the man I married unconditionally, and I knew with every bit of my heart, I wanted to be with him forever. What I didn’t think about during that time was that I wouldn’t actually be married to that man forever.
When you make the commitment to get married, you’re not only marrying the version of your spouse that exists in that special moment you exchange your rings, but you’re also marrying whoever they’re going to evolve into over a vast majority of years.
You’re committing to being by their side throughout every adjustment they’ll ever make whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.
You’re marrying each and every stepping stone it takes them to become who they really are within themselves and your relationship.
A lot can change in five years, even more will change in 35 years, or 65 years, and so on. People, places, things—literally every single aspect of your life could potentially become altered at some point.
I thought my maid of honor at our wedding would be my best friend forever, and I’ve never been so wrong about anything else in my entire life.
My husband is undoubtedly my real other half and best friend forever. He’s always my constant, my no matter what—just as I am his. For better or for worse.
The man he is today has grown so much from the man who proposed to me, and who I am has changed remarkably more than that. And he’s loved me through every second of every search, twist, phase, and turn that my personas have gone through to find the woman I am right now.
And she could still be very similar or completely different in another five years. But that never worries me because I’ll always know that whoever he is will love and support whoever I am—and vice versa.
It’s not necessarily simple. It’s not just “two people as partners.” It’s two, ever-changing people continuing to consciously accept and support each version of each other as partners . . . for better or for worse, no matter what.
That’s the true definition of marriage.