The unmarried married

So I recently posted pictures of the rings Will and I exchanged as we dedicated ourselves to each other. Everyone HAD to know – did you just exchange rings or did you officially get married?

Folks…what is the difference? Is it more important to vow yourselves before God or a state? Is it more important to make a promise, an oath, a forever statement to your heavenly Father and each other, or to the government so they can tax us differently and put us in a different category?

In my past I have done the official state thing. And somehow I got more caught up in the whole “on paper” thing, name changes, official signatures, etc. that I feel like it detracted from what was really important. The heart.

Another thing that has happened with me before is that the moment all the dog and pony show stuff was over…I was left feeling a little empty. Unfulfilled. Like everything was riding on that one big moment and from there forward it was a downhill ride. Guilty as charged. And THAT is NOT how it should be. And the sad thing is that I hear this a lot from many couples.

I have a good friend whose marriage is still going beautifully strong. On her wedding day one of her friends got up and said something like, “I hope today is the day you love each other the least”. That confused my very immature brain at the time because I was still thinking upside down. I was still thinking immaturely about the goal of every little girl…to grow up, meet a prince and get married, married, married. The end.

Folks…that is dangerous thinking. After doing that twice…I am here to say – I finally get the statement that was made at that wedding all those years ago. It resonated in my brain for a long time. And now I finally get it. And I have shifted my goals as well.

My goal in this marriage is to act like I’m not married at all. To act like we are still kids dating, exploring, respecting and loving each other like it was our last day together. Rushing home from work because 9 hours apart was just a little too much. Considering the other’s feelings above our own. Longing looks – just because. And lots and lots of wrestling around, playing and laughing!!!

I hope today is the day I love that man the least. When I look back at our first dates, when I was falling in love and even back to the moment we first said outloud “I love you” – I realize how much MORE I love him now. So years from now – I hope to look back at today and think…wow – I thought I loved him “then”…look at us NOW!

There are a few of you that have achieved this. I can see it. Others see it. You know who you are too. You can feel it when you are set apart like that. Cheers to you for the inspiration and beauty you have made in the world. And not because it is easy. Not because your life is perfect. Not because every day is roses and chocolate. Because you are real, and you really love each other – no matter what – and more every day. You have made a strong and concious decision.

This weekend I said I do. Not, I did. It’s the purest joy I have ever felt. All because my goal on that day and even today – is that at this moment in time I loved my sweetheart less than I will tomorrow and years to come. And when you see us years from now, kissing in public and laughing out loud like college kids, you’ll think…they act like the most unmarried married couple I have ever seen.

5 thoughts on “The unmarried married

  1. Lee,

    Mike and I both learned the same truth long before our first marriages were over. We did not need a civil ceremony to verify that we are married … we didn’t need a piece of paper to say that we are married (it just helps with legal issues such as insurance and etc.) … and to this day, we still feel like we met last week. We have always said that we don’t feel married because we don’t have to “work” at it, if you know what I mean.

    I wish you all the best in your new marriage and what a joyous moment this is! May you love him more next year than you do today. :o)

  2. I sometimes wonder where along the line we became tied to a marriage only being recognised as a marriage when it is signed off on by the ruling government. If you look at the Christian background (and Judaism and Islam because they all claim the same roots), marriage was simply a matter of spending the night together in full view of family. Other cultures were similar I’m sure. There was meaningful ritual, but the political ruler of the day didn’t have to sign off on it to make it official (the couple’s parents, yes…). It seems there is always ritual attached to things that matter, to set them apart and to lend weight. In our time the ritual that’s chosen and the way chosen to demonstrate committment has the potential to be so personal and so meaningful. I think it’s beautiful and it’s rare to put more focus on the intention than on the method. May you have a long, happy and God blessed marriage! -JennF

    • I didn’t in any way mean or want to undermine the idea of ceremonies, pomp and circumstance. I think it’s just up to the individual. If you you can pull all that craziness off AND be doing it all for the right reasons…hats off to you. I wish I could have had it altogether like that. I also don’t want to make anyone think that it’s ok to just make your own rules and especially send that message to young girls. I am not prescribing this to anyone else’s life and I may change my mind at some point as well. This is just where I am right now.

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