J lives on the East Coast.
Why did you decide to get married?
I lived with my partner for mostly 5 years prior to getting married. I just knew we’d be married. I felt it was important to get up in front of my friends and family and declare my love and intention for my partner. A sense of security that ties us together – all the benefits that go into that; sharing of resources, having a family and building a life together.
What did you think marriage would be like?
Honestly, I don’t know. I had fairly good traditional family role models, with a moderate amount of dysfunction built in. My parents are together and seem to genuinely still love each other after 38 years of marriage. I knew it would have its goods and bads, especially knowing my partner as I do!
How do you feel about the word “wife”?
I don’t mind it. I use husband and like to be referred to as “my wife.”
Why did you make the decision you made about your name?
Really – I had a complicated name to spell/pronounce. My married name is MUCH easier to deal with.
Do you think your relationship with your partner has changed since you got married?
No – it has changed since we have had children. Marriage was a non-event compared to that! You have to constantly be thinking of the other person – what they are doing, where they are. But it felt that way before marriage… So I guess the loss of independence in that sense. But there are the benefits of always having your best friend around. As long as you can continue to say that you are golden.
What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been married?
A lot of your negative traits come out and (again especially with my partner) over analyzing my own behavior and motivations for why I behave a certain way or do things a certain way. Then there are the odd geographical linguistic differences and cultural challenges of being in an interfaith relationship.
I’ve also learned the depth of my patience and the shades of love that you learn to live with. There are definitely patterns/roles that you fall into in a traditional boy/girl marriage. I’ve also learned from my relationships with other married woman that the same challenges exist within these relationships at their core.