W- and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary last Sunday. It’s been a fantastic year! Time to review just how fantastic it was, and how we can make next year even better.
Reasons for getting married (instead of continuing to cohabit):
[X]Build a stronger foundation for long-term plans (including paperwork): Yup, really helps
[X]Reduce social friction from uncertain relationships: Yup, worth it
[X]Bring families together: More grown-up relationships, too
Our day-to-day lives are much like they were before the wedding, but being married has subtly changed things. Long-term planning is easier when you’ve got the commitments and paperwork in place.
It’s great being able to use familiar words that fit into social structures. I like being able to namedrop my husband, and I grin when W- tells a salesperson that he has to discuss things with his wife. J- occasionally refers to me as her stepmom when she’s talking to her friends or writing on her blog. It still takes some getting used to, but it’s handier than saying “my dad’s… umm… girlfriend? partner?” in situations when referring to people by name doesn’t give enough context.
Clear relationships also make it easier to relate to family. I get along better with W-‘s family now, I think. There’s been a shift in how I relate to my family, too – we’re more grown-up and less stressed.
Even though more people are going through life without marrying, it still seems that getting married is acknowledged as one of those growing-up milestones. The simple wedding ring I wear shifts small-talk conversations. People more frequently talk to me about kids than before. Thanks to being part of W- and J-‘s lives, I can relate to the anecdotes people tell of family and teenagers.
Life is great.
Next year promises to be exciting. We’ve developed great household routines like bulk-cooking, we’ve been tweaking our space for better flow and organization, and we’ve been improving our communication practices for an even stronger relationship. With a solid foundation in place, we can step up our game. Looking forward to it!