Buses. You wait ages for them and they all turn up at once.
This blog is becoming like the virtual bus stop… you’ve all been happily ignoring me because I’ve not been on my bus, but now I’m back and hoping to make regular stops here. So, welcome back; hop on board.
What’s the sign on the lollipop? Today our journey takes us to the marriage stop. Yup, you read me right: the marriage stop. No, your eyes aren’t going funny.
Those of you who are super-long-term-GOAS sufferers will know that I’ve been here once already. Naiiveity and hindsight (and, let me not take away from it – fun too) create wonderful lessons learned. However, I’m putting it out there now: L and I are getting married. Next year. Yes, 2015.
The Scottish Parliament passed Equal Marriage laws in early 2014, but various legislations and typical red tape mean that the first marriages won’t happen until early 2015. L and I were big supporters of the equal marriage movement, we followed the England and Wales laws with interest and knew that the Scottish law wouldn’t be far behind (there’s a few tweaks in Scottish law that means that there is greater protection for Trans people). England and Wales’ first same sex marriages (not Civil Partnerships!) happened in March 2014. We’ve been waiting that bit longer up here in Scotland.
We talked about marriage a lot before we decided it was for us. Having both been married / Civil Partnered before, we know the pains and expense that a divorce (/dissolution) can bring. One of us (moi) knows the stigma that society applies when you say you’re Civil Partnered. Until last year those of us loving someone of the same sex weren’t able to say we were married. We all did anyway, but legally, the Civil Partnership status was another rung on the ladder; and an immediate “outing” for those who had to tick that little ‘civil partnership’ box on forms.
When I split up my last relationship, I remember my mother saying “don’t ever get married again”. I don’t think she felt that I was the right person to get married, or to commit. Many people feel that one should only get married once in life; but the sad fact is that marriages aren’t for life any more. People are stronger and more willing to put their hands up and say “we made a mistake”, and that’s what I did at the time.
You might be wondering why I would want to put myself through a marriage again. There are so many reasons this time that I know that marriage is absolutely the right thing for me now. My relationship is the most secure, open, honest and upfront that I have ever known. I know that I can speak my mind without worrying that I will cause upset. I know that whatever happens in my life, I want to be with L. I knew it from very early on, and learning from past feelings, I know that this is so very different, and as a result, so very right.
There is nothing more in my life that I want than to be able to stand beside her, exchange vows and look at my wife. Even typing that makes me extremely excited. I want to celebrate our love.
We have not properly announced this until now, apart from the odd mention on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll be honest and say that whilst we have told the families, we haven’t been met with the most positive responses. I think some feel that it is a throwaway thing that has been decided on a whim. Others aren’t so positive about the idea of marriage in general.
This is where I struggle. This is happy news. No one has died. No one is terminally ill. We aren’t tearing lives apart. We are wanting to commit to each other lawfully. For two people who have already been through this, you’d be hard pushed to argue that we’re doing this lightly. This time around, we both have a lot more to lose. First of all, there’s C to consider: and everything we have done since we have been together has been to create a safe, loving and happy family (and family home!) for her to thrive in. We also have each other to consider: we’re both at a point in our lives now where we have done a lot of our growing up: your twenties are for that. Sadly we didn’t grow up with each other, but we’re lucky in that we found each other when we did, and we have the rest of our lives to spend together.
The odds are stacked against us. The internet is littered with sites with “I told you so” attitudes stating that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first. However, I know a fair few people who’ve been through a divorce and entered a second marriage. They’re still married. Some are way past the years that their first marriages lasted. I think I know less than a handful of people who have divorced a second time, and all of them have done so with regret, rather than vitriol. Most of them have all said the same to me: “my first marriage was done because that’s just what you did next. My second was because I wanted to”. I wholly identify with that and suspect that many second brides and grooms also do.
And, forgive the swearing, but &*Fs it: I *want* to marry her. I want to commit to her and wear a symbol of our love for each other. I’m happy. I want to celebrate that happiness and the contentment that my life is now. I want to be ‘off the market’. I want to tick that ‘married’ box on forms, knowing that it means that I’m married to someone who has changed my life and changed it for the better. I love her, damnit, and I want to make that statement as soon as possible. What’s so wrong with that?