how did you know your wife was the one to marry? can one be 100% sure to spend the rest of your life with that one person?
First, thanks for the Formspring love! Second, I think this question is also sort of asking whether there’s just one person for everyone, or “the one”. How did I know my wife was the one to marry? Well, I’m not sure that she is the one, and I suppose that’s something of a controversial statement.
We talked about this a little bit at the APW Meetup a couple of weeks ago. But how do you know that the person you’re marrying is the right person?
The thing that Turtle and I talked about is that we were the right people for each other right now. Of course, the right person for the right time, in theory, changes over time; the person who is right for me at 25 may not be the person who is right for me at 50. But the idea is that, by marrying, we are committing to work to be that person for each other. We are both going to change (“the only constant is change” blah blah blah), but the idea is that we are going to try to do it in a way where we continue to fit with each other.
One person at the meetup asked how other people knew they were ready to marry their person, and one of the first things that came to my mind is The Hard Stuff. It was getting through all the hard parts that made me sure that Turtle is the one I want to do all of it with for a really long time. Of course the fun parts are fun – the fun parts can be fun with a lot of different people. You don’t have to have a huge connection to have a good time with each other. But living through months and months of (involuntary) unemployment, dealing with deep depression, and getting through all of the smaller bumps along the way made us feel better about each other, stronger together. She’s the person I want to lean on through all of the rough spots.
It’s not just the big things, though; it’s also the little ones, the “Why didn’t you put the dishes in the sink like you said you would” arguments. With these, we’ve learned (and, I think, are always learning) to be gentle and to remember that we are always on the same team. We’ve committed to letting these things go when it’s time, and not letting them fester.
Before we decided to get married, we also committed, verbally and explicitly, to go to counseling together when things get hard. As Mouse said, “You wouldn’t go into an exam without a pencil, would you? Or into a jungle without bug spray? Or into space without a bubble helmet? No. So why would you go into a marriage without a therapist? I think therapy is how I become my best self, and that process is incredibly important to all of my relationships, and most especially my marriage.” I don’t know how to say it better.
What are your thoughts on this question?
*thanks for the title inspiration, Mouse.