It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life, and the one I’m proudest of.
Not just the getting married part. Heck, any two adults with the church-and-state approved mix of X and Y chromosomes can do that. What few people will tell you going in: it’s not the wedding – it’s the marriage that matters.
Nine years ago I married the love of my life. Today our relationship is as strong as its ever been, perhaps even stronger. And sometimes I wonder how it is that we managed to build this life together and why it feels so solid. I can think of two things.
First, we picked each other. Neither one of us, at first, met the arbitrary checklists we had in mind for potential mates – she wanted to marry a good Catholic boy and I was hoping to meet someone I could bring back to Florida quickly – but once we put all that aside, we discovered that we shared the fundamental values that we would eventually want to instill in our children. We don’t always agree, but we always respect each other and the little differences don’t matter much.
Second, we don’t consider failure an option. Both sets of our parents are still together after four decades of marriage. It’s not that our parents haven’t struggled at times, but they always chose the path that kept them together. The choices our parents made, we too have made. Even in our wedding, we chose symbols of life-long partnership. Instead of numbering tables, we named them after traditional anniversary gifts. Instead of tossing a bouquet, we gave it to the married couple that had been together the longest. (Uncle Lenny and Aunt Mildred – then at 55 years.) Small things – but over the course of a lifetime, it’s the small choices that decide how the course of your life flows. Dineen and I choose to be together because we cannot imagine doing anything else.
Someday, our children, in relationships of their own, will be able to look to us as an example and understand what it means to choose to share your life – your whole life – with another person. And if we keep doing what we’re doing, then our children will want to do it this way as well.
(Enjoy a few more wedding pictures)
UPDATE: Holy cow, our wedding page is still online!