Apparently Mark and I are causing outbursts of nuptials in the wider circles of relatives. My cousin in Brighton is tying the knot with her girlfriend next year, and one of Mark’s second cousins is marrying his girlfriend. Both of them are in the twenties, so it’s not so early as with Mark and me, but both say that since we were going to do it, they’ve been thinking about it.
Our marriage is just over three months away now, and I feel more and more like he already is my husband. Does the ceremony actually matter that much? It’s just a thing we do for relatives, and for the law, and maybe to confirm the commitment that we already have for each other.
I knew a year ago, more, that I wanted this, and I have not wavered. I who doubt everything about myself at one point or other have never doubted this. Does that make me lucky? Does that make me foolish? Am I setting myself up for grief in the future? Those questions are irrelevant. Neither of us have bought into the mythology of marriage that is so rampant.
That means that I have never really thought about anything lasting for life, and I can’t say what will happen in ten years time, or twenty. I can’t imagine things that far ahead. I barely know what I’m going to do in two years. Unlike before I do not have this fixture of a goal in my head that I relate everything I do to.
That is sort of relaxing and a liberation, but it certainly leaves a void that I pick at like a scab at times as I try to understand what it is that I actually want in the future. But in whatever near future I have considered, I have always known Mark would be in it. About the far future, I just make no plans at all, and while it’s difficult to imagine not having Mark there, it’s also possible that he won’t be. Only in soppy romance novels does marriages last for a lifetime.
But that doesn’t change the absolute conviction that it is the right thing to do now. And who knows, what we feel might actually last years, decades, a whole life. The statistics say that over fifty per cent of marriages end in divorce. But the corollary to that is that nearly fifty per cent doesn’t.
Whenever we go out, like yesterday, it feels like we go out as husband and husband. Hell, we even joke about it, and the jokes feel natural. “I have to wait for the better half” or “I have to ask the husband first” or “I guess we are domesticated now”. Such things.
Oh yesterday was wonderful. Stephen held a party, but there weren’t so many people this time, and we had a great time. Both of us drank a little too much, and we came home a little too late, and we woke up a little too late. When I did my run, I did five miles with a slight hang-over which wasn’t too fun.
But then I came home, and he was sitting on the steps to the front door, and he was drinking a fizzy drink with one of his mates from school, and I knew why this is so right. He is beautiful, and I feel a stronger connection to him than I’ve ever felt with anyone in my life, and I want to make that commitment to him.