I'm recently engaged, so marriage has been on my mind a lot lately.
Before I was engaged, I looked at other women's hands for rings. There have been many times I've been the only woman at the workshop, class, dinner party, without a ring. I'd wonder what that said about me that I noticed.
I wasn't looking out of jealousy. Maybe there was some longing, but it was mostly curiosity. Who is married and who isn't? Is that the only difference between us as women?
Now that I wear an engagement ring, I still look at other women's hands but in a different way. I think of all the love and planning that went into me having this ring and the sweet story that I have to tell about it. I wonder about the story behind each ring now.
When I got engaged, my best friend, who is a photographer and has worked with many brides, prepared me for the fact that everyone was going to have input about my wedding, and boy was she right! When I was picking out my wedding band, the gal behind the counter gave her opinion of my choices, warning me that I might feel differently once I'm wearing a wedding band.
The funny thing is, I have worn a wedding band before. I've done all of this before. I got married 13 years ago, and while I was a different version of myself back then, it was still me. I know what it feels like to wear that band constantly, to work in it, to get it snagged on things, to tug gloves over it.
My future husband has been married once before as well. Trust me, we know what didn't work for us the first go around!
While it's fun and exciting to be planning a wedding, it's also felt strange at times. I've been divorced for 10 years but a lot of memories and feelings have come swirling to the surface for me recently. I've experienced a whole world of personal growth, emotions and changes in those years. I've learned what I want and need in a partner but also what I don't. I know that what the wedding looks like doesn't reflect what the marriage is going to be like.
The life lesson I've learned about marriage is that it's different for everyone. The only thing that matters is that it's the same for the two people entering into it together. You would think that's a given, but it's not. It's something that should be discussed in great detail. Marriage is about more than loving each other. I didn't realize that the first time around.
Marriage is more than just a piece of paper, but that piece of paper is really important. You can live as a married couple without that piece of paper but it's still not exactly the same as when you have it.
For years after my divorce, I swore I'd never get married again, never ever. I'm glad I don't have to be held to that!
|Image from she knows.com|