I'm very excited to kick off the What Marriage Means to Me series! I've had so many offers to write for the series that it's looking like it will become a regular Monday feature.
Our first post comes from the wonderful Ashley of It's Fitting. We connected during the recent SITS Girls' Blogging Challenge, and I'm happy to host her here to share with us how her thoughts on marriage changed from when she met her husband to now.
An outdated institution? Perhaps. And while I'm not the most traditional of girls, to me there really wasn't an option...
Honestly, though, if there was ever a person who shouldn't have wanted to get married... it was him. And while his story isn't mine to tell, suffice it to say I was not the first. And the first ended very quickly and very badly. And left him wounded and gun-shy when it came to marriage.
I, however, was ready. I was in my mid 20s and thought that I had found myself. I thought that I knew who I was and what I wanted and was ready to settle down with the right guy. And after years of serial dating and in the most unlikely of places, I found him.
I of course knew the first weekend that we met... but it took him a few more years to come around and when he proposed, I was ecstatic, over the moon at the idea of marrying him, because for me this was the ultimate proof of our love.
I understand now how silly it all was to a girl in her late 20s, starry-eyed at the idea of the white dress and the rings. Of standing in front of our family and friends to commit ourselves to each other... thinking that was the way to prove that we loved one another.
But after the birth of our first child 2 years ago I realized that no ring would ever prove to anyone how much I love this man. How much I love him more and more every day. And how not having a ring wouldn't mean I love him any less.
Marriage to me is a bond, greater than a diamond on my finger. But having it means that every day, I look at my hand and recognize its symbol of eternity, and how I will love him forever.
The traditional girl in me realizes that I would have yearned for a marriage, for a symbol to represent our love, but the realist in me knows that no matter what, I will always love him, with or without the rings.
~~~Ashley is the mom to a 2-year-old heart breaker, and the wife to an even bigger one. When she's not taking care of her kidlet and hubby, she's chasing after 4 chickens and enjoying a (very large) glass of wine. She blogs at It's Fitting, where she talks about her adventures as an urbanite who found her very own Green Acres.