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The glorification of marriage is the refuge of the insecure. After 2 years of socio-legal sanction, I am no more or less his than when we first committed to each other, voicing our shared desire to build a life together. The world views me now as more important, the fulfiller of a position and a role, but may I never make the mistake of viewing myself as others see me.
Seek instead, partnership. Independent of labels, a bond that values the person and not the institution within which millions are housed, regardless of the wildly varying degrees of affection and disaffection for each other. Value not your pedestal of “wife”, for signing on a dotted line didn’t grant you instant superpowers or transform you into a paragon of virtue. Your relationship is only as worthy as your closeness. Or else there would be no divorce. There would be no lonely marriages. Others wouldn’t slide in to spread warmth in the hollows you carry within you.
Get neither outraged nor uppity for being a piece of the puzzle. The world only needs you to fit. Let it not dictate the minuet within the mating dance of your marriage. Fight for that fiercely. Let it be yours alone. Unearth subsets of fresher relationships between you. Hiking buddy. Fellow foodie. Aggravator with prescient powers. Partner in crime.
Tell him your home is cleaner when he travels. But also honestly acknowledge that he is your heart. Marvel at how he slid into your mindspace; and how his nose finds the perfect parking spot in the chubbiness of your cheek. Laugh at your failures as a team. Accept you won’t be perfect. What do you plan to do for the next many years if you have nothing to mend?
Call him your roommate. Your boyfriend. Breakfast chef with benefits. But for the love of god or glitter, (if you’re atheist), spare him the relegation to the “husband” tag. That ugly black tarpaulin of a descriptor, covering all manner of bonds and equations, a pre-outlined sexist title of maleness that does a disservice to the thousands of same-sex relationships with mighty ties and loose social definitions.
If I am as radical as this, why did I bother with marriage, you might ask. And to this question, I will only smile and say not all that we do is for ourselves. I may be one among its many members, but far be it for marriage to define me, or read aloud its Manual of Acceptable Wifely Behavior while I obediently nod. I’m happy to play the game, but the rules, my friends, are his and mine alone. Within our little plot of sixty-four squares, the only person I check in with is my mate.
Dilnavaz Bamboat manages communications and social media for a Silicon Valley non-profit. She is
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