Sunday, 31 July 2011

The other Royal wedding

Having recovered from the excitement of the previous Royal Wedding this summer, the Royal Family celebrated another this weekend.  The Queen’s eldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips married Rugby star Mike Tindall. 

I have relatively few unmarried friends and none of their children are old enough to get married.  So it’s only the reporting of these events that has made me think about marriage.  And of course, I can’t help but think back to my own.

To me it was a new beginning.  I’d found the person I wanted to share my life with, have kids with and everything that marriage entails.  We had a great relationship and strong friendship.  But to me personally, the most special thing about that relationship was the sharing of the minutiae of life. 

Forget the sex, the romantic holidays and all the big stuff.  To me, having someone who you can discuss your day with, debate what you’re having for supper, and who remembers to ask whether your boss continued to be a shit today, is what it’s all about.  And that’s the bit I really miss.

Seeing a young couple getting married, knowing that they have so many hopes and dreams for the future, makes me feel sad that my hopes and dreams were not fulfilled.  It also makes me wonder whether I would do it again.

I have very mixed feelings about it. 

Firstly, I feel that marriage is about having kids.  If, like me, you don’t want any more – does it really matter?

Secondly, marriage is about kids.  Yes – that’s not a typo.  As a mother, I have to consider their futures.  I don’t want them to have a tarnished attitude towards marriage.  I want them to know that people can have loving marriages.  There will be situations where people fall out of love and no longer want to be together, but equally, there are others which, with a bit of work from both parties, succeed.  I worry that, without witnessing two people working at a marriage, resolving their problems and being happy, they will grow up thinking you get divorced as soon as things get tough.

And thirdly, marriage is about kids…  again.  I don’t want to be in a situation where men come into and out of my life.  I think it would be damaging for two impressionable young people have to get used to living with a man who’s not their father, develop a relationship with him, and then have to cope with him leaving.

I’m not suggesting that if I re-married it would be a guaranteed success in a way that living with someone couldn’t be.  But I think people think a lot harder about getting married than they do about living with someone.

I may feel differently about this in the future, but for now, I don’t think I’d choose to live with someone I’m not married to.  I have no moral or religious influences in this decision.  I just want to know that the other person is committed enough to make me his wife before I bring someone into my kids daily lives.

It is of course a moot point right now.  After the demise of Tall Dark Handsome Guy, there has been absolutely zero talent on the horizon!  I wouldn’t say I’m desperate, but I am beginning to wonder whether there’s anyone at all out there…

But for now, I wish Zara and her new husband every happiness.  And I hope their dreams for the future do pan out. 

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