The first post I wrote for Clare and Any Other Wedding was a semi-rant about the frequency with which I was asked ‘Does it feel different now that you’re married?!’ I talked about how it wasn’t different, not for us. How we loved each other so very much already that it couldn’t possibly have gotten any better.
A year on from our wedding, 9 months or so after I wrote that piece, I find myself forced to reconsider my impassioned outpourings. Life absolutely is different now. My life, our lives, have changed completely. We have faced health scares, we are battling infertility. There have been fights and wonderful holidays, new lives and new friendships. The girl (woman?) who writes this post is an entirely changed being from the innocent, earnest, doe-eyed newlywed of 12 months ago.
On the less-frequent occasion that we are asked nowadays how our lives have changed, we find ourselves struggling to answer. We are older, physically and emotionally. We have experienced emotions we had no knowledge of until recently, both good and bad. We talk about the future using ‘If’, not ‘When’. We are more cautious in our planning, less cautious in showing our love for one another. We know more. About life, love and each other. About our ability to keep going through the very worst of life when we know that there is worse still to come. We know that we can do this, if we do it together.
Did marriage change my life? I am not as ready and willing to say ‘No’ as I was a year ago. Nor am I confident that it definitely did. I know that my life has changed irrevocably in the last 12 months, but wouldn’t it have been the same even if we hadn’t said ‘I Do’ that muggy afternoon in June? Wouldn’t we be plowing through the same crap (for want of a better expression!) with or without the wedding rings? Who knows?
What I do know is that this first year of marriage has been the very best and worst of my life. There have been times when we’ve laughed until we’ve cried together, times that we’ve spent the entire day in bed only getting up to refresh the teapot. I know that these times have made us who we are. I know that whilst we could have done without the dozens of sleepless nights, countless doctors visits and seemingly endless streams of tears, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.