Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Commitment?

Today is October 31st. Lots of people believe today is the best day to dress up in funny clothes, confront their fears, and have a lot of fun doing it.

Here in Australia, it’s the middle of Spring. The days are long and lovely, the sun is shining, and it’s hard to imagine ghosts or goblins hiding behind the garden beds in flower. But that doesn’t mean we can’t share in the fun.

Eight years ago today, I dressed up in my own once-in-a-lifetime costume, and did the scariest thing I could think of.

I got married.

Today is our 8th Wedding Anniversary. It’s the 12th Anniversary of us making the choice to move from friends to lovers, and the 13th Anniversary (give or take a few weeks) of our meeting and falling into a deep and immediate friendship. It’s a special day. Not just because it’s another anniversary — more proof that we’re getting older and (hopefully) wiser — but because the last couple of years has been really hard work.

About eighteen months ago, not long after Little Brother was born and while I was struggling emotionally with the reality of having two children in the house, my husband was diagnosed with depression. In some ways, it made things easier. He began treatment and we could both finally understand why everything had been so difficult for what seemed like forever. But in other ways, it made things more difficult. It made things real.

Emotions flew back and forth like petals in a hurricane. Love. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. The occasional moment of intense dislike and regret.

There have been good times. There have been bad times. But, most of all, there have been times. Because no matter how hard it’s been on both of us, no matter how much we’ve struggled, we’ve always remembered the love that we felt on that day eight years ago, and we’ve fought and struggled to find those feelings within ourselves. No matter how many times we’ve each thought about walking out, calling it quits, or deciding that this marriage thing is all too freaking hard, we haven’t done it. We remembered the friendship that came before and after the love, and we remembered the many, many reasons we decided to tie our fates together for eternity.

Eight years ago, at 9:00am on the 31st of October 2004, our lives were entwined during a handfasting ceremony on the top of the mountain. Harp music played while the celebrant called to the earth, water, wind and fire to bless our union. Our hands were fastened with rope of braided white and gold to ensure our lasting love and friendship. Vows were said, rings were exchanged, and toasts were made.

And now, after all the trials and tribulations of the last two years, we’ve refound the solid love and friendship that was always lurking under the surface of our harried, hurried, stress-filled lives. For the first time in a long, long while I look at my husband and I breathe a sigh of happiness and thank the Gods we found each other.

And so, to my husband and the world, I repeat the vow I made all those years ago.

Destiny has made our paths to cross. Today, I make the choice to entwine my heart and spirit with yours for all eternity. In our life together, I pledge to respect and honour you. I will support you always, as friend, lover and confidante. I will share your hopes and help to make your dreams come true. I will stand by you in the good times and the bad. I will cherish and protect you always.

I love you.

Do you have any special anniversary traditions?


Filed under Opinion, Random Stuff

12 responses to “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Commitment?

  1. MerylF

    We’d have to get married first to have an anniversary… 🙂

    Well done you crazy kids.

    • Thanks, Mez. 🙂 Surely you guys celebrate an anniversary of some kind, though. Anniversary of the day you met? The day you started dating? The day you moved in together?

      • MerylF

        Not so much, no 🙂 And when people ask us how long we’ve been together, we spend the next 5 minutes trying to agree on when we hooked up and how long ago that was.

      • You’re funny. 🙂 You’ve been together longer than we have, you’d think by now you’d have at least worked out a pretend answer! 😉

  2. Oh Jo that was such a beautiful tribute to the two of you!!! I LOVE what you wore and your HAIR!!! So long!!!! Happy Anniversary my friend.

    • Thanks so much, Kim. 🙂

      I grew my hair specially for the wedding. It took me about 18 months. On the second day of my Honeymoon, I went to a random hairdresser and had her cut it off at shoulder-length. I’ve been going progressively shorter ever since. (My hair, that is. I’m still over 6′ tall. ;))

  3. First of all, congratulations!

    As for anniversary traditions, we’ve got a weird one that started on a lark. On our first anniversary, I got her an anniversary card. I probably got her something else as well, but there was definitely an anniversary card. Being a professional card, I’m sure everything was spelled right.

    On our second anniversary, I had not gotten a card, so I scrawled “Happy Anniversery” on a sheet of paper and taped it to the wall next to the bed, so that she would see it when she woke up twenty minutes later.

    Yes, I spelled it wrong: Anniversery instead of Anniversary. When she pointed that out to me, I was in a happy, silly mood, so I replied, “I spelled it right last year. Now you’re getting it misspelled a different way each year.”

    I would have completely forgotten about this, except that she never took down that hastily scrawled note, so as the third anniversary approached, I realized I had to keep with it, so on that morning, I put up a second sign reading “Happy Anniversiry”.

    Over the years, I’ve gone through such things as “Hippy Anniversary”, “Happy Unniversary”, “Cappy Anniversary”, and so on, many with appropriately themed artwork. After 21 years of marriage, there’s an impressive collection of notes taped to the wall by her side of the bed.

    I figure at 50, I’ll do something special… and spell it correctly again.

    • That’s an awesome tradition. 🙂 I love traditions that start with something innocuous and grow from there. 🙂

      The closest we’ve got to a dodgy tradition is that since the kids came onto the scene, we seem to celebrate every anniversary with a late dinner of take-out Indian. Mmmm….

  4. This is lovely! Happy belated anniversary, Jo. I can empathize with the struggles. Good for you two for sticking with it and finding the goodness that started the union in the first place. The pictures are wonderful!

  5. Oh Jo! I love your wedding. I love everything about it, seriously. You looked beautiful. I’m so happy you found each other & worked through hard times. Marriage isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Speak to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s