My partner and I have been together for over thirteen years. We met in India, travelled around a bit and when in the same city together have been inseparable. (and when we’re in different cities our phone bills our out of this world) We never really ‘moved in together’ because from the day we met we were sharing our life – including find a place to sleep for the night or live.
Our tenth anniversary together was the month after we’d had our first child. To celebrate Dave gave me a ring. I adore it. Unexplainably it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I see it on my finger. I suppose it is a physical reminder of his love for me, just as is the tattoo on his arm that bares my name.
There have been times in our relationship when we have discussed getting married but we never had. I can’t really tell you why we haven’t. There is no one reason that we’ve discussed that has put us off. The thought of spending the day with our families in that pressure-cooker environment has always been a huge turn off, just as the expense of hosting a wedding has been. Of course we could have always snuck down to the registry office to get hitched, but we’ve just never been inclined. I love him. He loves me. We’re spending our lives together – and intend to for as long as we’re both breathing. Frankly I don’t really think about us not being married – because aside from the formal paper work we already are.
This weekend past was the sewing guild monthly meeting. It is an eclectic bunch of women, most of whom are a fair bit older than me. This Saturday I wasn’t in the zone for sewing, so I traced up a few patterns but spent most of the gathering watching others and chatting. It was lovely to get to know them more. An older member who is a great-grandmother asked me if she could question me without posing offence. She asked why I wasn’t married and then asked “but what about the children?” In the discussion that followed it became clear that she was concerned about my children’s illegitimacy. I’ve gotta say that I’d never really even thought about it. I’m not against being married, so if it becomes an important issue for my children I’ll happily wed Dave.
Julia Gillard is our first female Prime Minister. Perhaps she is our first Prime Minister to have red hair too? I suspect that she is probably our first unmarried Prime Minister, and perhaps even our first childless Prime Minister.
So I ask you… why are you married or unmarried? Is it important to you… or did it just kind of happen? Did or will becoming a parent affect your attitude? A penny for your thoughts…