I Still Believe In Marriage
Vol. 1, No. 20, June 4th, 2021
Today marks exactly eleven years that my wife, Julia, and I were married. It was a Friday in Lawrenceville, Georgia in front of family, friends, and God where the weather couldn’t make up its mind. Mother Nature didn’t know if she wanted to be oppressively hot or wetter than a ten piece from American Deli. It rained almost the entire day of our wedding right until 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Those with wisdom say, rain on your wedding day brings good luck. Eleven years later and I can attest that the luck has not run out. Coincidentally, we started dating unofficially five years prior to our wedding day. I only say unofficially, because even though I knew she was going to be my wife after our first conversation, I did all of the dumb shit most young men do in their early twenties. (Not to ramble, yet it baffles me how people can place large bets on collegiate male sports. Men are pathologically dumb until sometime towards our mid-twenties.)
Days like this, Julia and I usually talk about some of our best moments together and some of our worst. The latter can cause some uncomfortableness, yet there’s always growth behind the feeling of uneasiness. We’ll sometimes look through old photos of us and recollect the events with sharp retention (all her, my memory is shit most times). Then we’ll discuss what we want our marriage to look like going forward and not only how we can be better spouses for each other, but better people for ourselves. At some point the realization will hit me like an overly aggressive security guard at Follie’s (RIP), that this is what marriage is truly about - complementing one another.
I’m aware that marriage is not a goal for everyone. As everyone shouldn’t be married. It’s a selfless act depending on the reasons you decided on the union. Selfless in the sense that you’re actively reducing your ego to nothing and making sacrifices to ensure your partner is successful. Perfect example would be our decision, as a couple, to eventually stay in the suburbs west of Atlanta. I wanted to move to the north side of town to live closer to Julia’s parents who both are recently retired. Additionally, that side of town is just more metropolitan. We decided to stay, because the Mrs. had built an armory of social capital and it’s served our family well thus far. Partners forgo post-baccalaureate degrees until it makes more sense, take on the financial burden while the other spouse is in school, or even move out of a state for a better career opportunity. All of these examples come with some sort of uncomfortableness, but they’re all the manifestation of love in action.
I still believe in marriage, because brunch isn’t as fun by yourself. I still believe in marriage, because people watching is more entertaining when the other person understands your attempts at humor. I still believe in marriage, because I still believe in the Black family no matter what form that may come in. I still believe in marriage, because I want the idea of a man loving one woman to still be seen as respectable. People can love others in many forms, but somehow the thought of loving just one person, no matter how fleeting, is no longer fashionable. I still believe in marriage, because I want my children to see that a spouse should compliment them and not compete with them.
I’m beyond ecstatic that I chose the right spouse for me and vice versa. We’ve grown up with each other and had to help each other navigate everything that life has thrown our way. I’ve fallen in love with the same woman several times over due to her evolving. That act is probably the greatest lesson that I’ve learned while being married - they will change and so will you. Likes, dislikes, passions, and triggers are constantly changing. As someone committed to a forever, you learn to adapt and love your partner for who they are and not who you imagine them to be. I still believe in marriage, because our union is limitless. It doesn’t bind nor restrict, it enhances and liberates. It takes us out of our shells and forces us to look deeply into the mirror. Marriage can challenge you and frustrate you, most importantly it pushes you to live a better life, because yours is no longer your sole responsibility. I still believe in marriage, because I wholeheartedly still believe in mine. Happy eleventh anniversary my love and here’s to many more.
What I’m Listening To
It’s only right that I display more of my mushy side in this week’s newsletter and dedicate my audio preferences to “Pretty Little Fears” by 6LACK and J. Cole. The song is one of the doper tracks from 6LACK’s album, East Atlanta Love Letter. It’s one of those collaborations I was never expecting, but glad that it exists. Line for line, Jermaine says what I feel about my wife that I could have damn near written the bars myself. Pull this song up on whatever digital streaming platform you use and hold your special someone’s hand while y’all zone out.
In almost no surprise to anyone that’s been aware of all of the attention the gender pay gap has been receiving recently, a 2018 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis stated that married men earn much more on average than anyone else in the United States. The study doesn’t try to imply that men simply being married would increase their wages, but there could be a possibility that men who earn more are getting married. Either way, let’s pay people equitably and keep getting to the bag.
“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect—you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break—her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.” ― Bob Marley