Infest the Waters: A Blog About Design, Life and Making Stuff

One Year of Wedded Bliss

Wittzler wedding kiss - cropped

Today is my first wedding anniversary.  Unlike this day last year, which was a sunny and warm respite amid an extraordinarily rainy late summer and early fall, today is gray and decidedly fall-like in temperature, giving me pause to reflect on the differences between now and then, the months that described the interim, and the event of celebrating an anniversary.

In some ways, now and then look very similar.  My husband and I have been bucking tradition for the last year, choosing to continue to live in our separate houses.  There are pros and cons to this, and the choice has come with its attendant variety of reactions from people when it comes up in conversation.  They range from the thinly-veiled judging of “Oh, you don’t live together?!?  But you’re married.” to the quiet envy of “That’s a recipe for a good marriage.” to the completely supportive “Good for you!  Don’t let society pressure you to do otherwise.”  It’s always interesting to see what the response is going to be, and sometimes I don’t get the response I expect.  The topic of marriage, it seems, like weddings, causes many people to offer up deep-seated opinions as to what it should and shouldn’t be.

For Ben and me, the decision to live separately was largely logistical.  The house we will ultimately live in–the one Ben lives in right now–isn’t finished.  The kitchen leaks, and the downstairs is a construction zone.  I am unwilling to live there.  My house, on the other hand, didn’t have space for Ben to have an office, which is important because he does consulting work when he’s not working on the house.  When we got married a year ago, we held the (perhaps naïve) view that nothing would really change.  While in a relationship, we’ve lived together, and we’ve lived apart, and we’ve been successful and unsuccessful at doing both, so the state of the relationship and the state of cohabitation seemed to have virtually no correlation.  And not being ones for doing things simply because “you’re supposed to,” we chose to keep doing what we were doing.

 Since last year, most things look the same.  Sure, each of our houses is a little more “finished” than it was a year ago and the bank accounts are merged, but our names are still the same, we still have separate health insurance, and we mostly still see each other on weekends.

But here, perhaps, is the biggest revelation, although maybe not so for anyone who’s already been through the act of getting married.  Something did change.  Something intangible and wonderful.  We realized it right around the time we were doing that holiday negotiation dance every couple does.  In the course of deciding if we wanted to spend the holidays together–something we had never done before and weren’t totally convinced we needed to do just because we were married–we realized that we actively wanted to be together more often, and specifically, over the holidays.  The act of choosing to be with each other forever and declaring that choice in front of our closest family and friends had changed the nature of our relationship.

There’s something really empowering and affirming about the concept of choice in a relationship.  It changes the way you value your partner and the time you spend together.  It makes you appreciate that you are mutually choosing to be with one another, when you could be choosing otherwise, and it strengthens the bond.  Since that time, I’ve been working towards renovating my back bedroom (more on that in a future post) so Ben can have an office there, and we can go back to living together, since we’ve decided that we’d like to do that sooner rather than later.

Catskills - Graham & Co. Graham & Co. Bicycles

Don't Hassle Me I'm Local

We spent this past weekend in the Catskills to celebrate our first anniversary.  (I’ve included a few pictures.)  We hiked, we ate good food, we stayed at a fantastic hotel, we contemplated the stars (there were so many!), we picked up some cool finds at a junk shop, we visited with our friend, Chris (who MC’d our wedding), and we generally celebrated one year of wedded bliss.

Great Ledge - CatskillsBut perhaps what we were really celebrating was not just an event on a specific date in time, but rather that things have changed in a fundamental and awesome way that we didn’t expect a year ago.

So happy anniversary, Ben!  Can’t wait to see how the next year will challenge us to change and grow together!

Wittzler Wedding Kiss

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