Marriage is a funny one to me. It was never something I wanted for myself, I thought it was nothing more than a piece of paper, I didn’t get the hype that filled my friends and I’d definitely never dreamt of a white dress. And then Al happened and now we’ve made it through our first year as Mr & Mrs Coates, which has led me to note some things that I’ve learnt in the process.
I have to start by saying it’s more special than I’d imagined. Nothing changes when you tie the knot, yet everything changes. For me it’s this weird sense of feeling closer somehow, more connected, the start of our own family unit. We’re players on the same team. We’ve chosen each other to grow old with, dedicated the rest of our lives to making each other happy. I’m no longer my only priority. I’ve got someone else – and a bunny – to think about. I don’t think that my words do justice to the feeling I have.
It’s an ever-changing partnership with constant shifts in priorities, needs and chores. 2018 for me has been a mix of extreme highs and lows, from starting the year honeymooning in Mauritius, navigating my anxiety disorder with CBT sessions, and will end with me becoming self-employed. Al’s been there, holding my hand, every step of the way.
He runs me a bath when I’m restless and unable to switch the angsty voice inside my head off. He cooks me my favourite meal just to put a smile on my face. He leaves a hot water bottle on my side of the bed to preempt IBS pains.
Through Al I’ve learnt that kindness is the quality I treasure most.
I’ve also accepted that just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your partner will now pick up their pants and socks. Oh no. They will stay on the floor teasing you until you do something about it or tell them to do something about it.
I occasionally struggle with my not-so-new identity, calling myself by my maiden name. Especially when calling up to access some home account, confusing the person on the other end of the phone because they can’t find my records. Much hilarity.
I’ve spent a lot of the past year reminiscing dreamily about our wedding day, wanting to soak in all those once-in-a-lifetime memories and wanting to do it all again. Just without any of the actually planning, spending all that money and without the arrival of a couple of hurricanes.
Mainly I’m excited to see what journey we take through life together. What storms we have to weather. The roads we have to navigate. And the paths we chose to walk down. But I couldn’t more grateful to do it all with my hairy best friend by my side.