Shacking up. Cohabitation. Domestic Partnership. Living over the brush. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Bubba and I live under the same roof outside of matrimony.
We enjoy much of the same music, films, and even have the same sick sense of humor. We share everything from living space to groceries. Bubba and I have every intention of doing this till-death-do-us-part thing. Sounds like marriage. So why not just get married?
- Children need safe, peaceful, loving homes. Bubba and I aren’t raising any children. There is the dog, of course, and separation could make that very messy indeed. However, no children will be harmed in the making, or unmaking, of this relationship. I am glad my family was born into a home with a mother and father, but I’m not sure that marriage is what made that happen. Children are born into all kinds of good and bad homes. Marriage does not guarantee that.
- I don’t believe in sin. I know there is good in the world, and unfortunately, bad too. The bad stuff hurts children, kills people, and makes the world a scary place. The home in which we live is a good place. We believe in love and peace, and all that hippie stuff. No, we aren’t smokin’ anything.
- I don’t need a license to tell me I’m committed. Signing that contract is easy and cheap. Getting out of it can be difficult and expensive. That’s the point, isn’t it? We want someone to think twice before they walk out that door — and make ’em pay when they do. As if breaking a relationship and dividing up your stuff isn’t painful enough. Yeah . . . no one thinks twice about that sort of thing.
I want to wake up every morning knowing we made the choice — today — to be together. I have made no vow before anyone but him that I will be here tomorrow. There is no paper saying that I must share everything with him and he with me. We choose to do that daily.
Will a license or marriage ceremony ensure that my partner will always love me? That he will remain faithful? That he will allow me space to grow and change? Of course not. It all comes down to trust. Do we trust each other enough to marry? Indeed . . . do we trust each other enough not to?
If, for some reason, we fall out of love — and that can happen — I don’t want to keep him here by a signature on paper. I want to be free for each of us to find someone who will love and adore and cherish us again. I love him that much. I love myself that much. If a paper and public vow is the only thing holding him here, I say GO! The only thing that hurts more than breakup and divorce are lies and regret.
While it is true we don’t have a wedding anniversary, I think we have something better. Sometimes when we are going to a nice dinner, Bubba will say, “This is our anniversary, isn’t it?” And then we will spend the evening in celebration. It might be any month(s) of the year, but we celebrate. At some point, I will usually estimate how many years and months we have been together. Bubba typically responds, “Really? Well, I’ll be go ta heck!”
As for those around me with different points of view, I support you wholeheartedly to keep them. I will attend your wedding, raise a glass to the honored couple, and hand-wrap the gift. As a matter of fact, some of my favorite people live in wedded bliss or will soon, and I am glad for them. And some of those people only recently received the right to marry. It’s shameful to believe this took so long in a nation that claims separation of church and state.
Whatever your intention, no one should enter into a relationship feeling like the other is the better half, or that they are not complete without the other. Rather, offer a whole person to the other, that you will form a partnership together. Merge your lives together as a strong force of two, and not a single bond of one.
Peace . . .