I am not a girl who dreamt of my wedding day. I wasn’t hungry to find a prince charming, and I definitely don’t believe that everyone should get married. I often tell my husband that if I hadn’t met him, I don’t know that I’d even be married.
And yet, I am so thankful for my partnership with Luke. Our killer relationship is among my favorite parts of my life.
One of our vows on our wedding day was to support one another in our individual passions. A fear I had in getting married so young (I was 25) was that I would have to give up my love of solo travel, constant quest for spiritual growth, and need for independence.
Yesterday marks 17 years that we’ve been together. I believe part of what’s made our marriage awesome through that time is the metaphorical space we give each other. I don’t mean that we spend lots of time apart. We don’t. And sometimes we do. But more what I mean is that we allow one another proper distance to be two entirely separate people.
One of my early held confusions about marriage was that we needed to spend all of our time together. Despite my need for independence, I thought marriage meant you do everything together.
I had a professor in college who, she and her husband spent entire semesters apart. She, teaching in Japan, and he, teaching somewhere in Europe. I first judged their partnership as unhealthy. Maybe they didn’t like each other all that much.
But now, I’ve come to respect it. In the traditional view of partnership, I think enmeshment is so regularly regarded as positive. But if we’re going to be in a healthy relationship for any length of time, we must be able to take individual risks that serve our souls, alone. For no two people grow at the same pace, no matter how similar they may be.
I’ve come to believe that viewing marriage as spiritual partnership is the highest calling of a couple. While traditional views of marriage still create conflict for me, this idea of spiritual partnership is an idea I can live by.
We can be the mirror for each other throughout our lives, yet not hold to the expectations of what a marriage “should” look like. Every partnership is different. But today, 17 years later, I feel so thankful that I can continue to recreate myself and evolve on my own path within the comfort of my spiritual partnership.