Before getting married I used to ask all of my married friends, “does it actually change something?” I always received different answers from practically everyone. A lot of us dream about that perfect proposal and that big wedding our whole lives. Playing dress up as a kid, you don’t really think about what comes after that big beautiful ceremony, the luxurious flowers, the elegant invites, the most stunning location, the entire celebration of your love, and signing a few pieces of paper – what really changes?
At first, I might have easily responded “no.” We loved each other before, and we still love each other now. We have the same long term plans that we had before being married, and our daily life as a couple is pretty much the same. I thought I wouldn’t, but I still do get jealous every once in a while when I think of him in past relationships. The idea that a married man has any less chance of cheating than a non-married committed man, is just silly. On the contrary, some people on the prowl just love to see that ring (awful – smh). I trust him to not hurt me now, just like I trusted him to not hurt me before. We still have the same interests. We still live in the same home. We still have the same pets and hobbies.
Then, there are the technicalities that obviously change. There are those financial benefits and ties that come with the formality of the marriage documentation. Being that I’m an expat and have no family here, before being married I had no one that would be able to enter the room if I were ever unconscious in the hospital, or ever in real need. Being married, means that we can file taxes together if we want and makes him my legal family. Although these are things that can be done with other forms of paperwork as well, being married is all encompass xing legally. We also have these fancy rings that we wear now – that’s always a nice plus. These are all differences from before, but how does it feel?
Answering “no” at the beginning was obvious. Then, I heard him call me his wife in a normal conversation with a co-worker on the phone. It almost felt like he was asking me to marry him all over again. Hearing Alberto call me his wife reminds me each time that he chose and is choosing me over and over again. It reminds me that he was willing, as shy as he can be, to ask me to be with him forever in front of so many people and to celebrate that commitment in front of so many more people. He had called me his “wife(moglie)” when talking to me, but there is something so special about overhearing it from the other room. As much as I didn’t think it would, it does feel different.
When I call him my husband it does feel like family. My family is starting here together with him. Calling him my boyfriend doesn’t have the same impact. Saying “my husband” I feel like we are more of a permanent team. He is mine, I am his, we are each other’s – and it’s a choice that we made and continue to make every day.