I don't plan to stay married to the person I'm married to today

July 1 2015 | Guest post by IntentKitten
I don't plan to stay married to the person I'm married to today on @offbeathome
Photo by Wild About You Photography

Soon, I will celebrate four years of marriage. However, I'm not married to the same person I married those four years ago; nor do I plan to remain married to the person I'm married to today.

Sure, I formed the statement this way for the shock value, but in all honesty, I'll never be married to the same person day-to-day. In fact, my husband is not married to the same person he married four years ago.

Neither of us have maintained anything but our names and a few nature-provided traits. When I look back even further to when we first started dating, seven years ago, I see memories of 17-year-old Stephani and 19-year-old Calvin. I see two children unaware of the heartbreak, horror, success, love, and other experiences we have faced since.

No one could have prepared me for the time when we thought our dog had been killed after she ran off for the first (and thank goodness, only) time. No one could have accurately described the weight of my maternal grandmother’s absence from our wedding day. And no one, not a single person, could have detailed the immense pride either of us felt when I graduated from community college, then my undergraduate University, and more recently my graduate school program.

With every lesson I've embraced, with every tear I've released, and with every damn experience I've gone through, I've changed my opinion, my story, and my inner-most self.

So, no: I don't plan to remain married to the person I'm married to today. I'm not so naive to believe that I'll be married to him forever. And I would hope that he doesn't want who I am today in 10, 20, 40, or even 60 years. As I grow, adapt, learn, gain/lose memories, gain/lose weight, fail, stumble, or fall, I want him to love me again every day for the new person I will become. I hope that he vows to re-marry me every day, with a promise to accept whatever illness, health, wealth, or poverty I possess. Likewise, I plan to re-marry him, every day, for the same reasons and expectations.

I don't think, in all instances of divorce, that people give up too quickly on fixing the marriage. I don't judge people for divorce –I can never fully live the life or experiences that led anyone to their own decisions.

For my personal experience, I plan to accept the difference, work through the issues, and re-marry my husband. In the unwelcome event that the marriage turns into an emotionally, physically, or spiritually unhealthy relationship, we've agreed to mutually end the relationship. Of course, we're not planning for it to go that way — we do accept the reality that it can happen to anyone.

But again, until then, we have agreed — rather, vowed — to recommit ourselves to one another daily. To explore and understand the new person that emerges every day.

  1. Who brought the onions to the office today?

    Beautiful writing, beautiful picture of marriage. I wish both of you the best for your continuous recommitment to one another. This is such a level-headed way to approach marriage, and more than that, all of our relationships in this life.

    13 agree
  2. Awesome post!

    My husband and I are so anti-change that it brought us together in the beginning. But people change. Relationships changes. Jobs change. Physical abilities change. I've been reading posts like this since I was a child (I was the kid who stole her mom's magazines for the articles), so I'm like, "Okay, change… I hate this. I can roll with it. It's normal." My poor husband thinks that it means the sky is falling. Trying to hold him and love him through his freak-outs over things like me deciding to start working out is both adorable and difficult.

    4 agree
  3. I heartily agree. My husband has changed a lot in the last 7 years and often for the better. I know I've changed (hopefully for better) too. We know that change is good and keeps our relationship fresh. The core things we fell in love with are still there but there are new things to fall in love with too.

    3 agree
  4. I've heard so many times: "HE'S NOT THE PERSON I MARRIED" and I couldn't help but think: "…well thank heavens! Who would want to stay married to an 18 year old kid forever?"

    People grow and change SO MUCH. I am no where near the kid I was at 17 when I had my first son, the mom I was at 22 when I had my second, the daughter I was when my dad passed right before my 30th birthday. Life changes and I hope we all learn and grow with those changes. I can't imagine being partnered to someone stagnant and unwilling or unable to grow and change (especially the unwilling). The healthiest couples I know and admire are ones that have been through BIG changes, TOGETHER. They've changed careers, changed religions, moved, grown, and supported each other the whole way.

    SMALL CAVEAT: I was married for a VERY short time to a pathological liar. the man I divorced was NOT the man I married, but that was intentional deception and misrepresentation.

    9 agree
  5. My ex-husband never changed during the ten years of our marriage. I kept waiting for him to accept responsibility, to give a damn about the lack of physical intimacy, to get therapy to deal with his own issues, to keep a job for more than six month, to do SOMETHING that meant he was a human being capable of growing up. He never did. It was a month before our tenth wedding anniversary, when his choices and lack of respect for our combined well-being led me into a nervous breakdown that had me almost jumping off a bridge. During the week in the crisis center, I came to the horrifying realization that he was EXACTLY THE SAME PERSON he was ten years ago, while I had grown and changed and evolved. I left him not long after.

    My current relationship is nearly three years old, but we have both changed and evolved in that short amount of time. He's not the guy I met at a friend's party three years ago, and he's definitely not the guy he was twenty years ago back in high school when we were just friends. I do love him for the fact that he is his own work in progress, and we continually surprise each other by what we bring to our relationship as we learn and experience and grow.

    Human beings are not meant to live a static existence. Those who try to (like my ex-husband) end up never evolving and always running into the same problems. It's not worth it. It's hell.

    4 agree
  6. I pretty much tell my husband everyday: "Let's stay married forever!"

    Because saying married each day is a choice. And one that I love to make.

    3 agree
  7. Agreed. I've been married just over a year to someone who I was with for almost two years before that. We are still the same people we were but there have been subtle changes and shifts in both of our personalities and behaviour. I think it is the compromise that a strong, healthy relationship demands that is responsible for much of this. As well, in the compromise of finding "our way" and not just "my" way you discover new likes and dislikes that influence who you are. All of the experiences you have together evolve who you are.
    Do I sometimes mourn the person who I was before our relationship? Of course I do, but then I reflect on all of the awesome things I have done and memories I have made with him, and I embrace and celebrate who I have become.
    Every day I look at him and say, "I like who you are. I'm gonna keep you around."

    3 agree
  8. "As I grow, adapt, learn, gain/lose memories, gain/lose weight, fail, stumble, or fall, I want him to love me again every day for the new person I will become. I hope that he vows to re-marry me every day, with a promise to accept whatever illness, health, wealth, or poverty I possess. Likewise, I plan to re-marry him, every day, for the same reasons and expectations."
    Hmm, I might borrow some of that for our future vows 🙂

    5 agree

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