We have lived together for six years, and we have been married for three years now with our second child en route. It’s been many years, I know, but I often find that when people ask me how long I’ve been married, the answer to the question does not do us justice.
I usually answer that we have been together for ten years because I feel that these seven years of unmarried life are undervalued.
One study found that staying with one’s partner for at least three years or more reduces the probability of divorce by 50%!
So why did we wait seven years to take the plunge?
Well, there were several reasons, I suppose. One is that my husband was divorced, and he wanted us to get the most out of it before getting married.
He was also afraid of jumping into the abyss of marriage to be wrong again. For him, the relationship was comfortable and safe.
My husband also had a son, and he wanted to make sure he was getting married to someone who would stay and someone who would be able to bear the fact that he was already a father.
For us, and for many, life was complicated. We both thought marriage was a very important decision, and we both wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into.
It was going to take time.
My husband and I lived together for years before getting married. It’s something that some may still find controversial, but I would not change it. We learned so much from each other by living together.
The first two months of life together were a time of learning. Adding marriage to the mix would have made it even more crazy.
It is also important to note that six years into our relationship, I was more than ready for marriage, and I told him. Even though we talked about it, we never acted, and my husband knew after six years of ups and downs that the time had come. We were ready. He offered me a stereotypical Valentine’s Day, and here we are.
There comes a time when some people do not want to wait anymore, and for me it was at that moment. We had been engaged for a year and I knew for six years that we were going to the next step.
Although by the time we arrived in the driveway we were a little older than most newlyweds, we also felt safe. We thought we knew our ins and outs, we were able to withstand storms, we were able to stay in love because we had done these things for seven years before.
There were no surprises. We were who we were. We could live together, and at that time we also had our moments of madness and were ready to settle down.
Seven years later, we were ready to grow old together.
I do not feel that these years have been wasted in any way. I think they have been beneficial. In fact, in truth, during all these years we were immature. We were not ready for the wedding.
I do not know if we would have lasted if we had married during this period.
When we went out together, even though we lived in the same place, we had things to do before we settled down.
We had the opportunity to work on our marriage before it happened, and I know we are getting better because of that.
It took us seven years to link knowledge because it was the time we needed to succeed. We are in the right place now.