Going to the Chapel and We're Gonna Get Married...
It is quite obvious that Hubby and I didn’t follow the “normal” path of courtship and marriage, for anyone who has followed along with Various Stages. I was pregnant with Paige (my daughter) when I became engaged to my husband, Paige’s father. Hubby and I had gone to high school together. We had been good friends and then started dating. But I wasn’t even 19 when I found out I was pregnant. Although our love and devotion to each other was there, marriage hadn’t been in the picture at that point in time. We felt we were too young.
Things happen…situations change and several months later we were engaged to be married, but we had not set a date. We just knew that we were meant to be together and were committed to conquer whatever obstacles we were given. We knew our path was hard, but knew we could handle it. We truly felt that our love could see us through.
And it has.
I moved in with Hubby and his family right after Paige was born. Much of this time period is still a blur to me…but I remember my mom being totally devastated that I was going to be “living in sin” even though it meant that our new little family would be together. That’s really most of what I remember; how bad I felt that I was hurting my parents. From that day forward, I felt an insane amount of pressure to set the date and get married. And when I say pressure…you have NO idea how much pressure. And much of it I put on myself. I had so much G.U.I.L.T. for not following the standards I had held to for so long. So not only did Hubby and I jump into something called parenthood, we had stress from our parents and pressures to get married (and not get married from other sides) all around us. But I think I gave in to my guilt. From August (when Paige was born) to October (when we finally set a date) we had, what felt like, constant stress and pressure. And on November 1, 1997, I was married to the love of my life.
But I was not ready to get married to the love of my life.
I don’t exactly have any happy memories of my wedding day. The stress of our life seemed to creep in and take over our wedding day, too. My in-laws were the main source of the contention (another blog for another time) but everything wasn’t their fault. Religiously, yes…this is what was seen as “making things right” and moving on. But, in truth, I wanted everyone to just but out and let us be. I wanted to just be able to love Hubby and Paige and do things on our time, when we were ready. I had no idea how to do that. I had NO CLUE that that was what I really wanted. I just wanted to get it over with and be married to this man that I love(d) so much, so that I could move on AND JUST LIVE.
I regret not making decisions based on what was best for us (at the time) and sticking up for myself and for my family. I regret that so much of our beginning was so rushed and we didn’t have a chance to just breathe. I regret that, in a way, the religious pressures were just as heavy as all the other pressures that surrounded us.
Having said all that, I do NOT regret marrying the man the makes my life better every day. I do NOT regret loving this man with all my heart and sharing a life that has been so hard but that has been so wonderful. I do NOT regret the two amazing, beautiful daughters that we have together. I do NOT regret thanking Heavenly Father daily for answering spastic, scattered and even ridiculous prayers and for blessing me with so much when I felt that I didn’t deserve it…and when I didn’t even realize it.