The 18 minutes that changed my life

Guest post by Kisså
Minutes after our ceremony, Todd and I got to take a walk and talk about the momentous thing we'd just done! Photograph by Alex Kaplan
Minutes after our ceremony, Todd and I got to take a walk and talk about the momentous thing we'd just done! Photo by Alex Kaplan

My husband Todd and I tied the knot. Our wedding was amazing and everything went well. We had awesome cool misty weather, and we both had the time of our lives. Then we went on a honeymoon that blasted even our wildest dreams out of the water. And now we're been back in regular life, enjoying not having to plan a wedding. On the surface, not much has changed (I haven't even gotten around to changing my name yet, because we're buying a house and name-changing while making such a huge purchase would be nightmarish). But I am deeply amazed at how completely different being married feels from being Todd's girlfriend or fiancée. I suspected that something would shift, but I had no idea that it would be this profound and truly perspective-altering, in such a wonderful way.

In years past, I went through a phase of thinking that I would never want to be married, because it doesn't really change your relationship and if (God forbid) that relationship ever ends, it's a huge hassle to get out of (to say the least). Now that Todd and I are married, I've come to feel strongly that it does change your relationship in a way that can't be achieved without the marriage (or handfasting, or commitment ceremony, etc).

Before we married, I knew that Todd and I were 100% committed to each other, and that he was my favorite person in the universe and that we'd always be there for one another. But during our eighteen-minute-long ceremony something happened, some sort of magical math equation was completed whereby the two of us were joined together in a sum that's much, much greater than either of its parts. Almost as soon as we were pronounced husband and wife, I felt my trust and my investment in our relationship deepen — something I didn't even know was possible, given how deep it was to begin with. It was, and is, such an amazing feeling that manifests itself in ways both large (I now have a sense of peace and calm knowing that I will always have a partner in good times and bad) and small (after two and a half years, suddenly I can pee in front of Todd).

To those who genuinely don't want to get married for philosophical reasons, I say that your choice is your own. But I'm so thankful that my perspective changed, because I would otherwise have no idea how wonderful the state of being married is. Todd and I are more together than we ever have been before. Getting married is a huge decision and commitment, but it was the easiest one I've ever made. That eighteen-minute ceremony, and the life that has been following after it, have truly made me a happier and more complete person. If you're gearing up to your own wedding day, be on the lookout for that shift in emotion. It may come gradually as you settle into married life, or like me you may suddenly feel bowled over by it. Either way, reveling in the knowledge of it as it changes the way you approach the world can be one of the most pleasurable and memorable experiences of a lifetime.

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Comments on The 18 minutes that changed my life

  1. This totally made me tear up! I definitely felt like the relationship got suddenly “bigger” the moment dude popped the question. Can’t wait for the even bigger moment 🙂

  2. Totally awesome. What an excellent write up.
    Something does change when you publicly state your commitment in front of the people who mean the most to you and celebrate with that community of witnesses, be they 11 or 110 people.

  3. This was a beautiful post…I have heard this sentiment communicated before (both online and in real life), but you did so in a very thoughtful way that resonated with me, moreso than any of the other times. Thank you for this.

  4. Congratulations! I love this!

    My married friends all tell me that it feels different but they can never really explain why. I hope I feel something! Lol.

    You described it so beautifully!

  5. Huh, not much changed for me on our wedding day. I think when we both agreed to GET married, we committed to each other then, and that’s when our relationship deepened. And I’ve been peeing in front of him since we were still seriously going out, so I mean… there really wasn’t much more to change. Besides, why would it suddenly be okay now that you’re married? But anyway, it’s awesome that you feel that profundity in your relationship after being officially married. My dude and I were basically “married” for years, so now it’s just nice that everyone finaly gets our relationship because it matches what they expect now. 🙂

    • Trust me, I was as surprised by the peeing thing as anyone! It wasn’t like I feared he’d leave me if he ever found out that I had (GASP!) bodily functions. Previously I just… preferred my bathroom time to be private. That’s not to say that now I’m all, “Get in here and watch this!!” but, you know.

      • This happened to us too! We’d always kept the bathroom door closed and then on the honeymoon, we were peeing in front of each other as if we’d been doing it forever! Thought I was the only one!

  6. That was beautiful…I cant wait for my own wedding and to feel this, though i agree with its hard to believe I could feel deeper and more in love then I have been to my fiance, its seems impossible, but reading this makes me understand a little more, and i simply cant wait for that moment, thankyou for sharing this :]

  7. Having been widowed at 36 and swearing I’d never marry again (ha!) I have the strongest feelings about the vows and the ceremony. At 23 I was so immersed in wedding planning and being in love that I didn’t understand the depth of “sickness and health, til death do us part”. I have a huge understanding now for those words, the commitment that they carry and that someone chose me to commit to knowing I intend to live those words. I can’t wait for our ceremony, he can’t wait for the reception 🙂 But we both agree that things will change. Even though we live together now and love each other very much, it is the words we will speak that will give a stronger meaning to what already exists.

  8. What you wrote was so touching! I think I was touched even more so because I am a wedding officiant. I always feel so honored when asked to officiant a wedding ceremony. I know after each ceremony I feel changed and connected to that couple more so then I was before the ceremony. It was nice to hear the impact the ceremony had on you. Thank you for sharing.

  9. My son married two weeks ago. He and his fiancee had been engaged for 4 years–together for several more than that.
    Prior to the wedding, I talked a good game. My new daughter-in-law was gonna be “great”, we got along “great”, everything was “terrific,” etc.
    Then, that magical math equation that Kissa writes about here happened to me.
    My son’s wife BECAME my daughter. There is no other explanation for that bigger-than-me warm feeling I had when I hugged her right after the ceremony. That same feeling that has not let up since.
    And, I am so grateful.

  10. I can only say that nothing has changed in my relationship with being married. Which for me is a good thing because it was most perfect before the wedding as well 🙂 i knew about 2 months into our 5 year relationship that this was the love of my life, the father of my future children, my soulmate, my best friend. And that i would spend the rest of my life with him if he let me. And that is the same way i feel today that we are married. I only made it official for my family and friends. But i am happy for all of those who feel happier with the state of being married and grow closer together with their partner on this most beautiful day!

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