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Archive for September, 2008

I am getting married on Nov. 1, less than two months away.  Monk–I call him that because he looks like one– and I have been together for three years.  I have known about him since childhood.  He is my best friend’s older brother.  Saving everything until the last minute, lately I have been wedding gown shopping on craigslist in an attempt to find a decent dress that needs no altering.

I’ve come across a handful of young women recently divorced wanting no part of the dress that they wore with the person whom they thought they were going to spend the rest of their life with.  

What makes a marriage last so short?  Did you even have the time to fight?  How could you ever let yourself MARRY someone whom you would end up divorcing just a few years later?  I’ve been questioning this in my mind with Monk.  What will make mine last strong?

Last year at this time I was a girl living in Japan with a boyfriend who had started talking about wanting to get married.  I wasn’t overjoyed about it, I wasn’t not keen on it either.  At the time I loved having a boyfriend, living in a foreign country, living such a fluid life, and didn’t need the word “Marriage,” which meant binding, settled, children, monotony, entering our conversations.  But I did entertain it.  I listened intently to his stories about how outstanding our marriage would be, I contributed making up names for our five kids we would have one day.  Life was great!  I felt relationship security with a man not afraid of commitment, but didn’t have to play the wife part. 

Then September came last year and he took me on an picturesque camping trip in the mountains of Japan.  We were taking a hotspring one night in a small village that was desolate at 10 pm.  Monk said he had to call home and asked me to wait down the street.

“What?  You want me to wait in the dark down the street while you talk to your parents?” I said.  “OH NO,” it clicked in my head, “He is going to propose.”  I was scared, nervous, excited, and experiencing ten emotions at once.

These emotions didn’t stop until two days later by a turquoise-colored river where he did it.  Then the worry, scared, nervous feeling turned to elation.   I was engaged to Monk!  A sensitive, caring, thoughtful man who made me a better person.  We were living abroad, going on adventures every weekend, and we were happy!

Now a year later and two months shy of our wedding day I have learned how to be deeply in love with someone who inherently wants a different lifestyle than I want.  I want to not live in America, to live among different cultures, to forever escape winters in a tropical paradise raising my kids bilingual, barefoot and away from a materialistic pretentious society.  Monk wants to live in our hometown near our family.

So we compromised.   I am writing this in my hometown after living abroad my entire single adult life (six years since Uni.)  We have a deal to spend half a year in our hometown at the end of summer and fall, and to spend the other half on our tropical island. 

We bought a plot of land on a tropical island.  We are marrying twice in one year, both times out of the country.  We remodeled the house in our hometown.  We are each learning how to sacrifice to lay the foundations of a long, healthy and adventurous marriage.  Or at least I hope.

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