How to define this love of mine.

August 29, 2014

Whenever people refer to my husband and I as having already been married for a year, we often sigh, and share a knowing look, before nodding our heads in polite agreement.

If you look up the definition of marriage (obviously I have just done this), you will find that it is primarily described as a legal process and yet, these days at least, if asked about their marriage, most people would not choose to focus on the legal implications of their union.

Most people would talk to you about the day-to-day experiences of their partnership. Descriptions would probably include references to compromise, mutual support, and regular demonstrations of love and affection, and almost every, single one of these descriptions would be based on an assumption of cohabitation and extended daily interaction. So you can understand how, having lived 3,000 miles apart for the majority of the last year, and sometimes not even being able to speak to each other every day, it would be difficult for us to think of ourselves as being "married" during that time.

Our reluctance at using the term "married" to describe ourselves last year boils down, firstly, to the fact that we weren't really living a "married" life, and secondly, because the term "married" hardly begins to encapsulate everything that we have been through over the past 12 months.

The journey that we have been on over the last year is something that we honestly hope most people never have to experience. The intense commitment coupled with the stark separation and inability to move forward with our lives together was a terrible challenge that we cannot name, yet what we have gained from our experiences is something that we are so intensely proud of.

One year later we are stronger than we have ever been, happier than we have ever been, and grateful every day for having found each other. Our partnership continues to be complicated and our future unclear, but we are content in the knowledge that we chose the best people to spend our lives with.

I know that I wouldn't have been able to make it through this with anyone else.

So, cheers to that. Cheers to my husband. I love you so much. Cheers to marriage. Cheers to our family and friends - who have supported us through it all. And more than anything - Cheers! to a year of love and dedication, and an unyielding faith in the fact that we were meant to be together.



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