Never Letting Go.

Some amazing things have happened to the RMW team over the past 18 months or so, one particular memory that springs to mind is being approached at a show by a planning bride who came up to me and said ” I just wanted to say, I love your blog and I thought your Toxic Friendship post was spot on. I emailed it to all my friends and one of them has it printed out and stuck to their fridge”

Um… Wow.

I was positively overcome with gratitude.

But I couldn’t take all of the credit. Rock My Wedding long term loyal reader and generally lovely lady Anna K (who has recently joined Claire and Aisling over at gorgeous blog Any Other Wedding) had contributed a significant part to the piece.

And because of her beautiful writing style and wise words I really wanted her perspective on the other side of W-day, the being a wife part.

This is a poignant, thought-provoking and truly wonderful piece.

Enjoy lovelies.

On Being Married – By Anna K

I said “yes” in a park, on a tattered picnic blanket on the first day of autumn 2008. There was a ring. There was dappled sunlight. There was Mr K, looking nervous. There was a squirrel. I gave it approximately half a second of considered thought, burst into tears, and nodded like a maniac.

If I am brutally honest, (erm…I’ve never even said this out loud before), I don’t think that before I got married, I really, truly thought about what I was getting into. Yes, I knew it would mean living together forever, that it would mean pulling through the hard times, that there would be sacrifices. I wasn’t completely naïve. But I wilfully avoided sitting down and considering the real, heart-wrenching, “what do we do if this doesn’t work out?” questions.

I said yes because of a number of reasons. Because I loved my husband, because I couldn’t conceive of ever wanting to be with anyone else, because I admired his core values, because I knew we were compatible in our ambitions, because he’s never failed to make me laugh and I figured I could do with some of all of that, all of him, every single day for the rest of my life.

That seemed like enough for me. And so my “yes” came from a quick cost benefit analysis, a gut feeling, and a lot of love. I can’t fault that.

But the truth, the reality, is far darker and more complex than what flashed through my head on that autumn afternoon in Victoria Park .

The reality is, quite frankly, terrifying, if you think about it. (er…note to self, take more than 0.5 seconds to make Big Life Decisions in future). You have two separate human beings who have made a promise to stay together through whatever, and I mean whatever, life throws at you. It’s about two independent entities who have promised to be a team the very worst and twisted of what this life can offer. It’s about promising “no matter how much I change, I will still put you first”, and it’s about promising “no matter how much you change, I will do my very best to be what you need me to be”.

I have never, ever doubted that marrying my husband was the right thing to do. But similarly, I’ve always believed in the capacity of people to change, in their capacity to love widely and much, in their capacity to make mistakes, and also in their capacity to not need in fifteen years what they need now.

And how do you reconcile that with promising to stay together with one person, forever?

I guess what I’m saying is; there’s a widespread belief that married people have got it sorted. That they know something everyone else doesn’t. That they’ve figured out the holy grail of How To Make A Marriage Work.

Newsflash!: We haven’t. We haven’t got a ruddy clue.

Married people don’t know better. They’re still groping through the dark, trying to figure out how to navigate a tiny two-person boat through the stormy waters of life, same as anyone else.

The difference is, they are willing to jump, both feet in. The difference is, they believe in their capacity, and that of the person they married, to overcome , to bat back whatever hardballs life throws at them, to handle it when the perfection becomes imperfection, and when the magic turns sour. They have said I want, I can, I will put this marriage first, even when it’s the last thing I want to do, and even when I’m sure I can’t.

And to me, that’s what marriage is. It’s not a happily ever after, it’s not a fairytale, and it’s not a pre-defined script. It’s one huge jump, in which you grab the hand of someone who is worth the risk, and you do not let go.

Anna K x

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

46 thoughts on “Never Letting Go.

  1. Anna-i am speechless (that has happened twice this week!) What a powerful, uplifting and honest account.

    I totally agree with alittlewife-you have said what we all think, but are too scared to articulate.

    Much respect! (and a lot of love for your floral frock too!!) 

  2. Anna, you have brought a massive frog to my throat. I am feeling really emotional after reading that. I love your honesty and how you write. I want to read more! Pretty please write more!

    x x x x

  3. “that’s what marriage is. It’s not a happily ever after, it’s not a fairytale, and it’s not a pre-defined script. It’s one huge jump, in which you grab the hand of someone who is worth the risk, and you do not let go.” Love it!

    Why do people insist on making me cry at my desk first thing in the morning! My colleagues will be thinking “bloody hell, I hope she stops all this emotional stuff once she gets hitched” 😉

    L xx

  4. Anna K – I bloody love you!
    Its like you took the thoughts in my head, articulated them with far better vocabulary than I ever could, and then got it all posted nicely on RMW!
    D’you think Mr K would mind if i married you also?!

    xoxo

  5. I LOVE THIS.

    For me the biggest thing that’s changed since we got married is an enormous sense of security. I’m not daft, I know times will be tough and nobody ever really knows what’s around the corner… But just that sense of having somebody who is willing to jump with both feet….that’s an amazing feeling and I had no idea I would feel it until now its finally reality and we are actually husband and wife.

    Px

  6. The floral frock rocks my socks, K. As do you, as ever.

    Might have to get ‘Never let go’ tattoed down my spine….

    You’ve got a real skill, Anna and it’s always a privilege to read your work, always always.

    X

  7. Well Anna you are sooooooo wise!!! I LOVE THIS POST!!! YOu should be an agony aunt.

    Expect realistic perfection – that is what I keep telling people who ask for my opinion on relationships. Bad habits don’t disappear – in fact new ones develop when you are committed long term to each other that you didn’t even know could exist. You rub each other up the wrong way. And quite frankly want to scream sometimes. That is realistic. The perfection part comes the knowledge that your other half also feels as strongly as you do about sorting it out and getting on with living a loving life. I think marriage is making a pledge to bringing happiness and fun in a relationship no matter what crap life gives you. I can’t wait to finalise that commitment in my life!

    It is not like a novel or a movie. It doesn’t always match the stereotype. It will leave you frustrated, hurt occasionally and will definitely surprise you at times. But it is so worth it.

    Love is imperfectly perfect!

    xox

  8. Oh ladies

    You have made my ruddy month!

    Honestly. You are all so lovely and supportive. And I love that you all “got it”…it was hard to articulate this without sounding like I was a complete div who didn’t take my vows seriously.

    Erm…I am totally embarrassed to admit this on a blog like RMW where people buy things from net-a-porter, BUT, in the interest of doing it your way…my fancy floral frock is from Asda. Yes.

  9. I haven’t even read the other comments yet, I just wanted to say WOW! Anna, I have the most massive lump in my throat and want to burst into tears.

    Thank you xxx

  10. Anna K I just spat out my tea ( so unattractive) I too am more likely to be wearing Asda than NAP…..

    Today: H & M vest, New Look Cardi and ok ….Paige Denim jeans (they are quite fancy) but I’ve had them AGES!!!

    😉

    Charlotte xxx

  11. I wish I could wear jeans to work…. oh wait – 38 days and I can!!!!

    I too am more likely to be wearing Asda than NAP – today its next black trousers, H&M vest, M&S Cardi & New look boots because its raining (boo!)

    xxx

  12. Wow I want to tell Anna K all my day to day stuff and issues and general everything and for her to put it into lovely thought provoking tear jerking words so I can read it over and over again.

    I haven’t yet printed anything off (erm may have written lists and lists of wish list items though from make up/beauty/clothes/shoes posts) RMW but I gosh darn want to print this off and frame it and display it on wedding day!!! (Anna K pretty please can I have permission….copywright Anna K n all that shizzle promise wont play it off as my own words???!!!)

    Its so amazingly honest and beautiful. And love the ASDA shout out…bargainous pretty to be had! You make a lovely couple and Anna K, you are soooooo pretty!!!
    xxx

  13. Oh you gorgeous lot. Asda dresses and Mr Ks are the latest accessories du jour, don’t you know!

    Alex84, I don’t know if you’re serious, but if you are, OF COURSE, and if you’re not, it still made me ridiculously happy anyway! x

  14. Charlotte, did you watch the Apprentice yesterday? Thy were having a real bitch at cardigans.

    He looked over at my warehouse snuggly Cardigan and raised an eyebrow.

    Bastard.

    Ummm

    Cardi’s ROCK.

  15. Anna K,

    That just brought a tear to my eye….and you’re so RIGHT!

    And how strange I was thinking to myself after reading all your comments this week ‘Anna K should guest write for RMW’ and low and behold someone had already read my mind!

    Another reason why this Blog is so successful I guess…

    Well done.

    x

  16. Ahh love this Anna! It’s so nice to hear some honesty from a married lady, I feel like half the time people seem to feel the need to tell you every hour how absolutely amazing everything is and how easy it all is to have the perfect marriage. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in being marginally scared of what being married means (even if I am confident that the man part of it is spot on!) so thank you for that 🙂 xx

  17. “It’s one huge jump, in which you grab the hand of someone who is worth the risk, and you do not let go”

    Wow.
    x

  18. Truly beautiful piece. I too love the last few lines. Intact it may have become my facebook status this morning 🙂

    I’ve never heard anyone sum up marriage in such a lovely way.

    X

  19. Wow, Anna, just wow. What an intelligent and amazing viewpoint on marriage, or insight rather. Note to self – must pause the crazy planning at times to remember how important this day and our step into life beyond really is.

    I’m loving this wifey week!

    xXx

  20. Oh my god no! I was not kidding I was 1000% genu-wine you literary genioso!
    It says everything that I would want people to know I think of marriage (does that make sense?), and I will send in a photo post wedding to show how beautimusly I will frame it! And then, it shall goeth in my bedroom in said frame!

    I will of course add a prettified tag to say where this wisdomosity came from! (I wont add the super cool ASDA frock though as dont want all the attention on your awesome bargainous floral floaty frockage a la Pip Midd on me big day ;0) xx)

  21. Anna K- oh so wise. And pretty. Annoying, much?! You say it with soul- and while we’re at it, I found Owls, Vows and Cupcakes the most inspirational piece of wedding bloggery I have ever read.
    Seriously lovely post. I feel like this wife week is really helping my first month as a married! Thank you!

  22. Anna, you are brilliant – Mr K is a very lucky man.

    I have just read your post out aloud to my husband and I must admit, both of us got a bit teary as I read it.

    Wise words indeed. I think I may have to print out all the amazing posts from the RMW ladies and create a Rock My Marriage scrapbook!

    Thank you. xx

  23. Beautiful words, heart felt and so so true. Anna, you have just articulated exactly how I feel about marriage.

    I cut and pasted the last section and sent it to my husband… he emailed back – I got your hand.

  24. oh anna k who art so skilled with the pen (keyboard?), how do i love thee, shall i count the ways?

    (does that sound weird and stalkery? its not mean to!)

    you are a very cool lady, your posts are always thought provoking and beautifully written and i’m not at all jealous.

    no, not a bit

    damn you

    mrs r.now x x x

  25. Anna, you are, as always, wonderful. THIS is wonderful. You always manage to articulate the thoughts that I don’t know how to put into words.

    And I am wearing an Asda dress RIGHT NOW. I think we might be soulmates. (You know, if it wasn’t for Mr K.)

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