Husbands. I called Scott my husband long before we were married. We lived together for five+ years, we were engaged for over three years, and I felt like he was “as good as” my husband so why not? Calling him my boyfriend, with our level of seriousness, didn’t seem to qualify the relationship appropriately. Fiancé got tiring after being asked for the hundredth time “when’s the big day?” given that we had no intention of getting married thus prompting a long explanation. Life partner seemed so…new age! So, husband he was – it was just easier.
It never occurred to me that anyone would mind. Until one day when I asked a close friend of mine, who sometimes referred to Scott as my husband only to quickly correct herself when she did so, why she corrected herself at all. I reminded her that I often called him husband and wasn’t offended by the term, thinking it was my feelings she thought she was sparing. I was surprised by her most serious response. She told me that in her eyes, I didn’t have the right. To call someone “husband,” a person had to take the legal leap of faith and sign that “piece of paper” and commit to one other with a vow in front of a witness. It didn’t have to be a magical white dream land with flowers and gifts (she got married in hiking shorts and a khaki tank on a mountain top) but it did need to be legal. For her, being able to call one another husband and wife were more like badges of honor, earned and therefore rightfully displayed.
In the end, I didn’t have to ponder the idea much longer. After Scott’s Mom was killed in a car accident one sunny Saturday afternoon in 2009, my perspective on life altered. The knowledge that our lives can often be cut too short rang in my ears like church bells on a Sunday morning. The thumping in my heart and the soulful cry of my spirit sang out “marry that man…” with a knowing that if anything ever happened to him, I’d regret that I didn’t. Regretful lessons that I have learned the hard way in the past.
I asked myself “self…why don’t you want to marry him officially?”
The answer screamed back with crystal clarity “because MORON, I am terrified to lose him…and if I don’t marry him, I can still hold back just a weeeee bit…just in case…”
Fear – paralyzing and debilitating – was holding me back from making a lifelong commitment to the man I love – to take our relationship to the next level – to let go of the safety net and just jump!
On April 14, 2010, I kicked off life’s training wheels and officially tied the knot with the love of my life.
Now I call him husband, legally….among many other names.
How about you, what’s your take on a couple referring to each other as “husband/wife” before they are legally hitched?
This post is part of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. This week I went with prompt #3 Husbands. A post that hopefully will not get you in trouble.