It's strange. I am in love. Jen is just about perfect for me. I am going to be married in less than two months. I am excited about being married. I have no regrets. And yet, at times while the date of our wedding approaches, and I can't help but feel some sense of grief at the loss of singleness.
This struggle came as a surprise for me. I thought that I would be so blissful about being married (which I am), that I would not have a worry in the world about married life as my wedding day approached. Furthermore, the things that popular culture says I will grieve as a married person I am not that worried about. Since I have not been sexually active for most of my adult life, I am not grieving the loss of options or variety of partners. I am not that worried about money when I get married. I think, at least to start with, we will both be healthier financially. My social life actually has a boost from being in a couple, as I serve as an Associate Pastor in a family-centered church.
What I struggle with are other things. I like to spend time running away and hiding from everything, and yet the longer I am in a relationship the less able I am to do that. I like long periods of time where I don't have any human interaction. I like to have all my money for myself. I don't like being accountable for how I spend my free time. I like burying myself in my work.
In the process of trying to understand this I had an "everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten" moment. I really have a hard time sharing with others. When you are single, much of your domestic life is centered around self-care. Now another person and their thoughts, feelings, and emotional needs come into the picture. In the process, you find yourself, in many ways, responsible for two instead of one. And, your spouse does too. When you are single, you think of the convieniences and pleasures of being in a relationship. Even though you know a relationship is work, you are unprepared for some of the work that needs to be done in your soul. As I am preparing to be married, I am realizing that it is more soulwork than I anticipated.
Married life is an adjustment I am eager to make, but many of the adjustments still take me by surprise.